The Northern Territory news Fri 14 Jun 2013
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www.ntnews.com.au Friday, June 14, 2013. NT NEWS. 45 P U B : NTNE-WS-DA-TE:14-JGE:45 CO-LO-R: C-M Y-K Losing this namegames a blow to the ego, baby Got a question? Ask Bossy. No-holds-barred advice from our agony aunt Kate deBrito . . . advice your friends are too polite to give A reader is furious her brother-in-laws wife poached the name she had long ago picked out for her baby son I havent said anything to her but I amdeeply upset and outraged She poached my baby name. What should I do? DEAR BOSSY: I am happily married to a man who has an older brother, also married. They got married last year and pretty soon after, his wife fell pregnant. I have been married for three years and have been happy to wait to start a family but I have to admit I was envious of her starting before me. She is competitive by nature and has always sought to have one up on me. For example, she boasts about how rich her family is and makes a point to invite us to dinner at very expensive restaurants with their other rich friends. Anyway, late last year I was discussing baby names with her, and told her the name I had picked for my future son. I wont write it here as that will identify me, but I have liked that name since I was a girl and when I envisage my future family, my little boy has that name. When I told her the name she paused and said yes, that is a nice name. And then she didnt say much afterwards. Anyway, six months later she had a baby boy and guess what she called him? The name I had told her was my name picked out for a boy. She has used both the first name and the middle name I had chosen. I dont know what to say or do. I havent said anything to her but I am deeply upset and outraged that she poached my name for my son. She knew full well that I have had it chosen for decades and that it was also significant because the names come from my family tree. Bossy, am I being petty? I cannot believe she would do this. I know there is a chance I may not even have a son in the future but I feel like she has stolen a dream from me. BOSSY SAYS: I can see from an everyday point of view the actions of this woman were pretty insensitive. While you have no rights to a particular name, there is often an unspoken agreement between close friends or family that you will not poach names they hope to use when they have a child. From another point of view, you only have yourself, and your ego, to blame. Your ego created the attachment to this name and you incorporated it into the vision of who you are. Fact is, we all have an ego, but theres usually nothing very healthy about them at all. Mostly they get in the way of genuine happiness. Ego is essentially the identity we show the world. It is a script we have created that details the type of person we are and the things we like. The ego is present when we say me or mine and it demands we get upset when someone slights us or takes advantage. This is how it feels to you now. It feels like this woman has done this terrible thing. She has taken some thing away from you. But your story is a salient lesson about the importance of self-responsibility. Its easy to blame others for what happens to us in life. But happiness is easier to grasp when you recognise the bad turn someone does us is not what creates our unhappiness it is our perception of what happens and how we choose to respond. We have a choice how we respond to a situation. The less flexible you are, the more difficult it is to navigate around lifes disappointments. Yes, what she did was insensitive. She may have done it deliberately. Im sure you think she did. But recognise you planted the seed of your own unhappiness by holding so tightly to something that is no more than an idea. I know you have decided that she is the competitive one, but usually the things our ego resents in other people are traits it shares itself. The bottom line is, you cant make her change her babys name. So my advice is probably not very soothing. I think you should forget about it. Let it go. Enjoy the freedom of realising you are not a slave to an idea; which is all the baby name ever was. Use another name or use that one if you want. Its up to you. Choose happiness though in the end. Choose not to let the actions of another person be responsible for the loss of your dreams. SEND your problems to ntnews.com.au and by emailing Ask Bossy you accept your question may also appear on the Ask Bossy blog. Questions cannot be answered privately. Ask Bossy ADVICE ATTITUDE OPINION with Kate de Brito email@example.com with Learning communication skills is nothing to sneeze (or cough) at One of my friends stopped talking: now he only coughs DEAR BOSSY: I have had the worst luck with people for the past couple of years. Every time I make a friend that understands me, they leave me. They all leave me in very dif ferent ways one emigrated to Lebanon and I havent heard from her since. One suddenly stopped talking to everyone and he only coughs loudly. One left without saying goodbye and one just told me they didnt wanna see my face again because I told her she was an idiot to have left something valuable I gave her at a library, and she was supposed to take care of it while I was away. Im tired and scared of losing everyone around me. Ive already lost family members and I am constantly scared for my life because I live in a country inhabited by bigoted people. BOSSY SAYS: Im really a bit lost for words myself. You had a friend who stopped talking to people and now only coughs loudly? Im not laughing . . . I promise. It can be hard when people start to disappear from your life for different reasons. But try, if you can, to recognise they are not leaving you, so much as simply going about their lives. One tip I have for maintaining friends is not calling them idiots, even if they are. This rarely helps to maintain good relations. My other advice would be to seek out a bit of counselling. If you have no friends, a counsellor might be a good sounding board for you. A counsellor may help you sort through some of your problems in maintaining intimate relationships or will, at least, be someone you can talk to about your loneliness. They may also have some strategies to improve your communication and friendship skills.
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