People’s Name

Dale Carnegie, the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, believed that using someone’s name was incredibly important. He said that a person’s name is the sweetest sound in any language for that person. A name is the core part of our identity, and so hearing it validates our existence, which makes us much more inclined to feel positively about the person who validated us.

But using a title, or form of address can also have strong effects, according to the as ifprinciple. The idea is that if you act like a certain type of person, you will become that person, it’s a bit like a self fulfilling prophecy. To use this to influence others, you can refer to them as what you want them to be, so they will start thinking of themselves this way. This can be as simple as calling an acquaintance you want to be closer to “friend,” or “mate” whenever you see them, or referring to someone you want to work for as “boss.” But be warned: this can come off as very corny.


When I read this post for the first time, my body’s tingling. That’s the reason why I prefer to be called by my name instead of ‘you’. For me, to call a person with ‘you’ or ‘kamu’ in Bahasa is kind of rude. Just use the person’s name, please? But if you’re just an acquaintance, call them with Mr./Ms./Mrs. or ‘Bapak/Ibu/Mbak/Mas/Bang’ whatever. Because to call an acquaintance  without honorific seems wrong, especially if you are younger.

Well,  I’m not doing it to influence people. I just think it’s the polite way to recognize people. Just don’t overdo it.


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