Praxis für Psychotherapie Mag. Lisa Welleschik
Praxis für Psychotherapie Mag. Lisa Welleschik




"I cannot address people by their names, I feel embarrassed and blush when I try to, it feels like it's too intimate to say the name or as if I would´nt have the right to. I just say "you" to get someone´s attention and avoid having to speak out the name. "
Do you feel the same way? Then you are not alone with it! It is a hitherto unknown but not uncommon phenomenon, this inhibition, to address other people by name.
At the Sigmund Freud University Vienna several studies are currently being conduced as part of a alexinomia research programme. More information:

If you would like to share your experience with others who know that phenomenon I friendly invite you to join my facebook group!

"... I find it very difficult to adress people by their name, if I do it I feel embarrassed and I blush, it feels like it's too intimate, I always just say "you" or "hey" to avoid having to say the name."
"I can not call my partner by his name. I would like to, but when I try I always feel like I'm in the middle of an exam, I and cat. I would like to do it because I think it's nice to be addressed with my name! "
"I can not speak to my mother-in-law. Neither with her name, nor with any other name. No salutation seems fitting. It is unpleasant, I always have to talk around complicated, such as: "Could I get the salt, please?"
"It seems to me that the name of the person belongs to the person. As if it´s too intimate and as if I have no permission to use it. "
"I find it too personal to use the name, as if I were expressing a closeness I do not have - or which I am embaressed to express."
"I can not call my boyfriend by his name. Also with no nickname. If I want to draw his attention to me, I go to him and say, "hey, or you ...!" I am very uncomfortable, I wish I could address him with his name. "
"My friend never calls me with my name. He uses my name only when talking to someone about me. I think it's funny that he never talks to me about my name and I'd like him to do it. "
The people quoted here describe their feelings of wanting to adress someone with their name or of calling someone by name, but not being able to do so.
It clearly shows that addressing people with their name or being addressed by one's name is important. It triggers feelings. It can be hard. It can feel pleasant, or even unpleasant.
Various aspects play a role in connection with the inhibition to address other persons by name: their own identity in the respective relationship, their own ability to differentiate, topics such as power and hierarchy, the balance between autonomy and attachment, etc. How to address people by name can serve as a valuable clue to dealing with themselves.
The inhibition of not being able to address others by name is not pleasant. Shame plays a role. The feeling of having an exotic or strange problem increases the difficulty of talking about it. This gives the affected person the impression of being the only one (which definitely is not the case)! The inhibition can be concealed well and does not have to be obvious. Pronouncing names can be avoided without being noticed. Nonetheless, it can put a lot of psychological strain on people who are not getting in touch with others the way they want to!


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