When do you cross the line...

Of offering an opinion and bashing a name? I personally only give opinions where opinions are asked, but how do you not cross the line of offending the person asking? I have a friend who has a tremendiously diffrent taste in names from me. She likes very trendy names, and matchy sibsets. She has a daughter, [name]Kendall[/name], and her and her husband are expecting a son. The first half of her pregnancy the child was ot be named [name]Cayden[/name]. [name]Kendall[/name] and [name]Cayden[/name]. I tried to tell her they were very similar in style, but she just said she thought it was cute. Uh. Then her husband nixed [name]Cayden[/name] and they picked [name]Cody[/name]- which they decided to spell [name]Kody[/name] to match sister [name]Kendall[/name]. Then the name is chaning again and she says “I love the name [name]Randall[/name]!”, [name]KeNDALL[/name], raNDALL. Uhh. I feel as though every time i give my opinion it has been tasteful, but after trying to show the potential bad side to things, i think i have sort of bashed all of her names. So my question is, how do you give advice, name after name, and not make it sound like your bashing the names?

I’m not sure if I really have an answer for you except to say that it does sound like she simply has very a different style/taste in names than you (and many of the posters on this site) and that the same things that bother you about the names/spelling/sibsets she likes just don’t bother her.

Does it seem to you that she hasn’t considered the possible cons related to her choices? Or, does she just like names that are matchy and doesn’t really care what other people think? Some people just like that sort of thing.

I guess it depends also on what kind of relationship you have with this friend, how close you are to her, and how open you are with each other about other things in your lives. I have some friends who probably wouldn’t care if I expressed an opinion or concern about names they were considering and I have other friends with whom I’d be a lot more careful.

Depending on your relationship, it might be okay to phrase your opinion something like, “Have you thought about ______ ?” or “[name]Do[/name] you think that your children would enjoy having names that rhymed?”, “Would you have liked having a name that rhymed with your sibling?”, “What will you do if you end up having more children? [name]Will[/name] you want to / be able to carry on the pattern?” Some of these leading questions might not be appropriate to ask some friends.

I think if this were my friend, AND it was a friend with whom I could speak openly without offending, I’d probably focus more on the sibsets she’s considering rather than on her taste in names (because everyone has a different taste and it sounds like she definitely likes more trendy names and I don’t think anything anyone would say would change that, nor should it, trendy names are trendy because A LOT of people like them). I’d gently try to get her to consider how her children might feel about their names as a sibset as they grow up.

Honestly? If I were her I would probably be already irritated with you if you kept dissing every name I chose. Maybe they are only saying [name]Randall[/name] because they know you won’t like it and they want to keep their real name secret so you won’t rain on their parade?
Is she planning on naming her child Butt Kisser or worse Bhutt Kysserr? Nope, just because [name]Kendall[/name] and [name]Cayden[/name], [name]Kendall[/name] and [name]Kody[/name] or even [name]Kendall[/name] and [name]Randall[/name] aren’t your style doesn’t mean you should say anything unless she specifically comes to you and says ‘What do you think of the name…’ if she doesn’t then I think you just need to smile and nod and keep your mouth shut.
She obviously has a different style of naming and there isn’t anything wrong with the choices she has made in the long run.
Can you imagine if you had chosen the name you love and suddenly she came up to you and gave you a list of reasons why she hated it? Not cool!

Wow. I think the reason she posted this was because she was trying hard not to diss names, not to demonstrate she was being nasty (which I don’t think she was, at all). Does everyone have superficial relationships in which one cannot share true opinions? The people with whom I can’t share my feelings, opinions, or ideas are acquaintances or relatives. That is just how I function. Perhaps others are different.

I actually found myself in a similar situation with my own good friend. She is expecting and has tossed around all sorts of names, most of them trendy or with trendy spellings (a pet peeve of mine). I certainly felt negative and pessimistic as we talked through her list – I literally had very little positive comments to make. I just pointed out my opinion in a nice way, much like the previous poster suggested. There were quite a few times I had to ask her “[name]Do[/name] you think your child will get tired of correcting people on the unique spelling?” I also pointed out a few names that are soooo trendy right now that they will sound dated in a few decades (we have a mutual friend named [name]Tiffany[/name], so that was a good example). Anyway, my friend actually appreciated my input. She really isn’t aware of what is trendy or not, and didn’t think through what a “youneek” spelling would actually mean for the child. Some of her names were just not my style at all, but I was constantly pointing out to her that although I didn’t care for them, I know she would stick her tongue out at some of my favorites! I rattled off a few names that I love (and knew she wouldn’t like), and saw her nose turn up a bit and we laughed about it. I think it made her more comfortable taking my criticism. It is important to communicate that you are offering her your opinions, but make it clear to her that you don’t think your opinions are “right” or “better” than hers. I think you need to be honest (as a friend, I would want you to be honest to me), but not act authoratative about it. (I’m not saying you were acting this way, I am just saying there is a way to communicate negative opinions to someone without having them get defensive and hurt in the process). :slight_smile: