Names and Personalities

It is generally observed that we become our names and our names become us. Now, this leads to an obvious question, Can something as simple as our names have a good impact on who we end up becoming? Can they shape our final destinies? Going back to my friend Bindu as an example, would she have been less popular if she had a name like Bambina or Bijili?

As expected, the answer to these questions is an obvious 'Yes'. Psychologists say that happy people are generally happy with their names. While it is possible to find a certain degree of happiness with lots of given names, there's no denying the fact that common, accepted names – the perennial classics like Rahul, Vijay and Neeta – are easier for most people to handle than names like Labangalata (a flowering creeper), Bahugandha (great name for a soap, not a kid, means one with lot of scent), or Lajwanti.

Giving children very foreign or highly uncommon names can cause social trauma at a very young age, leading to psychological scars that can be permanent or difficult to overcome. Even a common name with an unusual spelling can traumatize a little kid, If you want to name your kid Bindu and if the spelling you chose was Bindhoo, she is gonna have trouble through out her life correcting people of the way her name is spelled.

However, carrying an unusual name can also have its benefits. In his book, Unusual and Most Popular Baby Names, renowned name researcher Cleveland Kent Evans notes that people with uncommon first names are more likely to be listed in Who's Who and that college women with unusual first names often score higher when measured on sociability and self-acceptance. In addition, they often have a much stronger sense of individuality than their peers.