Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Mrs. Who?" How to Get Used to Your New Last Name

You know the old adage, "What's in a name?" In my opinion, quite a lot! I hung onto one name in particular for almost 26 years - my maiden name. It's on my birth certificate and college degrees. It
 dictated my seat in class and which type of dish I should bring to a potluck. Moreover, it identified my heritage and linked me to my family.

Now, no longer a "maiden," I have shed that part of my identity - legally anyway - and taken a new last name to become part of a new family. I'm happy to have taken my husband's last name, but there are still times it sounds foreign and almost deceptive when I say it out loud. Sometimes I feel as though I'm trying to adopt a covert identity, and pulling it off surprisingly well. If you, like me, are having trouble getting used to your new last name, here are some tips to help you adjust.

1. Give the full introduction. When introducing or identifying yourself, use your first and last name, even if the situation only calls for a first name. The more you get used to hearing the new last name come out of your mouth, and the more often your friends hear it, the more quickly you will get used to it.

2. Wear your name tag at work. If you have a name tag at work that displays your first and last name, wear it around, even if it's usually only reserved for special events or meetings. Long-time customers or coworkers will appreciate the reminder - they have to get used to the new last name, too! New people you meet will find it easier to remember your name since it's right in front of them. The fewer people who call you by your old last name, and the more people who are familiar with your new last name, the more quickly you will get used to it.

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