People who use 'Darling, Honey, Baby, Sweetie' Too Much And Inappropriately

by Anne
(Albuquerque, NM)

I'm ready to pull my hair out!!!!!


I work for the State of NM, directly under the Governor's office. It is well known that everyone conducts themselves in a professional manner at all times. Having said that, I'm having an issue with a co-worker that I am unable to resolve.

First of all, I am turning 50 years old shortly. I have four children, two of which are over 30 years old. I am a grandmother of four. I have been married for 32 years now.

Recently, our agency hired a young lady who has just turned 30 years old. Since the very first day, she has addressed me as honey, sweetie, darling, sunshine, gorgeous, baby, etc., you get the point. It doesn't matter if I am busy working, she will come up to my desk and say something like, "Hi honey", or "Good morning gorgeous", or "Hey baby". All day, everyday. I could just scream because I feel that these words that are used to address me are very inappropriate, not only personally but professionally. I feel this way because I am old enough to be her mother and I have children older than her. I feel that because of our age difference, it is extremely rude and inappropriate. Not to mention these names are all said at work and is very unprofessional.

I thought I found a way to solve the issue and I'll tell you how I approached her one day.

I came in to my office after taking a break and within 5 minutes, she said, "Oh honey, I missed you, I'm so glad your back". I smiled at her and said and I quote "You know something, since you started working here, you have called me honey, baby, sweetie, gorgeous and then I asked her "what else do you call me?", and she said "oh, I call you darling," and I said, "yes, that's right you do call me that." Then I looked at her straight in the eyes and still smiling I said, "You call me all those nice names but do you know what I would really like for you to call me?" and she of course said, "what would you like me to call you sugar" and I said "I'd really like for you to call me Anne."

Well, as luck would have it, the director of the agency walked by and overheard my request to her. She saw the look on his face, which was one of relief. Everyone who has overheard her for the past 4 months could probably say it has been the most irritating thing they had to listen to.... so you're wondering if it worked? I did for approx. 3 days. Then it started up again like nothing ever happened.

Please, I'm begging you Miss Manners, help me! I am at the end of my tolerance level. I'm ready to say something to her that would not be professional of me! I just want her to stop and I'm out of ideas on how to make that happen.

Thank you and you may publish this letter as I'm sure I am not the only person out there with this problem. Maybe it just might help someone else besides myself.

Comments for People who use 'Darling, Honey, Baby, Sweetie' Too Much And Inappropriately

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Nov 13, 2016
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you are right NEW
by: suetiggers

To the older woman on here who objects to these overly familiar expressions of "endearment" and one poster says, before they even know you or have no care about whether you like it or not, I say "right on sister". Women have to deal with this crap so much more than men and it is disrespectful as far as I'm concerned. I'm older too and I call pet names like this to my grandkids who are little and don't mind it from someone older, esp. if I know them and like them. But, the example of the woman at the job doing this without a clue, and with the excuse "that's how I am" is just dishonest. Being so mindlessly cheery and overly affectionate with people before we even have relationships with them or no matter whether we know if they like it or not , is, in my opinion, just plain dumb.....and disrespectful.
I loved the waitress story. I'm going to use that one.

Oct 31, 2016
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to posters who are following this thread: NEW
by: Anonymous

Something occurred to me: it seems most if not all of we individuals who are on the receiving-end of this nonsense are female- are there any guys/men who are hearing it too?

Oct 31, 2016
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To all the ill-natured and quarrelsome people NEW
by: Anonymous

So, some of you have a problem with people being nice to you and speaking words of endearment… how ridiculous. And let me point out, these are words of endearment. Apparently, you have to have the word endearment defined for you being that you somehow feel you’re being insulted and talked down to when they’re spoken to you. So let me explain to you (being that you can’t figure it out yourself) the word endearment, is translated to mean "affection" Also to go farther, condescending means to be spoken down to or to act superior in attitude. It does not even make sense that someone using words of affection could be speaking down to you unless they say it in a hateful manner. Get a grip you idiots, get over yourselves. With all the serious problems in this world, "YOU HAVE AN ISSUE WITH SOMEONE SHOWING KINDNESS." This is what is bothering you and getting you bent out of shape! There are people in this world starving, dying, without jobs, and lives falling apart. How absurd that this is what you find to take issue with and complain. Not something serious but something petty and silly. You need to learn to appreciate the nice people in this world as there are a lot of people who are not nice and caring of others, like YOU for instance.

Oct 20, 2016
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Yes! NEW
by: Anonymous

Yes, I know what you mean by the Big Bang Theory - perfect textbook example that it can actually be used for patronising purposes!

Oct 20, 2016
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It's The Big Bang Theory, isn't it?!? NEW
by: still InTheMidwest

If it's o.k. to contribute another post: when this started here (spring 2014), I mentioned it to one of my cousins. She said people often pick these fads up from t.v. What occurred to me: the character "Penny" from the popular sitcom "The Big Bang Theory." Anyone notice her condescending tone: "Oh Sheldon, Sweetie," etc.? That's the way it comes off around here, and is showing no signs of dying off.

On a side note: it's also not appropriate to begin business communications with "HEY!"

Oct 20, 2016
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Oh wow NEW
by: Anonymous

Wow - the people who are uncomfortable with being called hun, sweetie, etc mostly all display empathy - i.e., something is bothering them, but they don't want to make the other person feel bad by pointing it out. Most of these comments are measured, and don't descend into ad hominems.

On the other hand, those that defend their use of these words - some of these comments are really nasty. One even says something to the effect, "I use these words because I am a nice person, you old cow!" Lol. And you prove that abundantly right there. And also, "I use these words because I am a fun, happy person, that's just who I am!" - i.e., no thought to how the other person might feel, no self-awareness, and ultimately no real kindness - it's all for the show. So these words are really for the benefit of the person who's using them, to "prove" they are sweet, happy, etc. It's a method of manipulating your image.

There are a few that display self-awareness and say they will try to stop.

For me, that says something right off the bat! And it also proves to me why I am inherently uncomfortable with anyone but my family calling me this. I had to friends who abused these words. I always rationalized that they called me them just to be sweet, because they cared. They did care to an extent - but I also noticed that they would use them when they were trying to let me down easy, or excuse their behavior.

Look, a lot of people think I'm sweet. A lot of people like me. I don't have to resort to calling anyone hun or sweetie. The ultimate form of sweetness comes with respecting the individual before you. The ONLY people that I call these names are in fact my young, under-8 nieces, and most of the time I call them by their names. To me, that's appropriate. I call my friends by their names or shortened forms of their names, which to me is sweet and thoughtful because it is a way of showing familiarity and fondness while also respecting the person, showing them that their individuality means something to you, showing them that they see YOU. In fact, I let people personalize my name and call me pretty much whatever variation they want of it - to me, that is sweet, and also GENUINE.

Hun is generic and superficial. And I have definitely experienced how it can be manipulative and a weapon to escape accountability for behavior.

Oct 11, 2016
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So annoying, so unprofessional. NEW
by: Jane

This happened to me again recently. The waitress called me "hon" twice in one sentence when she first came to my table. I looked her square in the eye and said, "Do we know each other?" and waited for her answer. She knew exactly what I was getting at. But she said, "No, we don't, and anyway that's just the way I talk."

She then made it a point to call me hon or sweetie every time she approached my table. I didn't take the bait. But I did scribble a little note on the check next to the single dollar bill: "That's just the way I tip."

Oct 01, 2016
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Can we say petty NEW
by: Anonymous


This is just sad, i am a younger clerk at a hospital in NYC and I confess I say honey and sweetie quite often. I recently decided to break the habit on my own because I will be starting a new position and am pursuing a career in administration. While I agree that it is unprofessional, based on the account of "ANNE" I sincerely doubt that her colleague is trying to be anything other than nice. Its very clear when a person is being condescending or rude, if you can't tell the difference that is your problem. and as for the person who deducted a tip from a barista who used "hon", you must be a really unhappy person because it is not that serious,honey. Get your life all the way together. In my opinion, those who are quick to get offended by a clearly nice person, calling them honey or sweetie, you are probably miserable person.

Sep 21, 2016
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Tolerance & Respect NEW
by: Anonymous

I believe someone said that they call everyone hon and sweetie. I believe someone said there are bigger things in the world to worry about, etc., etc. All these things are true and yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and feeling and you should own them. Here is the problem I have as a woman over this issue. If you truly are a tolerant person, then you should respect how people feel about being called "hon", "sweetie", etc. It IS condescending! It IS disrespectful! It ISN'T cute!! It ISN'T kind! I don't know you and you have no reason to refer to a grown person you are not intimately close with in this manner. I call my grandson sweetie!! If a man were to do this as an on going basis, there would be hell to pay and it would be harassment in the work place! So why do you think it is okay for a woman??!!!! Why when women have enough issues to deal with in progression of life do we need to be disrespectful to our own sex!! Men do that enough to us already!

Sep 14, 2016
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Context for me NEW
by: Anonymous

I have to say i have no problem with anyone calling me 'pet name' so long as their tone is approapriate. I live in the North of England and you would be daily offened here as most people use pet names, but i do agree that it depends of the context i am happy for the green grocer to call me love or pet however i don't want my bank manager calling me Darling. I work in a nursery and i call the children pet names a lot or else i sometimes forget their names and they get a bit cross lol, my work collegues call me hon, not in front of the children as a rule, but we all say it and we're all friends.

Sep 12, 2016
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Wow! NEW
by: Anonymous

While I agree some of these terms should not be used unless you intimately know the person, I disagree with the statement that all of these terms are disrespectful or rude. Those of you who would like to be called by your name should probably wear a nametag everywhere at all times and then you can be mad when someone calls you by something else. There is no winning with you people. I worked in customer service for years and if you call a woman "Ma'am" many times they take offense because that is "for old ladies" as I was told so many times. If you call her "Ms." many will respond "it's Mrs." Maybe no one should call you anything and should just address you as "consumer," or "caller," or anything else that sounds as generic and cold as you must be. I'd be willing to bet you're the same idiots who whine about robots taking our jobs and all the self automated systems now too. Maybe you'll be happy when you don't have to have human interaction and everything is automated and do it yourself.

Sep 10, 2016
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And don't call me sweetheart! NEW
by: Rebecca

This happened to me just yesterday at my grocery store. A young (teenage) boy came over to me at the deli counter, where I was waiting, and said, "What can I get you, sweetheart?" I said in an even tone, looking him in the eye, "Don't call older women sweetheart. They don't appreciate it." I meant for it to be a learning moment for him, but he turned away and said, "Somebody else help her." What audacity! I make my preference known, and he gets upset? Worse, when I told the manager I didn't appreciate such terms of endearment, his response was, "He was just trying to be nice." I said, "No, it's just not respectful, and I don't want to hear it." Then I told him I've heard and read enough in my lifetime to know women don't appreciate it. He said, "I'll talk to him." Usage of such terms of endearment (honey, sweetie, darlin') has happened more often in my life than I care to recount, and I decided at some point not to be polite enough to overlook it. I call men out on it, and say, "My name is Rebecca." That usually does it, although at times, depending on just how very condescending the man is being, I've responded with a similar term of endearment, delivered in a sarcastic voice. (I'd like a pound of roast beef, HONEY.") That also sends a message.

Sep 02, 2016
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I hate the word sweetie NEW
by: Anonymous

I work in a library and I have two Master's degrees. I have one middle-aged male patron who insists on calling me "sweetie" even though I have asked him very politely to stop. He knows it bothers me and keeps doing it. I finally told my boss about it and he said to get him next time it happens.

I know people may roll their eyes but I am a grown woman and I find it disrespectful to call someone "sweetie". I would be fine with "Miss" or even "Dear" isn't that offensive to me. But "sweetie" implies familiarity and if I don't know you I don't want you calling me "sweetie."

Aug 11, 2016
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it's degrading and unprofessional NEW
by: Brae

I was standing at a pharmacy counter and paying for my purchase. The pharmacy assistant referred to me as "hon". This often happens in health care settings. I am on a mission to correct those who address me in this fashion. It is unacceptable in any culture..

Aug 03, 2016
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Suck it up buttercup? NEW
by: Anonymous

For the person who said, "Suck it up buttercup," the original writer was not being overly sensitive. Also, I've grown up in the south for 60 years. It is not a "southern" thing. There are a few southern regions that use the term a lot. Those of us who have a little age on us learned at an early age that it's condescending and a way of putting the person in their place. I use the direct approach. When a person that's young enough to be my grandchild calls me honey and darling and sweety, I simply tell them I would appreciate them not calling me that. Most are gracious about it. I've only had a couple roll their eyes or shrug their shoulders.

Aug 03, 2016
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I'm not alone? NEW
by: Anonymous

I live in Georgia and I'm over 50 yrs old. I get referred to as Baby, Sweetie etc. daily, by nurses, cashiers, even telemarketers. I thought I was being overly sensitive by feeling offended. I'm glad to know my feelings are legit.

Aug 02, 2016
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Umm...no. Just no. NEW
by: Anonymous

I sit in an office directly across from a girl who overuses these terms regularly. She does it often to coworkers, as well as patients. It drives me insane. It is highly unprofessional. Also, to most people that claim they do this and it doesn't bother the majority of people... you are being lied to. Sorry. 95% of this persons coworkers can't stand it, but they just won't tell her. It just sounds very fake. p.s.- i am from the south as well. There is a time and a place... work is not one of these.

Jul 31, 2016
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Its not being nice its being rude NEW
by: Anonymous

Reading some of these comments just irritate me. How do you justify calling someone else's man Hun as being nice? what kind of stupid are you?? Hun, honey, sweetie are terms of endearment and they should not be used on strangers, especially someone's man its rude. They should teach it in middle school so people can know the true meaning of being "Nice".

Jul 06, 2016
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so annoying NEW
by: Anonymous

I don't mind it so much from close friends, my boyfriend or my parents but other than that, I hate it. I work in a call centre and I get so many male customers who address me as "sweetie" and "darling" and because of the context of the conversation I know they are speaking to me condescendingly. It infuriates me especially because I can't address it with them as that would be deemed "unprofessional" by my employer. Even though all I am doing is trying to be professional whilst doing my job.

Jun 29, 2016
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It's Unprofessional NEW
by: Rose

Cultural thing or not, using endearments and pet names in a professional setting is considered inappropriate. I'm seeing a lot of posters bashing the original writer for being a "bitter, petty old woman," which leads me to believe that many of you don't understand the concept of proper business etiquette. It exists so we understand how to show respect and how to act accordingly in the professional setting. Even if you believe you're being polite, calling someone "honey" or "sweetie" or anything of the sort can easily come across as disrespectful and condescending. This can hinder your relationships with clients and colleagues, and it can potentially get you into trouble with your superiors. And before someone starts assuming that I'm just another touchy old lady, let me point out that I myself am a 24 year old "Southern gal."

Jun 20, 2016
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Pet Peeve NEW
by: Anonymous

I for one, finds it offensive being called these terms of "endearment". The only one I'll use is "baby" and that's when referring to my kids or grandbaby. It's been very disappointing to read some of the negative comments. What I think I've been hearing is "suck it up buttercup"? But why should anyone be called "grouchy, or uptight, or bitchy" for letting others know that they are not appreciative of those term and do not want them use when communicating with you? When I go out to a restaurant and am called one of those terms of endearments , I ask not to be called that, will give my name so I can enjoy my meal with becoming increasingly angry. Just my two cents.

Jun 16, 2016
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Cultural Ignorance NEW
by: AGR

if you don't know someone's name, ma'am, miss or mister are appropriate. Not honey or sweetie or baby. Those are terms of endearment and have no business in the workplace or service industry or anywhere outside of a personal relationship. Cultural ignorance is still ignorance I don't care if you're from the south or not. And, btw, I am from southern Texas.

Jun 16, 2016
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Seriously? NEW
by: Anonymous

I am 28 years old and I can tell you right now, I call everyone hon or sweetie, not because I mean any disrespect but because I'm friendly. I had a customer once get upset with me because she thought I was flirting with her husband, but honestly, it doesn't matter to me. I know my intentions and why should I care what perfect strangers think of me? 99% of the time, people love me and think I'm very nice and a hard worker. We all have to learn to be tolerant of other people and take a step back and ask ourselves, "does this person mean any harm?" She is being friendly and she's getting criticized! It's amazing, we are so jaded these days we can't see friendliness when it slaps us in the face. We expect everyone to be cold and rude, so someone starts being nice and the first thing we do is criticize. You should be happy you work with someone who is kind. I mean is she a hard worker? Does she help out when needed? Look at her as a person before judging her and thinking she's a rude person. And as for the girl only lasting 3 days, give her a break. I was asked at a job to keep it to a minimum and within a few days my manager told me j was back at it and I didn't even realize. It's natural, I promise you she means no harm and she probably doesn't even realize she's doing it. Give he a break and be happy you don't work with someone who curses you out or comes on to you or is just plain rude.

Jun 15, 2016
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Absolutely Agree NEW
by: Anonymous

I have the some issue in my work place. However, I am actually much younger than all of my counterparts (still in my 20s). I have a coworker in her 50's who always calls me "hun" and "honey". I find it rude, condescending, and inappropriate. I will be speaking with her. Hopefully my results stick longer than yours. Good luck.

May 29, 2016
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To Jayden NEW
by: Anonymous

Good attempt at blaming the victim. You actually made a victim out of the victim and an innocent person out of the guilty party. You must a liberal!

May 18, 2016
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Bless your heart NEW
by: Anonymous

Oh suck it up buttercup! Just because someone called you sweetie or honey does not mean that they disrespect you. People get so butt hurt over stupid stuff now and it is ridiculous there are bigger things to worry about in life rather than a term or terms people choose to use. Why not just let it roll off instead of going to social media about it? Blesa your heart and stop taking your insecurities and bad days out on someone who is just overly nice.

May 14, 2016
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It's about all kinds of respect NEW
by: Anonymous

I absolutely agree pet names are inappropriate in the workplace. There may be some regions of the U.S. where they are appropriate in limited business situations, like cashier or waitress, but if you go outside of those geographical bounds, you should respect local customs. To say, "It's means nice where I come from!" is as equally valid as, "It's an insult where I come from!" Respect the local culture, it's not that hard!

Here in the midwest of the United States, I just got called hun twice in under a minute by female barista who looked to be 20. I'm a 40 year old female. It came off as very patronizing and cost her a tip. (I tip 20% or more over 99% of the time I go out so this is not typical for me).

I believe she probably meant no harm, so I wasn't rude in return. However I sent her company an email to educate her on local social convention as I know other customers may not be so kind and she may remain completely oblivious that her language choices are affecting her income.

If I visit a southern state and get called these names I just suck it up because that's the norm. But don't go to a place where the meaning and usage of 'hun' is different and then call the locals oversensitive assholes/bitches or whatever because what you said has totally different implications in that region.

Apr 28, 2016
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Honey (sorry couldn't resist), here is my 2 cents worth! NEW
by: Jim

I really think it is not the words themselves; it's how the words are meant. Some may call you "honey" etc. and mean it kindly. Others may call you "honey" and be condescending Jackasses by doing so.

I am sure most of us have encountered both types of people.

But people used to tell me not to worry about what others think, and I've finally decided those people were right! Look at it this way: If you aren't doing anything wrong, the one who is being rude to you is the one with the problem.

Apr 21, 2016
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What. NEW
by: Anonymous

Clearly most of yall arent from the south. Its in no way shape or form sexual harassment. Don't flatter yourselves. I garuntee you ask this lady where shes from and shell tell you some southern state. It takes a lot to break a habit. You dont have to put up with it, you just have to understand its almost garunteed she has no interest in you.

Apr 17, 2016
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It's inappropriate NEW
by: Anonymous

Even though you "feel" you are being kind by calling people pet names, it is inappropriate particularly if you don't have their permission to use these kinds of words. I think it's a putdown and it is unprofessional. If I were a manager I would never stand for it. I would write people up for it. It borders on harassment particularly if someone is offended by it. If that hurts YOUR feelings then you should understand how the other person must have felt by doing what you did and your feelings are no more important than theirs. If they tell you it's bothering them then stop it. It's pretty simple. I would continue up the line at work to have this stopped. No one should have to put up with this.

Mar 05, 2016
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The 50 years old woman NEW
by: Anonymous

To the 50 years old woman who works in an office. You had every appropriate right to tell the sexual harasser woman to stop calling you names...sweety etc. She is doing this on purpose to intimidate you. Face it she is a sexual harasser and don't buy their liar words that it is a culture thing. You are a threat to any woman who calls you names like that. You need to file a complaint against her.
How would these inappropriate women like it if their children in school were called sweety honey etc. and not by their real name?
Women who uses inappropriate name calling have mental problems and they are covering up how abusive they are, they are intentionally degrading you. You should say HEY I AM NOT YOUR SWEETY now please no more harassment. These women are lesbian sexual harasser and it does not matter if they are married to a man they are sexual perverts. Women who call woman names should be reported you would report a man who does sexual harassment well these women are sexual harassers.

Feb 21, 2016
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I just dont get this... NEW
by: Jayden

I honestly just don't get this page.... I am one of those people who call others by endearments and have never hand a problem with it. What I think some of the people on this page don't understand is that this IS a cultural thing to a majority of those that do it. I am from Arkansas and moved to Texas. You can't throw a stone and hit someone who at least knows someone that does this. I grew up with it from my mother. The only time I don't call someone sweetness is when I am in a serious discussion with my bosses, or have been asked a question where I feel that saying ma'am or sir is better. Also, I hope that some of you realize that by asking someone not to do this you may be putting them down. It's telling them that you do not like them how they are and they should change to please you. If someone did the same thing to you, you'd be very upset.

Feb 20, 2016
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Fascinating discussion NEW
by: Anonymous

One of the commenters stated that at age 45, she wouldn't mind being called sweetie by an 80 year old. She felt that "sweetie" user needed to be at least 30 years senior to the addressee. I found that interesting. I would hate to be called sweetie by a younger person, but at age 60, I found myself starting to thank young cashiers by saying "Thank you, sweetie." I might even use it with young men! Maybe. I do get that there could be some condescension in that phrase. I feel like I am thanking them for good service. But having read this, I will make an effort to just say "Thank you SO MUCH."

I NEVER used sweetie when I was younger. And certainly NEVER to an older person. Pretty much horrified by those stories of 25 year olds calling 45 year by endearments.

For those completely tone deaf to the importance of this thread in relation to world events, remember that women hold up half the sky. And the respect or lack of respect with which women are addressed will be reflected in the roles to which they have access.

Jan 16, 2016
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pet names are a problem for me also NEW
by: Anonymous

I feel the same as the previous woman, I also have someone in my office that calls everyone by a pet name, baby (is her favorite), darling, hon. I don't think I have ever heard her call anyone by their real name. Its not that I don't like this person, she is very nice and I think she is a kind person but I don't feel comfortable with anyone at work calling me by another name but my given name. My parents didn't call me pet name, my husband didn't call be by a pet name and also I feel it should be respect when one is not called a pet name if they are older than the person that is calling them the pet name. I don't do that to them or anyone else, not at work, stores, restaurant, schools for grandchildren, church and even some of my family, my aunts that are older than me I would not think of ever calling them a pet name they only get a respectful name for honor. I know living in the south people do call other people these type of names but in the work place it should be a automatic known not to do this.

Dec 15, 2015
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Interesting NEW
by: Anonymous

It was educational for me to read this 50-something year old's rant. Wow, she sure sounds like an angry, touchy lady. I can't imagine why anyone would be offended by those names. It could be a generational thing. I am 32 years old. I actually never call people those terms of endearment unless I am in a committed relationship or if I'm talking to my close girlfriends. I actually like it when the cashiers at grocery stores call me "sweetie." I think that's so nice and kind and warm. It could be cultural. Where I'm from, people are warm and like each other. So when I encounter people who are warm, caring, and kind, I appreciate it and it makes me feel good.
So to the person who was viciously attacked for calling someone darling or something, I'm so sorry. It's not your fault some people are so hard-hearted and cold and insensitive and damaged/messed up by this world that they would react that way.
Ironically, I found this page by Googling "how to become one of those people who says sweetie and honey." I like it when people do that. I watched Friends, and thought it was great how Monica and Rachel call their friends--even guy friends--sweetie. I like when people say it to me, so I actually WANTED to become someone who says that more naturally. However, it's good to know some people really don't like that. Wow. I guess it isn't professional in a serious business setting, but why does business have to equal cold and b****y?
I say, the world needs more love. It's good to be aware of personal and cultural differences on this, but I think the one offended when called a term of endearment is definitely at fault.
Only a fool takes offense where none is intended.

Dec 01, 2015
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Thank you NEW
by: Anonymous

So, you went to the manager on me for calling you darling,you said I was rude and called you names, you made a big scene in front of other costumers,I apologized and told you I didn't know it would make you feel bad and annoyed,see I was just trying to be nice and welcoming, I didn't know sweet words could be taken in a wrong way, specially because everybody that knows me knows I am a cheerful, happy and sweet person. You demanded I'd get written up and you said you'd never go shopping to that store again, you even said you'd call corporate...what did I do to you? Seriously? Call you darling twice? You made me cry in front of total strangers and co workers and felt so bad about it that I went and grabbed my stuff ,said I quit and walked out of the store to stop the humiliation,walked back home crying thinking what I was going to do without a job and how to support my two year old...see you did that to me,I didn't know darling could be taken as an offense,know that I did not mean to offend you, but what you did to me has no name.I forgive you, found another job,I ask for you no other than the same compassion you showed towards me.God bless you ma'am.

Dec 01, 2015
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Thank you NEW
by: Anonymous

So, you went to the manager on me for calling you darling,you said I was rude and called you names, you made a big scene in front of other costumers,I apologized and told you I didn't know it would make you feel bad and annoyed,see I was just trying to be nice and welcoming, I didn't know sweet words could be taken in a wrong way, specially because everybody that knows me knows I am a cheerful, happy and sweet person. You demanded I'd get written up and you said you'd never go shopping to that store again, you even said you'd call corporate...what did I do to you? Seriously? Call you darling twice? You made me cry in front of total strangers and co workers and felt so bad about it that I went and grabbed my stuff ,said I quit and walked out of the store to stop the humiliation,walked back home crying thinking what I was going to do without a job and how to support my two year old...see you did that to me,I didn't know darling could be taken as an offense,know that I did not mean to offend you, but what you did to me has no name.I forgive you, found another job,I ask for you no other than the same compassion you showed towards me.God bless you ma'am.

Dec 01, 2015
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People always finding creative ways to feel offended NEW
by: Anonymous

I personally say dear and darling,I do not say it to offend anybody and I know we are not friends,I say it because I am a friendly person, we are all a big family and everyone needs a kind word and I treat every person like I treat my own family.I am sorry that you hate it,but I think right now the world needs more people like me. Go ahead complain about it with my manager,tell him I called you darling and I don't even know you...make it a case of me calling you names when I am just being friendly,and whenever you think the world is a hostile place remember what you have done to make it a better place.If you can't handle human interaction,tolerance and compassion maybe you should work from home.

Dec 01, 2015
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People always finding creative ways to feel offended NEW
by: Anonymous

I personally say dear and darling,I do not say it to offend anybody and I know we are not friends,I say it because I am a friendly person, we are all a big family and everyone needs a kind word and I treat every person like I treat my own family.I am sorry that you hate it,but I think right now the world needs more people like me. Go ahead complain about it with my manager,tell him I called you darling and I don't even know you...make it a case of me calling you names when I am just trying to be nice,go ahead and whenever you find the world is a hostile place remember what you have to to make it better. If you can't handle human interaction, and practice compassion and tolerance maybe you should work and shop from home.

Dec 01, 2015
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People always finding creative ways to feel offended NEW
by: Anonymous

I personally say dear and darling,I do not say it to offend anybody and I know we are not friends,I say it because I am a friendly person, we are all a big family and everyone needs a kind word and I treat every person like I treat my own family.I am sorry that you hate it,but I think right now the world needs more people like me. Go ahead complain about it with my manager,tell him I called you darling and I don't even know you...if you can't handle human interaction,tolerance and compassion maybe you should work from home.

Dec 01, 2015
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People always finding creative ways to feel offended NEW
by: Anonymous

I personally say dear and darling,I do not say it to offend anybody and I know we are not friends,I say it because I am a friendly person, we are all a big family and everyone needs a kind word and I treat every person like I treat my own family.I am sorry that you hate it,but I think right now the world needs more people like me. Go ahead complain about it with my manager,tell him I called you darling and I don't even know you...if you can't handle human interaction,tolerance and compassion maybe you should work from home.

Nov 29, 2015
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it is bullying NEW
by: Anonymous

Calling someone these names is bullying. It is name calling. It is a way to reduce the person and not offer respect. Noone would do it to someone they "respect" or should treat with respect, like the boss,........

Many people out there do not want to show respect to others. This is one way to do it.

Unfortunately, telling people to stop does not work. They keep doing it.

If a waitress does it, you should mirror and then tell her if she does it again, she gets no tip. She will problably end up doing it again after calling you mam once or twice, then you leave no tip. IF there is a comment box in the restaurant, write her up or if you see the boss, tell them that the experience at the restaurant was a bad one because of the bully waitress.

If it is a friend doing this to you, they are not a good friend and are not treating you with respect. Definitely dish it back and then be on guard when they speak, letting them know if they say something silly, or teasing them lightly. Otherwise, end the relationship.

If it is a coworker doing this, and you are a female and they are male, then go to the boss and complain of sexual harassment. There is a law in place, it is called creating a hostile work environment. Write it up and then record them doing it and present it to management, they will be fired.

If it is your boss, record it and write them up. Have the civil rights organizations sue them for free.

If it is a female coworker, it is harder. There are still no bullying laws in place for work. You should dish it back after it happens and again be on guard with this employee, putting them in their place when appropriate. Also, tell the boss about how this does create a hostile work environment because it is a subtle put down and it is bullying. Get others who get called pet names to complain with you. Ask the boss to write a policy for the company that includes no name calling. Everyone should call each other by the name. People who do not learn the other person's name will not have done the minimum work required to keep a job.

If you are the owner of the business and want to be successful, you should have a policy in place that no one will call any one any kind of name, whether it is a nickname, a pet name, an obvious insult. Customers will be called mam and sir and they will be called by last name and never first name. It will be company policy and anyone who violates the policy will be treated as having committed a verbal assault. Everyone will call everyone by what are obviously respectful names. If you do not do this, you will have low employee morale and less business. I do not go to restaurants where the waitresses call names and even try not to go to the Doctors because the nurses are notorious for doing this. I also do not go to businesses where this happens. The customer is king and should be treated as such. All businesses should have a comment box, for people who have bad experiences in their establishment and it should be easy to write employees up.

Nov 05, 2015
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STOP BEING A CUNT NEW
by: Anonymous

"Nov 05, 2015
Hmmmm NEW
by: Anonymous

With all of the rude things that happen to me on a daily basis, I find that someone who calls me honey or sweetie isn't doing it to be inappropriate or rude...especially if it is a female. They must love people or you, in particular. Personally, if you are so aggravated by this that you take to social media, they should probably address you as a bitch instead. Lighten up and appreciate that someone thinks of you sweetly."

You are a malicious CUNT. I hope you get your fking face smashed off for being so disrespectful. You probably work at a truck stop. CUNT.

Nov 05, 2015
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Hmmmm NEW
by: Anonymous

With all of the rude things that happen to me on a daily basis, I find that someone who calls me honey or sweetie isn't doing it to be inappropriate or rude...especially if it is a female. They must love people or you, in particular. Personally, if you are so aggravated by this that you take to social media, they should probably address you as a bitch instead. Lighten up and appreciate that someone thinks of you sweetly.

Oct 19, 2015
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Oct 15, 2015
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Sep 30, 2015
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Sep 03, 2015
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Tired of this as well NEW
by: Anonymous

I had to stop by one of our local optical shops today and the young lady there called me everything from sweetie to darling. I am (only?) 53, but by the time I got out of there I felt feeble and elderly. Yes, this is TX, but I am neither an infant nor 100. Not that I approve of terms of endearment being directed at any stranger, regardless of age. This made me reconsider purchasing glasses from there, so I think it would behoove business owners/managers to educate their employees that many of us "older people" do not appreciate being infantilized.

Aug 22, 2015
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Miss Audra NEW
by: Audra

Yesterday when I was at my bank, I became mildly upset when the bank clerk addressed me as "Miss Audra". I don't know her and replied back "I'm not a Miss". She is a young woman and I am over 70 and didn't feel it was appropriate to be called miss. I
told her I could not be a miss, because I've been married twice. She was upset and slammed down my receipt and started walking away. I ask what her name was and she pointed to her business card and said it was Sharon, then added " I called you miss out of respect." I could tell that I had upset her. I wish that I had kept my mouth shut and said nothing. My morning hadn't gone well and I took it out on her. I believe I owe her an apology, but I wish she had used Ms. or Mrs. and my last name. Am I just being old fashioned? Please advise...

Aug 15, 2015
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I agree NEW
by: Anonymous

I myself really dislike it when a total stranger says any of those terms of endearment to me. I had different incidents . This girl in my basketball class would call me sweetie and she was either younger or the same age as me.I was like, "I'm not your sweetie ! " Even this woman I got into a car accident with called me sweetie. I was like, "I'm not your sweetie don't call that! I'm a grown adult not a little kid!" This past Spring Semester this girl at my school called me sweetheart. I was like, "I'm not your sweetheart don't call me that!" Even this girl in my Statistics class would call me sweetie,"I was like, "I'm not your sweetie don't call me that! I'm a grown adult not a little kid." Even this older man who was my classmate in the same class would call me darling. I was like, "I'm not your darling!" I dislike when people talk to me as if I'm a little kid! And I was the only person that they would say that to! And didn't see them sweetie, sweetheart, or darling any body else. Only just me! I'm like ,"If you don't know my name just ask. Not everybody likes being called those names. I don't! "

Jul 28, 2015
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My co-worker shared her feelings... NEW
by: Anonymous

My sincerest apologies for I am absolutely guilty of this practice. I never knew this habit caused such disconcerted feelings and anguish in people. I smile a lot and uttering these types of endearments was just a way to share how I was feeling - not taking into account how it may affect others. Now that I am cognizant I will definitely stop.

Jul 06, 2015
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Please don't call me honey too NEW
by: Anonymous

After I read the posts here and on some other sites, (this seems to be a topic with a lot of feedback both pro and con), I started thinking more about the comments that "it's a Southern thing". I have lived in Florida for many years but have also lived in Seattle, Wa area, San Francisco, Ca area, middle Tennessee, Atlanta, Ga, and upstate New York. I have travelled all over this wonderful country for work and on vacation. I can't afford to eat at 4 or 5 star or gourmet restaurants very often but when I have, I cannot recall ever (as in never) being called honey, sweetie, darling, hon, sweetheart, dear or any endearment by any server or staff member. This goes for Joe's Stone Crabs in Miami, Fl and Bern's in Tampa, Fl (these are in the south, aren't they?) to Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Ca and The French Laundry in Yountville, Ca, to Snowqualamie Falls Lodge Restaurant outside Seattle, Wa (and many in between, but I think you get the idea). Why is it that no server or staff member in any of these restaurants refer to their customers by using endearments? Food for thought... No pun intended. And, it's not restricted to restaurants either. I have worked for very large, well known corporations where we had to wear suits to work (yes, even in the south) and where using endearments would not have been tolerated. Bottom line for my vote, I do not like being addressed with endearments unless it's outside the workplace and comes from someone much older than myself. I feel like it's demeaning and inappropriate (even though I know it is not intended to be so) when it comes from someone younger than I am. I am recently retired but when I eat out now, since endearments are so frequently used and as they do bother me, maybe I should wear a name tag that says "Hi! My name is ...". What do you think?

Jul 06, 2015
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Please don't call me honey NEW
by: Anonymous

I agree with so many of you who feel disrespected when a younger person calls us honey, baby, sweetie, dear, and the like. For those of us who are baby boomers and the generation before, the great majority of us were raised to "respect our elders" and (at least for me) feel that these "endearments" coming from someone younger "feels disrespectful", (whether intended or not). I recently talked with a server who was driving me crazy using these labels. She said she meant no disrespect and she thought her customers liked it. I told her that many of us don't want to say anything but that doesn't mean we like it. We actually had a long conversation. Ultimately, I asked her to try to avoid the endearments to a 55 or older adult and see whether her tips improved at all or not. If they did, it might be an indication that it was really bothering people who didn't want to confront her about it. I couldn't wait to hear if it made any difference. When I returned a couple of weeks later she told me that she actually was making better tips and she thought she noticed a difference in her interactions with customers. Coincidence? For me, I enjoy dining out but these endearments put a damper on my meal. I wish I could find some way to respectfully communicate how using endearments makes me feel. For those of you who have commented that we should "lighten up", yes, it does bother me quite a bit... please consider that the difference in our upbringing creates a difference in how we feel about things and how we each interpret them. It's not a matter of right or wrong. It's a matter of being raised differently and of our life experiences. Let's appreciate our diversity and maybe we can learn something from each other.

Jun 29, 2015
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I disagree. NEW
by: Anonymous

I personally am flattered when someone calls me honey or sweetie. It's not physically harming me and its not as if they're saying it in a condescending manner. I think some of you people need to lighten up.

Jun 24, 2015
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I am called "kiddo" NEW
by: Anonymous

I have a similar problem. I am a 34 year old female and a 58 year old male coworker keeps calling me "kid/kiddo." He will not take a hint, and has said other degrading things like saying we have a "father/daughter" relationship. We've been coworkers for under 2 months! He is driving me nuts to point where I am avoiding him. Why can't we just be professionals?

Jun 24, 2015
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Ignorance is bliss NEW
by: Anonymous

I find it sad when people who don't know the proper etiquette of addressing others keep insisting they have no reason to correct themselves. I too am from the south and learned at an early age how to appropriately address people accordingly. So, for you folks who seem to not have a problem with this, is you do it yourself because no one ever taught you different. My question is, just what part of the south are "ya'll" from that you didn't learn this? If you didn't learn manners from your parents when you were you were young, it doesn't hurt to learn later in life. Learning is part of growing and maturing. Having good manners shows good character. You don't have to "hun" people to death so they'll think you're a sweet person. If you're saying it to be condescending, you are only showing bad character, you're not getting away with anything. Most people won't respond to such immature behavior until they've had it up to their eyeballs! REBUKE A FOOL AND YOU WILL PROVOKE HIM TO ANGER. REBUKE A WISE MAN AND HE WILL THANK YOU. proverbs. God bless you, anyway!

Jun 22, 2015
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You too???!!! NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Anne,

Yes, I, too, am really perplexed over this recent spate of being called, honey, dear, sweetie, etc. This has happened very recently in the last month on the weekends when I go out. I expect to have a great time going out to have coffee. I decide to buy coffee or a danish. I pay for it, and wind up being called everything except for my name. (As I throw my hands up in the air) Pfft...I have gone online to express my feelings on the websites of these establishments, and haven't returned to any of these places because of this.

Jun 20, 2015
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Enough with sweetie and ma'am .. NEW
by: Anonymous

It's kind of annoying when someone calls you sweetie but they are bitches to others . It's not sincere. Be sweet if you are but don't fake it. Another thing, being a woman please don't flatter yourself by addressing other women ma'am because I may say you look older than me, even if I maybe older in number. To me ma'am is for lady bosses or strangers. Duh some people have name tag call me by that can't you read my name ?

Jun 09, 2015
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I'm not your honey or sweetie NEW
by: RM

Nurses are inclined to refer to patients, particularly those with grey hair inappropriately. These names should be shared with family only.

Jun 04, 2015
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It's Beyond Frustrating! NEW
by: The HR Lady

I am Director of Human Resources for a luxury Automotive dealership. I understand that I am a young woman in a male dominated industry. However, this is the FIRST employer i have worked at where the men have absolutely NO FEAR of Human Resources! I am personable and treat all my employees equally across the board regardless of how great or terrible of an employee you are (no favorites). I have only been here six months and these men OPENLY talk about the grotesque (sexual) things they want to do to me/my body. Granted, they don't say it to my face, but they have no problems talking about it when i'm within ear-shot. The looks'/stare's as I walk through the dealership are ridiculous, but the "pet names" they use when sending me an email and some comments they say to my face are SO demeaning! "Hey Lover", "Gorgeous", "Beautiful", "Cutie", "you have a great figure", "you wear those shoes so well" are some of the few things I hear on a weekly basis. I dress conservative (always slacks), shirts are NEVER any lower than my collar-bone, and if I wear a sleeveless or crop-sleeved top, I wear a cardigan with it. Additionally, I am very conscious of not wearing tight or figure fitting clothing. I've started responding to emails correcting the pet-name(s) and CC'ing the General Manager, and the Business Manager. For the guys who say things to my face, I call their manager over and tell them that they are not to speak to me about such things.

Its a daily struggle.

Jun 01, 2015
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Unprofessional and best avoided NEW
by: Anonymous

I find pet names unprofessional regardless of who its coming from and going to. I am a young woman doctor working with mostly men. I get pet names from coworkers, my boss, and the lunch lady. It makes me feel like I am less respected than my male peers (who do not frequently get called pet names) so it is a little frustrating. Whether you think it is endearing or not chances are someone will be mildly offended so why risk it? Stick with names, sir, or ma'am, which will always be considered professional.

May 22, 2015
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Darl NEW
by: Rachel

In Australia, it's 'Darl'.
I'm 46 & just started a new job where the 30-something receptionist calls everyone Darl. It really works for her, the clients seem to love it. I find it demeaning from a younger person, as I come into my 'invisible' years. It makes me feel redundant, which in turn makes me angry. In addition, others at work have begun calling me 'Dear' when explaining things to me. Why don't they just call me Nanna and get it over with? I did mention this but they took no notice. I guess I really am invisible!

May 09, 2015
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Also annoyed NEW
by: Kathy

I am the manager of a convenient store in Northwest Louisiana, to an older woman, 51. My boss just recently hired a woman in her early 40s. She to calls all of the customers sweetie, honey, sugar and baby it doesn't matter how old they are. This to I feel is uncalled for. An Employee age 30 that has worked here for a couple of years has picked this up, I guess from being around her, I have to say I believe it's disrespectful to call a person all of these names. Maybe they think it's cute, and makes them seem more mature, they dont know how silly this sounds. Just the other day I was sitting here doing my paperwork we had a order coming in they finished, and she handed me the invoice, she said I guess you need this honey and I turned around looked at her and said I sure do sweetie pie. Then I said to her do you realize how silly that sounds coming out of your mouth, and I told her that it was disrespectful that she does this to me and anyone else becomes in the store. Lets see how this turns out.

Apr 24, 2015
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Seriously NEW
by: Mandi

I have to admit, this website has a good few tips for posture and maybe to be nice. However, that she thinks of you as a friend is a good thing and you are completely misinterpreting it. Maybe she's from the South or from a southern family. Most of us will do it without even thinking about it. Your response to this "problem" was unclassy and unprofessional in itself. It makes you sound like an old, bitter woman if I should be honest. Have you tried just, oh, I don't know, ignoring it? I mean, you are supposedly a 'mature' and 'respected' woman. Just let it go, for goodness's sake!

Apr 07, 2015
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As I sit in a restaurant and read these posts... NEW
by: Anonymous

I am traveling alone on business and having dinner in a nice reataurant. Since arriving. My server (who is at least half my age..I am 60) has called me honey twice and dear once and if I order desser. I find it incredibly annoying and wish I could find a polite way of saying how inappropriate it is. I hate to come off b----y but it really bugs me.

Mar 25, 2015
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The Restaurant Business NEW
by: Anonymous

I’m a waiter and we use the words honey, darling, sweetie and babe all day. It’s very common to use theses words to the guests in the restaurant business. I guess these words only work with some jobs and don’t with others. These words can make people feel good and smile, maybe thats why we use them so much as waiters, trying to get a bigger tip. I think they have a time and place. They work great in the night life and the restaurant scene but maybe not so well in serious offices.

Mar 25, 2015
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Thinking before you speak. NEW
by: Anonymous

Could it be laziness to use these terms when talking to someone. Hello, and then proceed with the point of the conversation is quite adequate. A clerk or teller can say "hello" how may I help you today,then proceed with the service you are there to receive. It is a bad habit they are choosing not to correct. Especially when they are corrected and then choose to argue about it. Ma'am, and sir are not even needed. Just quality service and a smile will suffice.

Mar 02, 2015
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Being called honey, Darling etc.
by: Anonymous

I myself feel the same ways as Anne...
I'm only honey, Datling etc. To the closest friends and family.
Others should use old fashion manners.........they are still around...MANNERS and RESPECT. 😉 or be called by ones first or last name...in the work space especially! It's about time we educate people. I for one will express my feelings to the next person that says it too me...in a. Polite manner!!
Everyone tells me to ignore it...that's the problem...we keep ignoring situtions that make us feel uncomfortable. I'm a very warm and loving individual, but I was readied with respect for everyone.

Feb 16, 2015
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Understanding Sociolingustics
by: Anonymous

I have a bachelor's degree in English and throughout those college years, a primary focus involved delving into sociolinguistics--the use of language in society. Many aren't aware of the way specific words, and their context, directly relate to behavior. Terms of endearment, when not used toward a loved one, is an example of degradation or a show of superiority over another. Perhaps this behavior is due to an over-inflated ego, insecurity, lack of self-worth, or someone seeking power. Regardless of their issue, it's offensive term when used by a stranger or co-worker.

Sociolinguistics is interesting, and it provides a lot understanding to the use of language-- take the words boy and girl, for example. As adults, men never, or rarely, refer to themselves as boys; yet women often call themselves girls. Think about it. Boy and girl means young, silly, and immature. However, men have "boys (not men's) night out," and if anything savory happens, they didn't have the adult mental capacity needed to make clear, cohesive decisions.

The way you use language speaks a lot.


Feb 15, 2015
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Thank you
by: Kimberly

Thank you so much Anne! I have been trying to find a way to communicate this, but everyone thinks you're a (not nice word) if you confront this.

Feb 12, 2015
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'Darling, Honey, Baby, Sweetie' Too Much & Inappropriate
by: Anonymous

I am in agreement with you 100% Anne! I wonder if people also use nicknames because they have forgotten a person's real name. I think it unprofessional, disrespectful and offensive for strangers and co-workers to use pet names in the workplace

Feb 05, 2015
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What happened to social training?
by: JackieM

I am not alone! I too feel as though I'm being condescended to when my servers at restaurants continually call me these (non)endearments that are really only endearments with loved ones or children. I noticed as well (along with others) that many (though not all) of the respondents here that admit to being the ones calling people "honey" and "sweetie" choose to tell those who do not like it to go f--- themselves, get over themselves, or chill. This only emphasizes to me even more that these individuals are disrespectful, unprofessional, and even passive aggressive. Those who want to be respectful, will govern themselves accordingly and learn that acceptable social behavior IS the honey that catches the bee (not insincere pet names). Not all people who use these pronouns with strangers are doing it to be disrespectful, but out of a lack of realization. But now that they know, those people will learn and benefit. In other languages there are less formal pronouns (akin to "bro" or "sis") that are distinguished to be acceptable to use with peers, and more formal pronouns (akin to ma'am and sir) that are reserved for someone who is older or a total stranger. So it is not just that I am being sensitive. This is a worldwide cultural more. YOU DON'T KNOW ME! Don't call me sweetie! I'm not your child and I'm not your sweetie!

Feb 02, 2015
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Cold Hearted
by: Jess

Anne, you seem like an extremely cold hearted individual. My friend's mom speaks to everyone, absolutely EVERYONE this way: men, women, children, even her own mother. It's just her natural manner, she is not trying to be disrespectul, and she happens to be one of the most loving people I've ever met. When I need a confidence boost, I know where to go! The few other people I've met who throw around these pet names are most often warm, kind women who just want to see others smile. Obviously your co-worker is wasting her kindness on someone like you!

Jan 21, 2015
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It's Ma'am or Miss, not Sweetie, Honey, etc.
by: InTheMidwest

I'm glad I found this page, & I especially relate to the person who said this: My response to the girl who says 'sweetie'and 'Hun' NEW
by: Anonymous
I'm sure you didn't mean to offend anyone. I understand you were trying to be kind to Anne but calling someone sweetie or Hun could be interpreted as very condescending. These are phrases you would say to a small child to show affection, AND NOT to a person who is twice your age. That is just plain tacky. It comes across that you are speaking to Anne as if she is mentally disabled or a kid.

I've been getting Honey, Sweetie, Sweetheart, My Dear, from clerks in stores for a year or more- both male & female, some my age, but mostly kids around 18-20 yrs. old (younger than my own kids). Does anyone know an effective way of letting them know it is not acceptable?

Jan 11, 2015
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Southerners and Professionalism Aren't Mutually Exclusive
by: Each Situation is Unique

I'm currently toying with this situation at work (which is how I've landed on this page) and thought I may offer a rebuttal to all of the people claiming these terms and phrases are used out of Southern kindness and respect. I would also like to say that RebelWoman's post (08-19-2014) is near perfect in every way. I, too, am from the south and there absolutely are unwritten "rules" that dictate when someone uses these terms, but I agree that they should never be used in a workplace, regardless of how Southern a person is, identifies, or how they were raised.

My situation isn't unique. I have an older female coworker with whom I now have a business-only work relationship. We have had semi-personal conversations in the past that, on a few occasions, were used by her to attempt to undermine me to other coworkers and bosses. She is a very controlling individual who strives to be upper management using any and all means possible, believes she’s more qualified than her coworkers and current boss, and has no problem talking negatively about managers to coworkers while being polite and respectful to them in person. Her attempts to manipulate and undermine are very apparent to everyone, and her sugar-sweet attitude only comes out when she’s trying to coax someone into letting their guard down. Other times, she’s very abrasive, opinionated, and uses curse words to drive her points home.

Since we have stopped sharing non-work-related information, the situations range from loud, caustic rants about how stupid and pathetic our managers are to her use of sickeningly-sweet terms of endearment to dead silence. Recently, this woman was highly offended when she learned that I’d been selected by management to participate in a project that I am clearly qualified for; she believes her age trumps a college education and/or work experience. Before we were informed of management’s selection, the time together at work was spent in complete silence, however now she’s referred to me as baby girl, honey, and sweetie. Her use of these words is 100% meant to be demeaning, disrespectful and, as RebelWoman’s post stated, used to establish social dominance and disgust. Ordinarily I would confront this, but she’s incapable of growing personally through learning and constructive criticism, so her continuance will only serve to hold her back and elevate my bosses’ opinions of me (they've already commented on how I’m capable of working effectively with difficult coworkers and picking my battles).

For anyone currently experiencing a similar situation, I would suggest a private meeting with your manager and human resources representative to discuss the options. That will make them aware there’s an issue and help stave off any backlash or complaints she may lodge against her. They may also be aware of other situations with her you may not know, or they may decide to handle it themselves and call it a preventative measure to accidental sexual harassment complaints. Sometimes managers can also be keenly aware of the person’s inability to be professional (as in my case) and nothing will need to be said at all. Each situation is unique.

Jan 05, 2015
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My response to the girl who says 'sweetie'and 'Hun'
by: Anonymous

I'm sure you didn't mean to offend anyone. I understand you were trying to be kind to Anne but calling someone sweetie or Hun could be interpreted as very condescending. These are phrases you would say to a small child to show affection, AND NOT to a person who is twice your age. That is just plain tacky. It comes across that you are speaking to Anne as if she is mentally disabled or a kid.

Jan 01, 2015
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Professionalism
by: Ms Rivers

If you were educated you may have a better understanding of professionalism.

Dec 30, 2014
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Two weeks I been dealing with this bs.
by: Anonymous

I am the girl at work that says sweetie and hun. I have been with my husband for 14yrs. It just people like this poster you like to say..Bless your heart go sit on a pitch fork. It nice thing when someone says that to you and if your the one complaining about. You should take a long look in the mirror and find out why you are offended. It not there problem people like you can't stand someone being nice. It's a no win...you can't call anyone sweetie or hun...ma'am or sir..there always someone one to get upset or offend..so unless you would like your clerks waiters and sells reps to not say things like that look at it this way..hi good morning, thank you. Now F.off..is the way it feels to use to have to be so uptight.. consider the fact we took time to acknowledge you and be kind, not just shipping you out like last week's leftovers..

Dec 30, 2014
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Two weeks I been dealing with this bs.
by: Anonymous

I am the girl at work that says sweetie and hun. I have been with my husband for 14yrs. It just people like this poster you like to say..Bless your heart go sit on a pitch fork. It nice thing when someone says that to you and if your the one complaining about. You should take a long look in the mirror and find out why you are offended. It not there problem people like you can't stand someone being nice. It's a no win...you can't call anyone sweetie or hun...ma'am or sir..there always someone one to get upset or offend..so unless you would like your clerks waiters and sells reps to not say things like that look at it this way..hi good morning, thank you. Now F.off..is the way it feels to use to have to be so uptight.. consider the fact we took time to acknowledge you and be kind, not just shipping you out like last week's leftovers..

Dec 18, 2014
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Not just me! Not cool when older people do it either.
by: Anonymous

I get it from a patient who is older than me. It goes right along with all her other patronizing comments and need to be more intelligent in everything we talk about. It keeps the arguing over my advice "passive" and belittles my professional knowledge. Maybe she has good intensions but it's demeaning to me. I'm going to try to tell her thanks, but I like being called by my name, or Doc. : )

Dec 15, 2014
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IToo Am Not A Fan Of The "Hun" & "Sweetie" Terminology
by: Anonymous

I too recently dealt with this with an intern of mine who I am 5+ years older than. I'd contact them about something work related, and its "Sweetie" this and "Babe" that. It just comes across as patronizing, disrespectful and unprofessional. I do know, however, that some younger women may not know much about business ethics and professionalism, especially if they are new to a business environment. Thats why it's important that each company have an employee or company handbook that clearly outlines what is expected of each employee when in the work place.

Dec 05, 2014
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pleased
by: Anonymous

I am very pleased with this page having a rating of five stars. I know how it feels to be called those kind of names a lot.

Nov 14, 2014
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Say the same thing back
by: Anonymous

I think the best response is to squeeze in a dear, honey or sweetie back to them.

Nov 14, 2014
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Its all about context
by: Annoyed


I read a lot of the comments, and I can understand both side of the argument.
I can understand those who say don't be 'up tight', and why take someones good and innocent intentions and be hostile against it.
But ultimately those endearment terms can both be positive and negative depending on the context or the nature of your relationship with the person who used those terms.

I had a superior at work who used that term every time she addressed me (and we speak maybe be once or twice a year if that). To be honest i didn't mind it at first and only saw the positive. But recently I went to her about a work related issue, lets just say she was not on my side on the matter and used some strong words to make her point, and as we parted she finished the conversation by using honey and darling repeatedly as a way of jumping at the bate to have the last word.

Now using the endearment terms on the context described above is wrong for two reasons.

One: I don't speak to this person on a daily basis and don't have any personal connection/relationship, but at the same time the person knows me long enough to know my name.

Two: They followed the endearment term after a slightly heated discussion (which tells you its not genuine) and especially when its used as an opportunity to have the last word.

Now my feeling towards this subject may invite comments such as 'get over it', 'lighten up' and' don't make a mountain out of a molehill.
But if you think about it, thats exactly why this endearments terms are so effective to those who want to get to you or undermine you, without inviting a comeback or challenge. Because if you instantly challenged it, you will seem like the one who is unreasonable or even rude.

So if you are unable to judge the place and time where this terms are appropriate, refrain from using them, and instead address the person by their name, very few people will be offend by that.
If you don't know their name use sir/madam.

Oct 27, 2014
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Driving me crazy
by: Anonymous

I could just scream to. I am going tell her tommarro to shove her honey word up you know what.

Oct 26, 2014
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So glad its not just me
by: Anonymous

I am so glad, I am not the only person who feels this way about these terms.
I realise that it is often just meant to be friendly, but it is now so taken for granted that it has the exact opposite effect.
If someone I don't know addresses me as 'love', it is actually their way of establishing a barrier between us, and perhaps even their own superiority whilst disguising it by using a term of endearment. In this way it is not friendly at all. It is condescending and patronising
and therefore doubly inappropriate and irritating at when it is young men and women half my age.
The term is appropriate for someone who is below the age of twelve or possibly a very frail old person, but otherwise, never someone who the same age as you or older.
In fact I think it is away of young men and women who are half my age, trying to assert themselves over me almost as a backlash against all the older people who have patronised them in their lives.
I have never patronised anyone in this way and address any grown adult whose name I don't know as Sir/Madam or nothing.
It's just respect.

Oct 24, 2014
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Respect
by: Ms Rivers

You are clearly a very shallow person "never to be broke again" respect is everything in this world. Without the respect of your people you are nothing. You have a name for a reason.

Oct 24, 2014
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Call me "Hon"
by: nevertobebrokenagain

I welcome the name "hon" in our disconected world. I would rather be called "hon" than the alternative...vulgar words that are so commonly used and never objected to.
Just call me "hon."

Sep 21, 2014
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Something that worked
by: Anonymous

I run a small company whose employees hail from a traditionally male field. One very new member continued to call me (his manager) 'hon' or 'honey' even after I had asked him not to. It happened again, a last straw, and I looked him in the eye and said: You know, I almost didn't hire you because you called me 'hon.' That was it -- it never recurred, and he worked with us for several years.

Sep 21, 2014
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Something that worked
by: Anonymous

I run a small company whose employees hail from a traditionally male field. One very new member continued to call me (his manager) 'hon' or 'honey' even after I had asked him not to. It happened again, a last straw, and I looked him in the eye and said: You know, I almost didn't hire you because you called me 'hon.' That was it -- it never recurred, and he worked with us for several years.

Sep 20, 2014
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Reply to Really?
by: Tooth Fairy aka Tooth Doctor

To Really?

If this subject is not important enough to discuss then why are you here and reading it at all? Why are you not limiting yourself to websites concerning the Syrian crisis or the international threat of ISIS? Why are you here at "Elegantwoman.org?" Isn't the whole site just a little to frilly and foo foo for you? Or is it your mission in life to seek out subjects and sites that are unimportant to you just so you can post and tell others how unimportant their topic of conversation is? Since there are an infinite number of trivial and unimportant things in the world, and you feel obligated to point them out, you must be VERY busy butting in on others' conversations just so you can pontificate on how petty they are being. That would make you infinitely busy and leave zero time for you to go to "important" subjects where you can have "important" contributions. It was a legitimate question. Women have worked too hard to achieve equal respect and then turn around and be called "honey' and "sweety." If you like to be called these things, fine. But your argument that it isn't worth anybody's time to discuss sounds contradictory...since you took the time to comment. You see the irony?

Sep 20, 2014
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Really?
by: Anonymous

This whole thread is ridiculous!! Get over it already!! Why must we dissect everything!! Take everything so personal?? So some people use these terms of endearment..so what?
Really people, there are more important things in this workd to worry about..

Sep 20, 2014
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Anonymous
by: B

Having worked in a kitchen before, under two women to eventually be their boss... I know how unfair it can be in a kitchen. I'm not sexist... I think it's all about what you can do, and who you are as a person... The whole sweetie, honey, baby thing is a load of crap. Call people by their damn name, that person deserves to be called by their name. It's more intimate... more personal... less superficial (all redundant, yes)
& striving for perfection is ridiculous imo... you will only be disappointed and bitter all the time. Don't work harder... work smarter. Working smarter allows you to analyze and see solutions from a different angle.

Sep 20, 2014
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Small expectations
by: Tooth Fairy

People do make assumptions by the way you look and your gender. When I lived and worked overseas people would ask "Oh... Is your husband in the military?". When people find out I work in healthcare or in a clinic or in the dental profession they ask...Oh...are you a nurse? Or...are you a hygienist? Or...Are you an assistant? Only once ever was I asked if I am a dentist. I have a female dentist colleague who just laughs when asked if she is an assistant and says "Yeah...I am an assistant."
I don't know about alpha or omega but I treat all people with respect. And therefore I don't call adults sweetie or honey.
"Sweetand such names are the verbal equivalent to a pat on the head you would give a kid or dog. They are diminutives. If the comment is given most of the time it is from someone who doest know any better and isn't offensive but if it comes from someone who is in a posiition where they are expected to know better it is insulting. If my fellow doctors or assistants called me honey it would cause jaws to drop. And the airline attendant should have known better. It has no place in the work setting. I am sweetie and honey to my mom and to old people. Not at work. And yes if you ask someone to call you by name and they still call you pet names it is passive aggression. Note the angry comments and name- calling on this thread from people who defend the practice as "friendly.
Interesting conversation.

Sep 20, 2014
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Miss Rivers
by: Anonymous

Alpha female is a line of crap! I am a business woman tired of sexist comments. I strive for perfection, care about the well being of others and love to be creative. I believe in the common good, working together, strive for excellence and I do not like followers. I prefer my own identity. It would be a better world if people would stop trying to categorize individuals and see them for who they are. Instead of wanting to call your girl honey and ask her on a date maybe you should call her by hat name because that is who she is. Take a look inside her and she her for who she is.

Sep 20, 2014
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Miss rivers
by: Brandon

Miss Rivers. You're an accomplished sexy woman; just by the way you tell the people you're the boss without showing offense, just speaking to them like the shmucks they are. It's rare to find an alpha woman that made it to the top, especially in a kitchen. That's an accomplished person.


Sep 20, 2014
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Miss
by: Brandon

Mrs. Rivers... You sound like you're a hot woman. Just by the way you tell the people you're the boss. It's rare to find an alpha woman that made it to the top. That's an accomplished person.


Sep 19, 2014
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Reality is
by: Miss Rivers

Very interesting you said that, lol. That is precisely why we have this topic. If only it were appropriate for a woman to do the same. Unfortunately, woman are held to different standards than men. If I were to do that to someone they would probably press charges against me. I've done about everything but that and no matter what it is never right. A question you could answer is what is the male thought process when they call everyone honey. What is behind that? I have noticed the only time they say it is too attractive women. And yes I am attractive. It is not right to be judged by your physical appearance in this fashion. It is hurtful to others and contributes to issues in the female sex. We are all the same on the inside. We all bleed the same. Secondly, that I know of men do not have the same jealousy, rivalry issues in their sex as women do. Generally when a woman calls another woman honey there is nothing nice about it.
When we are talking about the work inviroment we already deal with being under paid for the same jobs men do and we have to work twice as hard to gain respect when it comes to professional careers. Sooooo, when you go through all the hard work to make it in life and someone calls you honey it is in fact upsetting.
Now let's talk about the women who think because they are pretty the can do whatever the fuck they want and expect everything to get handed to them on a silver platter. They suck! They have no idea what it is to work for a living with the exception of laying on their backs and they love being called honey.
I am a very attractive woman and I am a chef, I run restaraunts, I am a GM. I have had people come up to me and say " Honey can I talk to the chef"? I am the chef. They look at me like I'm dumb. Honey can I talk to the boss? I am the boss. They can't comprehend it. I have been told the only thing I am in a kitchen is a distraction. Why? Because the only thing you think with is your dick? Incapable to see my talent? Or to insecure to acknowledge a woman can be as good as a man AT a mans job? really? So I worked my ass of my whole life, refused to lay on my back for a promotion as women are expected to do and the only thing you can do is call me honey?
That's reality!

Sep 19, 2014
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Reality is
by: Miss Rivers

Very interesting you said that, lol. That is precisely why we have this topic. If only it were appropriate for a woman to do the same. Unfortunately, woman are held to different standards than men. If I were to do that to someone they would probably press charges against me. I've done about everything but that and no matter what it is never right. A question you could answer is what is the male thought process when they call everyone honey. What is behind that? I have noticed the only time they say it is too attractive women. And yes I am attractive. It is not right to be judged by your physical appearance in this fashion. It is hurtful to others and contributes to issues in the female sex. We are all the same on the inside. We all bleed the same. Secondly, that I know of men do not have the same jealousy, rivalry issues in their sex as women do. Generally when a woman calls another woman honey there is nothing nice about it.
When we are talking about the work inviroment we already deal with being under paid for the same jobs men do and we have to work twice as hard to gain respect when it comes to professional careers. Sooooo, when you go through all the hard work to make it in life and someone calls you honey it is in fact upsetting.
Now let's talk about the women who think because they are pretty the can do whatever the fuck they want and expect everything to get handed to them on a silver platter. They suck! They have no idea what it is to work for a living with the exception of laying on their backs and they love being called honey.
I am a very attractive woman and I am a chef, I run restaraunts, I am a GM. I have had people come up to me and say " Honey can I talk to the chef"? I am the chef. They look at me like I'm dumb. Honey can I talk to the boss? I am the boss. They can't comprehend it. I have been told the only thing I am in a kitchen is a distraction. Why? Because the only thing you think with is your dick? Incapable to see my talent? Or to insecure to acknowledge a woman can be as good as a man AT a mans job? really? So I worked my ass of my whole life, refused to lay on my back for a promotion as women are expected to do and the only thing you can do is call me honey?
That's reality!

Sep 19, 2014
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How Did I End Up Here?
by: Anonymous

I'm just a random passerby. I was trying to figure out how to call a girl I really like "honey" without coming off like a weirdo...and I ended up here. Read some of your article and couldn't wait to reply. :D

Probably the most unbiased, practical answer you can get is coming up.

Being annoyed is a choice. You can let something bother you, or not.

Girls make out and go in the shower together all the goddamn time. Guys don't. We don't look at each others dicks, we are extremely insecure and homophobic, though we NEVER admit it. In other words, a problem like this is a much bigger deal to a guy.

So what does a man do when someone calls him "baby" or "honey-boo-boo"? It will be one of the following:

- Omega-male: Woah...you're weird, go away faggot.

Or object and complain in a similar fashion.

- Beta-male: Did you just call me baby?! I'm gonna fuck you up!

And become aggressive and hostile. In the case of the Omega and the Beta, they become what we call "the bitch".

- Alpha-male: Ooooohh mamiiii you liked how I fucked the shit outta you last night?? Hmmmm come here...

And proceed to grab the other person by the neck in a headlock and fuck up his hair style. He will play along, crack a relevant joke or comeback. He doesn't allow himself to become "the bitch". The two of them are likely to become friends who continue to make annoying gay jokes for many years to come.

So, take what you will from that.

Sep 12, 2014
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U Jelly?
by: Poly

You sound jealous of threatened by the younger girl at work.

Sep 09, 2014
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Its just an excuse to say you are a southerner
by: Anonymous

Maybe you are a Southerner, but this is a world-wide issue and you can't tell me that every person that does it to me is a Southerner, especially when it happens in other English speaking countries. If you don't know someone's name, you can just say 'hello, can I help you." You is sufficient, you don't have to add in a tag, sweetie, or honey.

To call someone honey or sweetie whether male or female is fine if they are a child and you are an adult, or if you are at least 30 years older than they are. I'm not offended if an 80 year old woman calls me sweetie. But if a 60 year old does it (I am 45) then, yes I am offended.

It is definitely a way of demeaning them, or condescending over them. I can prove this by noticing how I was recently treated by a waitress, compared to my friend. My friend is a real estate agent who dresses powerfully and looks professional. I am a housewife, who wears jeans and tshirt. I have greying hair but look young. I get called sweetie, my friend doesn't by the same waitress.

Yes it probably is me with the issue, but when I later joined my friend at her table and asked her about it, she told me she'd want to slap the girl if she'd said it to her. So for all you people who are hiding behind the excuse that it is a Southern thing, keep it in the South. If you leave the south then learn some local social skills.

Aug 27, 2014
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Obviously
by: Anonymous

I don't think it was obvious. I read it the same way as the other person, and English is my first language. I guess it could be taken both ways.

Regardless, I don't appreciate "sweetie" either. I agree. It's demeaning.

Aug 27, 2014
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Obviously
by: Anonymous

Don't think it was obvious. I read it the same way as the other person, and English is my first language. I guess it could be taken both ways.

Regardless, I don't appreciate "sweetie" either. I agree. It's demeaning.

Aug 26, 2014
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Obviously...
by: Anonymous

It's incredibly obvious, unless you have no reading comprehension, that the poster was upset because her husband was called the respectful "sir" while SHE was called the disrespectful "sweetie" instead of "ma'am" or "madam."

Aug 25, 2014
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Re: My name is not sweetie
by: Anonymous

You feel "demeaned" when someone calls you "hun"?
You really need to get over yourself then. You sound VERY angry and almost as though you need therapy....
You got angry at your daughter's wedding reception because the server called your husband "sir"? How would you like people to address you and your husband in a customer service setting when they dont know you by first name and it's impolite to ask your name? You don't like the formal addressing of "sir" and, presumably, "ma'am", yet you don't want someone informally addressing you by calling you "hun".
So which is it?? You want it both ways. You don't want ma'am but you don't want anything informal either... Sounds like people would be smart not to address you AT ALL! I would STAY AWAY from the likes of you. GET OVER YOURSELF LADY!! (how do you like that? "LADY" - MORE LIKE OLD, ANGRY, GRUMPY, CRUSTY, FRIGID OLD LADY!)

Aug 25, 2014
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Re: My name is not sweetie
by: Anonymous

You feel "demeaned" when someone calls you "hun"?
You really need to get over yourself then. You sound VERY angry and almost as though you need therapy....
You got angry at your daughter's wedding reception because the server called your husband "sir"? How would you like people to address you and your husband in a customer service setting when they dont know you by first name and it's impolite to ask your name? You don't like the formal addressing of "sir" and, presumably, "ma'am", yet you don't want someone informally addressing you by calling you "hun".
So which is it?? You want it both ways. You don't want ma'am but you don't want anything informal either... Sounds like people would be smart not to address you AT ALL! I would STAY AWAY from the likes of you. GET OVER YOURSELF LADY!! (how do you like that? "LADY" - MORE LIKE OLD, ANGRY, GRUMPY, CRUSTY, FRIGID OLD LADY!)

Aug 25, 2014
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My name is not sweetie!
by: Anonymous

Nor is it hon or doll. For all you who have made nasty remarks, dismissing someone's feelings is the height of rudeness. Maybe it doesn't bother you and that's fine, but you need to respect the feelings of others.

I am southern born and bred. My parents always insisted that their children speak correctly and address others properly. Never did I heard my parents address cashiers, waitstaff, or other service people as "hon" or "sweetie." My father is 84 years old now and the only name people seem to call him by is "dear" or "hon." He won't speak up but I will. When he moved to assisted living, I insisted that the staff address him as "Mr. Smith" and not use "pet" names. It is called "elderspeak" and the internet is full of articles about it.

As for myself, I feel demeaned and disrespected when someone calls me "hon", etc. I always say quietly that my name is not hon (or whatever nauseating variation they have used). The response is usually not good. I've been laughed at and ridiculed, not only by the offending waitstaff but by several managers. The offender sometimes gets hostile, rude, or defensive. I've had my order at a fast food restaurant slammed on the counter so hard that the soda sloshed out. At that point I asked for a refund. The manager came out and apologized but it was too little too late. Perhaps the worst was at my daughter's wedding reception. The caterer addressed my husband as "sir" and me as "sweetie." The only reason I didn't rip her a new one is because it was the kids' special day and I wanted no unpleasantness.

I treat others with respect and expect to be treated respectfully in return.

Aug 19, 2014
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What it REALLY means...
by: Rebel Woman

As a proud Southern woman, I know there is more to it than what most of you realize. There are subtle etiquette rules governing the use of these terms that vary from region to region within the South. In Texas, a woman certainly IS being aggressive if she calls a peer 'sweatheart' or 'hon' or anything similar. I have known all my life that these so-called endearments can also be weapons. In addition to their more traditional use as endearments, they are routinely used to establish social dominance. They are also used as code meant to convey disgust or anger. In Texas, these words can innocently be used with your loved ones and dearest friends, children, the elderly, and the males seated in your section at the truck stop where you are a waitress. That's it. A female collegue at work who is from Georgia or some-such place, called me 'sweetheart' at a business meeting when she disagreed with something I said! I was horrified. How dare she speak to me that way! Later, I quietly threatened to punch her in the face if she ever again showed such disrespect to me in public. It is the equivalent of a derisive snort, a sneer, an eyeroll, or calling someone a moron. Those of you telling the original writer to chill out do not know what you are talking about. Maybe Georgians think they are being kind or communicating a desire for friendship but, in the rest of the country, we understand the subtext and it is very demeaning. It is unprofessional and insulting and the manager needs to address it.

Aug 12, 2014
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Well bless her little heart
by: Anonymous

Hm if she's from the south, i believe a good response might be, "well bless your little heart, isn't that just so sweet!" if she truly thinks she's being nice, then she's not too likely to take offense at your response, though others in the office might think it rather funny. It might not make her stop though.

Aug 05, 2014
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Inappropriate Workplace Words
by: Anonymous

It's called sexy am harassment. Have her supervisor write her up and if it doesn't stop then sue them. You do not have to work in a hostile work environment and if that makes your uncomfortable, then stand up for yourself.

Aug 02, 2014
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Quilty and embarrassed, also hurt
by: Anonymous

I am very guilty of the honey sweetie name calling. The LAST thing on my mind when calling someone honey or sweetie is to be disrespectful,insulting or condescending...
Just the opposite. I'm trying to get across to people that I'm not an uptight person or a snob, that while interfacing with them I consider them to be my equal. You can usually figure out the tone of which things are said to understand the "intent". With all the turmoil in this world today, if being called Honey or sweetie is the only thing that upsets your day, then you must truly be an incredibly uptight person...
Living north or south has nothing to do with using kind words of endearments. AGAIN, look at hatred there is in the world and being called honey or sweetie offends? Pahleeeeze. Tune up your egos and watch the evening world news! i

Jul 25, 2014
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Love One Another, not hate
by: Anonymous

Quit being bitter!!!!!!!!! There is nothing wrong with terms of endearment. We are all brothers and sisters here on Earth. Just Love One Another, just like Jesus asked us too. God Bless those who hate others.

Jul 22, 2014
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why can't managers manage?
by: Anonymous

I believe that a person who engages in this type of behavior is trying to elevate themselves by being overly familiar. It is a sign of poor breeding, poor judgment and should have been brought to her attention at the first opportunity, when it happened the first time.
She should be told that it is disrespectful and unprofessional and that respect and professionalism are extremely important in this organization!
She may say that it is a habit and that she does it all the time in which she should be asked to comply or seek employment elsewhere.
Why can’t managers manage? Are we so afraid of hurting someone’s feelings or making a mistake that we can’t establish professionalism and dignity in the work place.? Ask this young woman if she would call the Governor of NM honey sweetie or sugar. If she would then she is truly stupid. If she says she would not then she knows that what she is doing is inappropriate.

Jul 08, 2014
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RESPECT
by: Ms. Rivers

Peple who become upset when terms of endearment are used in the workplace are not uptight nor are they shallow. terms of endearment are meant for loved ones, friends. Obviously no one has ever taught you the importance of Respect. Respect of the work place, Respect for your peers, Respect for your elders, Respect towards your customers, clients.
A majority of people who use these terms do it because they are too inconsiderate, lazy to remember a persons name. Some because they are to shallow to understand the ignorance behind their actions.
There is a time and place for everything.

Jul 08, 2014
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RESPECT
by: Ms. Rivers

Peple who become upset when terms of endearment are used in the workplace are not uptight nor are they shallow. term of endearment are meant for loved ones, friends. Obviously no one has ever taught you the importance of Respect. Respect of the work place, Respect for your peers, Respect for your elders, Respect towards your customers, clients.
A majority of people who use these terms do it because they are too inconsiderate, lazy to remember a persons name. Some because they are to shallow to understand the ignorance behind their actions.
There is a time and place for everything.

Jul 08, 2014
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my opinion
by: Tara

wow I never realised people hated these words so much.
I mean calling someone ''baby'' is a bit far fetched but darling is something I use very often.
its just so natural for me to use it when I address people.
I can tell when I speak to someone if they are a genuine person and wont mind if I address them like that but you can see in a persons face and the way they speak and act if they are a 'nice person 'or someone who is seriously up tight.
I do believe that you shouldn't address someone that is older than you with that sort of language as it can seem like they think you think that you are better than them, when that's definitely not the case but in someone else's eyes it can be.
I have just started a new job in admin and my boss was upset with me for using the term 'darling' to a customer when I could tell in her voice that she was a beautiful person and wouldn't mind it at all.
I guess in the work place you should keep it professional and if you use these terms to use them with bubbly loving people not up tight dicks that take it to offense.
southern or not lots of people are brought up in a loving environment and use this loving language a lot. I am a kiwi and have lived in Australia for 10 years now and I notice that a lot of aussies are very laid back and chilled but you do get those people in the world that are very up tight and see everything as unacceptable' even if you don't mean it in that way.

Jun 10, 2014
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Honey, Baby, Sweetie
by: Lisa

I also found these "Positive" insults annoying as well, and come to realize that people who can't respect, & connect with you on any 'level' is extremely insecure and usually can't be trusted by using these "Positive" insults, Maybe in need a quick course of "Positive" & "Negative" insults by asking "What is a insult whether "Positive" or "Negative"? Answer: None, An insult is a insult whether it is "Positive" OR "Negative". It shows people who use these insults also lack any confidence in themselves to address YOU by your "God given" Name, in other words, When you pray, do you say "Dear Heavenly "Sweetie", Thank you for another day "Honey", In "Baby" Name, Amen? I would certainly hope and pray not folks, To insult one another is to insult our Heavenly "Daddy" and He doesn't appreciate us insulting each other. Have a Blessed Day.

Jun 03, 2014
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it's a cultural thang
by: Magnolia Sparklefoot

Hi hon,
The U.S. is made up of many different cultures. We can't expect people to act the same because we are the "United" states. We're really just like a bunch of smaller countries.
The young lady in question is probably from The South. It's considered polite there to talk in this way. It's part of the culture, just like helping others with doors, their jackets, greeting them on the streets, etc. Here in California, I am still offended by the lack of manners out in public, and I've lived here 29 years! So try to grin and bear it. She doesn't mean anything by it. Culture is hard-wired, that's what I tell myself when another Californian lets a door slam in my face.

Jun 03, 2014
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Just a thought or two
by: Sugar

I do tend to use "hon" and "dear" when addressing people - I worked in higher education for a long time, in an office with well over a thousand students a semester who expected every employee to look them in the eye, smile, greet them by name and remember every single one of their issues, academic and personal. I never was good at matching up names to faces, especially when they changed every sixteen weeks (eight in the summers!). Using "hon" and "dear" was my way of covering up my inadequate memory while giving these eighteen to twenty year olds the reassurance that I did indeed care about their concerns and wanted to help guide them to the resources that would support their goals. Sometimes, I think that "hon" or "dear" was the only kind word they had heard in a day, and I know for many, I could see relief on their faces that someone was finally going to help them get on track. Plus, I'm a middle aged Southern lady raised in a Baptist community, and you simply don't come from that culture without a strong background in "honeyed words".

May 27, 2014
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respect
by: MISS Rivers

Thank You for the helpful advice.

May 26, 2014
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Keep it professional
by: W C

I do not appreciate being called pet names- it makes me feel disrespected, that they have a condescending attitude. Be professional. You can't go wrong with that. In my business, when training staff, I always insist they use the person's name when they know it--otherwise, ma'am/sir. Years ago I worked with a manager who called virtually everyone honey, darlin', sweetheart, baby, etc., no matter their age, gender, rank, title,etc. One day after she addressed a customer in this manner, the customer quite adamantly told her, "My name is, Mrs. __________ and that is what you are to call me." The manager was so entrenched in the pet name ritual she almost choked the remainder of the conversation, but the customer never budged, insisting she call her by her name.

Personally, when a person calls me a pet name, I politely tell them I'm not their, "sweetheart" or whatever pet name they have attributed to me--that I am my husband's sweetheart. I remind them of my name and that has always taken care of the issue.

May 25, 2014
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RESPECT
by: Miss Rivers

First of all the person who began this is clearly looking for the advice of others to see if someone may lead her in the right direction not complaining. I found this because I have the same problem and was looking for advice as well.
Here is the thing, at what poin is it ok at what point is it not. I am a female chef, manager. A position in which woman are already disrespected. I am extremely talented. So, if I'm an authority figure and all my employees, my boss think its ok to call me honey when that is not my name I'm just suppose to be ok with it.
I think what people are missing here is....... Do you have any idea how many people use these terms? All day long!!! Non stop!!! I have 2, 3, 4, sometimes more people calling me honey, baby, etc... it gets to a point you don't even know for sure who the hell they are talking to. It is offensive, and disrespectful. Patronizing as well. You work your whole life t build a career and that's the only thing you are worthy of? I ont see men running around calling each other pet names. Why? Because it is not appropriate but for whatever reasons its prettey much deemed appropriate for women and if you don't like it and speak your mind you are a bitch. People who use these terms at work are unprofessional, ignorant, and have no respect for others.

May 20, 2014
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Chill!
by: Anonymous

Chill out!! shes just being nice, you are really worrying about this in your LIFE? HONEY hahah, you need to calm down!

May 16, 2014
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Not surprised
by: Anonymous

People have names. In a professional environment names should be used. As for those comments that this is the way I was brought up. That is a poor excuse. It's condescending. It is passive agressive. It is a form of emotional abuse. It makes the person using it appear insecure and uneducated. Those people accusing this person of being uptight obviously has no social skills and doesn't realize how hurtful and disrespectful calling someone by these terms when there is no real relationship is a form of harassment and emotional abuse. It's not surprising that the people who disagree with this person would continue the emotional a use by calling her more names.

May 12, 2014
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What's the matter honey?
by: Anonymous

Really, terms of endearment are no longer reserved for intimate relationships and waitresses. As long as she's not calling you 'sweetie pie' in a meeting I don't really understand why you are so upset. I think the greater insult in this day and age is to be called Madam...and at least she's not calling you sour face. Just tell her nicely again that you are old fashioned and like to be called by your name. Just don't make her feel bad...she's not meaning you any insult or harm.

Apr 07, 2014
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The Other way around
by: Anonymous

I am 30 and have old ladies calling me honey and sweetie. I have a very successful business (Cape Town, South Africa) and they are mostly contractors/secretaries/ cleaners. I really don't know how to take it mostly I just let it go but today. I really hate this culture and it is a put down and I am angry about it. Next time I will re-introduce myself because this has to stop. It really is passive aggressive, I don't hear these ladies calling men sweetheart and honeybun (I am passive aggressive, I know what to look for and I am working on it..). And also they are showing their place. I have NEVER had a person manager/owner/successful professional call me these names. So carry on, it just shows why you are stuck in a position where you are...it is like you place people around you lower so you can feel better about yourself. Not even my man calls me babe, I have never had a nickname but DON'T be a successful female you are miraculously going to become a cupcake...yes I am angry.

Apr 01, 2014
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People who use 'darling' etc
by: Kitty

Your approach was correct, and needs to be repeated. Over a coffee and out of earshot, you need to remind her of your name, and that you would appreciate her to use that. (I make the assumption here that you reciprocate.)
I work in an Information Centre and have a name tag, so it is easy for people to address me by name. I will use the generic "Sir" or "Ma'am" with enquirers.
On occasions where I have been the one addressed as "darl'", "love","sweetie" etc, I simply and quietly ask them to call me by name instead. Never had a problem.
It's usually a laziness rather than a condescension that causes people to do this. The intent can be felt in the tone of the address, regardless of whether your name or an endearment is used.

Mar 29, 2014
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If someone is trying to kind with calling you beautiful names why show so much hate.
by: Anonymous

I think the issue lies with the author. Obviously you have hate in your heart to not be able to see kindness with your co-worker. If someone calls me darling, gorgeous, sweetie I take it as a complement not flipping out like yourself. You are the reason we have issues in this world. Take a good look at your negative attitude and hopefully you might want to change. We are all brothers & sisters trying to work together to hopefully make a better place for our children.

Jan 03, 2014
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Definite passive aggressive trend amongst young people
by: csczoe

I am a 47 y/o female (architect) from Atlanta, Georgia, born and raised. I have definitely noticed a curious trend involving a sudden increase of young people using these terms of "endearment" in recent years- in work settings, restaurants, etc.. As a young woman growing up in Georgia, I would NEVER have dreamed of addressing older people with such terms! "Honey" has always been considered a term of affection for a close relation or friend, but never for perfect strangers and definitely NOT for your elders!
I am convinced that this new trend is a passive-aggressive one that is reflective of the current younger generation's general disrespect for authority figures (parental figures) that seems to be almost epidemic in American culture. I almost never sense a genuine feeling of heart-felt affection from the young women that use these terms.
I have finally starting pointing out how inappropriate it is to address a woman old enough to be their mother with these terms...in a very nice, polite manner. Usually they are shocked, angry and little embarassed that someone actually called them out on it. No question for me that it is intentional and meant to condescend.
CSC

Nov 18, 2013
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Passive Aggressive "Endearments"
by: Anonymous

I have this same problem at work. I am finding it very revealing that so many of those who are answering here who say they use "sweetie" etc., become very angry, insulting, and aggressive when defending the practice. If someone is only asking you to call them by a respectful name, and not to use language that they are uncomfortable with, why should this make YOU so angry? Because of this response, it is hard not to believe these "endearments" are not really a form of passive aggressive behavior, and therefore ARE actually meant to be condescending. Many who are defending the practice by saying they grew up that way, or are from the South, also say they would never do this to a supervisor or the President. Isn't this a clear admission then that these terms are disrespectful? And in some instances described, it is precisely that - a subordinate calling a supervisor "Hon" or something similar. This is clearly inappropriate, not to mention extremely unprofessional. But what is worse is the belligerent attitude insulting anyone who is simply making a reasonable request: keep things professional at work. And anyone asking for this is NOT a bitch or a jerk or any of the MANY offensive terms used in the defensive posts above.

Nov 18, 2013
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Passive Aggressive
by: Anonymous

I have this same problem at work. I am finding it very revealing that so many of those who are answering here who say they use "sweetie" etc., become very angry, insulting, and aggressive when defending the practice. If someone is only asking you to call them by a respectful name, and not to use language that they are uncomfortable with, why should this make YOU so angry? Because of this response, it is hard not to believe these "endearments" are not really a form of passive aggressive behavior, and therefore ARE actually meant to be condescending. Many who are defending the practice by saying they grew up that way, or are from the South, also say they would never do this to a supervisor or the President. Isn't this a clear admission then that these terms are disrespectful? And in some instances described, it is precisely that - a subordinate calling a supervisor "Hon" or something similar. This is clearly inappropriate, not to mention extremely unprofessional. But what is worse is the belligerent attitude insulting anyone who is simply making a reasonable request: keep things professional at work. And anyone asking for this is NOT a bitch or a jerk or any of the MANY offensive terms used in the defensive posts above.

Nov 15, 2013
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totally irritated.
by: Anonymous

Grow up.

Nov 15, 2013
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totally irritated.
by: Anonymous

Grow up.

Sep 15, 2013
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dialect and upbringing
by: Anonymous

Being from the south, I see nothing wrong with using these terms. I agree it seems really nitpicky to lose it over this- you just seem like a grouch. I miss hearing these terms used.

Aug 15, 2013
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Pet Names
by: Anonymous

I have a similar situation going on at work. I started here 3 months ago and this lady calls me sweetie, darling, babe, hon....drives me NUTS. It is 100% condescending any way you look at it, regardless of age or sex. It has nothing to do with me being uptight.

Aug 12, 2013
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Darling... Get over it
by: Anonymous

Today a coworker said my name out loud to get my attention. I said "yes darling". To me its me being friendly. It's a new job so I am trying to get to know everyone and for people to know me. That's how I am. Open, easy going, very easy to get a long with. I have never in my life had someone say to me.. or correct me with "Ma'am" as if I had insulted her with the term darling. Give me a break your old cow! If i would have said yes Ma'am she would have said that was aging her and to call her. I have respect for everyone so of course I said Ok and from now on I will only refer to her as by her first name and that's it. Uptight people need to just give it up. so irritating.

Jul 19, 2013
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Young women and Old Men
by: Old Man Retiree

As a man in his mid 70s who has been retired for
a number of years from a successful career, I find it quite annoying when younger people I have never met before and people speaking to me in a business context on the phone start right out referring to me by my first name instead of "Mr."
Despite the opinions of some commenters on this site, to many of us older men this is inappropriate and insulting. Females tend to be the greatest offenders in this regard, although young men today are not much better. We generally
do not say anything about this, but we sure do not
like it! I guess in this "modern" world older men
are supposed to defer to whatever the feminists
and youngsters want to do. Perhaps we are all just
obsolete and should be shuffled off into a corner
until we pass away.

No wonder many men of my vintage only really enjoy spending time with others of the same general age.

I look forward to seeing all the negative comments concerning my opinion - after all, old men just don't count in current American life anyway.


Jul 16, 2013
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re: lighten up my sock's comment..
by: Anonymous

Lighten up my sock's comment: "essentially what you are doing is telling someone their name isn't good enough" - how do you derive THAT from that. Are you serious? Grow up. Very childish assumption. If you can derive that assumption from someone saying sweetie once in a while, your sense of self grandiousity and narsassism should be dealt with by a professional. Pathetic..

Jul 16, 2013
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Lighten up my Sock!
by: Anonymous

It is rude,inappropriate,completely unprofessional, did I say rude and simply, down right annoying. It's not cute. I have a name. I like it. USE IT. When you work anywhere that has a decent orientation, you are informed you are not to use these terms when addressing customers,clients etc. I had someone in our coffee shop that used to address me in that manner. I asked her three times to stop before I went to her supervisor. She stopped for a minute but resumed her behavior. Shortly thereafter she was fired. It seems I was not the only one complaining.In essence what you are doing is telling someone their name is not good enough or maybe you can't even remember it. You are also becoming personal with them. These are terms of endearment and when you wait on me long enough to pack a bag, we are not endeared to each other. Knock it off.

Jun 04, 2013
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Too Funny!
by: Moonbaby

OMGosh! Anonymous with Willie and Lynda is just too funny!

May 08, 2013
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Lighten up
by: Anonymous

I don't understand why you are making this a big issue. It is better than being called unappropriate curse words or fat. I grew up in eastern NC where those terms are very common. It is a good thing not out of disrepect. When you don't hear those terms any more then worry. I say those words about 100 times a day. It is second nature to me. If I don't, then I don't care for you.

May 08, 2013
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Lighten up
by: Anonymous

I don't understand why you are making this a big issue. It is better than being called unappropriate curse words or fat. I grew up in eastern NC where those terms are very common. It is a good thing not out of disrepect. When you don't hear those terms any more then worry. I say those words about 100 times a day. It is second nature to me. If I don't, then I don't care for you.

Apr 16, 2013
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It's okay but not all the time
by: Anonymous

I come from the UK and I've worked in an office with other women when I was a young lass. Never did us young ones approach our elders with babe, honey, darling, sweetie.

I like older people calling me sweetie and darling because that's what my mother called me when I grew up, so it's like a motherly way to me of saying you're looked after.

I've had other females around my age call me babe, gorgeous, sweetie, the only time it gets annoying is when it's repeated constantly, it's sometimes impossible to take someone like that seriously.

If I approached someone in work for help I would probably say hello so and so (their name), would you mind helping me out with something, then I would expect them to say sure sweetie or no problem hun but I would never approach them with the chummy attitude.

Going up to someone and saying hey babes, hey honey etc is real chummy, like they're your best mate, but your coworkers aren't your best mates, they're your collegues. You have to know when it's appropriate to say those things.

You go into a bakery to order something the lady behind the counter might say hello sweetie how can I help you, she doesn't want to be your mate but again it's like the motherly way of saying I'm going to look after you. The other way round there if you went into the bakery and said hello sweetie can I get a sandwich, sounds ridiculous.

Personally I like people calling me Ma'am, I like people calling me sweetie etc but it has to be appropriate, excessive use is annoying.

Apr 13, 2013
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Not sure who rates these....
by: Anonymous

It seems that whoever doesn't agree with the author of this post only gets 3 stars for a rating..
Childish.

Apr 13, 2013
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Wow
by: Anonymous

I've got to agree with those who think complaining at length about this is not exactly something that makes anyone seem endearing. If you want to seem grouchy, grumbly or picky and mad at the world, complaining about being called something kind is one way to do it.
I'm in my mid 30s and can tell you honey, sweetie etc all sound nicer to me than m'am. That reminds me of what you call a senior citizen. If someone at work did this day in and day out I can see where that might get a little stupid and annoying but even there dropping it in on occasion to a coworker you sit in an office with as much as you see your family doesn't seem too offensive.
Obviously some people are much more easily offended than I am.

Mar 29, 2013
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Interesting
by: Anonymous

Reading through these comments is quite interesting. I am struck by 1)People who do not like it are worried about offending the person doing it- even though they quite clearly feel offended by the person calling them pet names. (WHY are some of you who work with them putting up with over and over? Stand up for yourselves! Say every time they do it- No, Remember, my name is Anne, or Mrs. So-and-so. Please use that instead.") 2) People who use these names are admitting they often offend people, yet continue to do it anyway, justifying it with "I'm friendly, I'm from the South, etc." IF it OFFENDS someone it is NOT friendly-it is ANNOYING. STOP IT!

I found this sight when I was searching if it is OK for professional office staff to call customers these pet names. The overwhelming majority say it is NOT OK. I have problem with my Mother's doctor and the staff tells me, "I've got the message Sweetie. I'll have him call you Hun." No matter how many times I tell them, "I am not you're Sweetie. Please do not call me that." It is degrading, it is belittling. It is OK for a 6 year old, not an adult. And older men might find it cute, but very few other people do.

Mar 25, 2013
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Dear offended,
by: Anonymous

I understand why this is offensive. In fact, it bothers me too. I do think though that some people use this as a way to get out of learning people's names or it's just part of their southern belle upbringing.

Mar 23, 2013
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LANGUAGE OVERKILL
by: Anonymous

I have the same situation in my office, I run the front area of our office where all of our customers enter. We have hired a part-time girl who is 20 years younger than I and her sweetness is such an overkill it makes me want to say to her (I am not your sweetheart, my name is Wanda and I would like very much to be addressed as so, would this be rudy or offensive to her. She constantly uses the words sweetheart, baby, sweetie and it is really rubbing me the wrong way. She has been in the office for about 6 or 7 months and I detest this language so much, it is very unprofessional and disrespectful. Our customers are in the office and she addresses me by those choice names instead of my first name. I really must address this situation and need some advise. Thanks

Mar 06, 2013
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Everyone is different, important, but different
by: Sarah

I was training a young lady today during a working interview in a chiropractic office. I am 45. She is 19. She is clearly a good person, very open and kind to others. I noticed that she would call a patient, older or younger, sweetie, honey, etc. Since it was a working interview, I stayed observant, but it felt awkward when the patient was clearly made uncomfortable by it. Then she brought it up to me, "I like to call people sweetie, honey, but one time a lady got really mad at me." She told me the story. I simply said, "You mean well. I know that. Just keep in mind that there are definitely people who are made uncomfortable by it. See if you can get a better feel for what works with certain people and what doesn't, a skill that is good to learn in life." I have been happily married for 19 years, (as long as she has been alive), and I owe this in part to being able to recognize the best way to communicate with my husband at certain times to improve the relationship rather than push a button that I know is there. Again, it's a skill worth learning for life, what comments stress a relationship and what comments improve it. I like to treat other people with importance. Their feelings are important to me. With all that said, my vote is: Do not call them by affectionate names if it makes them uncomfortable, but do if it makes them smile.

Feb 09, 2013
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think
by: Anonymous

Do these people call African American males "boy"? Condescending is condescending.

Jan 26, 2013
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OH COME ON??IT IS NOT THAT SERIOUS
by: Anonymous

I think that sometimes it may be a force of habit, but with no bad intentions. I do it all the time. However, no disrespect I notice older people tend to get bent out of shape. But I have tried to just called them by there name...i think life is to precious to be worrying about silly things....but I guess there just miserable people that have not been cared or loved even appreviated...too bad for you silly women.,.ho us that one!

Nov 29, 2012
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Grow UP
by: Anonymous

I find Grow Up's comments offensive. It is the height of RUDENESS to continue to exhibit a behavior that someone in the office has asked you to stop.
You did the right thing in asking her to call you Anne, but maybe she is not smart enough to realize that you were also subtley telling her to stop the endearments.
I would revisit your talk with her and make it clear to her that in addition to calling you Anne, that you would like her to stop the condescension and name calling. Sweetie indeed!

Nov 27, 2012
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There is something really wrong with you...
by: This girl is nuts.

Are you serious?
You are probably one of the most childish people I have ever come across in my entire life.

I have been called worse things, that is for sure.

I think you need to look at her intention when she calls you this. Is the intention good, or is it bad? It sounds to me like this woman has been nothing but polite and kind to you, and you sit and simmer quietly, getting ready to boil over about things so miniscule.

Sounds like you are the one with the issue, and not her. Have a little more class and be a little more gracious and understanding. Rather than sounding "Elegant", you sound like a sour old lady who is upset someone younger, fresher, and happier than you is hanging about.

Grow up.


Nov 27, 2012
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There is something really wrong with you...
by: This girl is nuts.

Are you serious?
You are probably one of the most childish people I have ever come across in my entire life.

I have been called worse things, that is for sure.

I think you need to look at her intention when she calls you this. Is the intention good, or is it bad? It sounds to me like this woman has been nothing but polite and kind to you, and you sit and simmer quietly, getting ready to boil over about things so miniscule.

Sounds like you are the one with the issue, and not her. Have a little more class and be a little more gracious and understanding. Rather than sounding "Elegant", you sound like a sour old lady who is upset someone younger, fresher, and happier than you is hanging about.

Grow up.


Nov 19, 2012
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Just say no
by: Anonymous

I come to this issue as an aging feminist. I DO have a problem with strangers and people I know only superficially using terms of endearment with me. I have spent my adult life, first empowering myself and now in empowering other women. And, yes, there are still many women in our world who do not "own" their own power. Not power over others, power over self.

I find the terms sweetie, et al, belittling, therefore disempowering.

I was also interested in the fact that the people who wrote in defense of the practice seemed angry and defensive themselves.

As a psychologist, I encourage people to speak up when something bothers them, preferably using "I" messages ("I have a problem with being called sweetie . . .. I prefer to be called by name." I know myslef. If I DON'T speak up, I tend to build resentment." So, Anne, for what it's worth, I think you did the right thing. I recommend you continue to repeat it until she gets it!

Oct 24, 2012
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using terms of endearment inappropriately
by: Jan

Hi - I was so glad to find this lovely website. I have been called 'Doll', 'Sweetpea', 'Honey', and 'Sweets' by my step son. This is a later life remarriage for me and his father. We rocked the boat when we married. My husband said that none of them ever wanted him to get married. I feel that the person who posted that it is a subtle form of abuse is absolutely right. I feel that this step son does not love me. I also have noticed that he does not use this language toward his father or any other person I have been with him in the presence of. Just me! In two out of three incidences, he was in contention with me on an issue. The last time when he used 'Sweets' and 'Honey' in the same telephone conversation he was not upset with me. I do not know how to deal with this. He is one out five children who is decent to my husband so I do not want to ruin that for him. However, I do NOT want to be called these names. I am about to resort to calling him 'DOLLY BOY' and see how he likes it.

What do you all think? I think considering that he does not love me, and maybe does not even like me, this is severely inappropriate and sexist, not to mention disrespectful.

Oct 24, 2012
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using terms of endearment inappropriately
by: Jan

Hi - I was so glad to find this lovely website. I have been called 'Doll', 'Sweetpea', 'Honey', and 'Sweets' by my step son. This is a later life remarriage for me and his father. We rocked the boat when we married. My husband said that none of them ever wanted him to get married. I feel that the person who posted that it is a subtle form of abuse is absolutely right. I feel that this step son does not love me. I also have noticed that he does not use this language toward his father or any other person I have been with him in the presence of. Just me! In two out of three incidences, he was in contention with me on an issue. The last time when he used 'Sweets' and 'Honey' in the same telephone conversation he was not upset with me. I do not know how to deal with this. He is one out five children who is decent to my husband so I do not want to ruin that for him. However, I do NOT want to be called these names. I am about to resort to calling him 'DOLLY BOY' and see how he likes it.

What do you all think? I think considering that he does not love me, and maybe does not even like me, this is severely inappropriate and sexist, not to mention disrespectful.

Jul 30, 2012
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You people are ridiculous
by: Layla

Seriously? You are offended if some Southerner calls you 'Hon.'
"It's so offensive."
"They are so unprofessional."
"It's so irritating."
Give me a break. You all sound like a bunch of uptight idiots. Get over yourselves, and be glad they didn't call you something more appropriate, like "uptight bit*!" or "ass*&le."
Have a nice day sweetie!

Jul 15, 2012
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Letting someone know how you wish to be addressed
by: Jim B

My wife and myself frequent a nearby restaurant and are often waited upon by a young lady (21-22) who chooses to use all of the names referred to in the other comments. Maybe it is the erosion of social protocall that seems to be occuring in our society but we (67 and 72 YOA) find it very inappropriate. She has served us previous summers and knows our first names and up till this season used them. Something must have happened with her that she now feels so in need to project this way of greeting us and others and I can only think she is unaware of how it detracts from her otherwise personable manner. I then tried to come up with a soulution that would accepted as it is meant, not judgemental but letting her know the preference we have for our names to used as opposed to the endearment titles. As she reffered to me as usual I replied very nicely that I was suprised she forgot our names. As she stated very nicely that she hadn't I responded that we were happy that she hadn't forgotten and how we really prefer them as opposed to Sweetie etc. I complimented her on her name and she accepted our request. Next visit I said Hi (her name) and she nicley replied Hi Sweetheart. I smiled and said our names and she apologized and said she is so used to doing it it's automatic. I nicely said we were willing to help her use our names as she "forgets" and at this writing I have the feeling we can convert her. Let's see what happens.

Mar 20, 2012
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These people are well meaning 97% of the time. What about you?
by: Anonymous

I think sad that so many people are so are worked up over word...who has control issues. Why, are you so bothered by people who are addressing you in kind, they could and should just ignore you. Grow up, suck it up...not everything revolves around you. Its fine by me if someone is pleasant...at least they are triing.

Feb 08, 2012
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Not sure how to react
by: Tooth Doctor

I had a flight attendant call me "hun" recently. I am a 45-year-old woman. I realized she had a southern accent and figured it is what those Southern women do. Today I went for a pre-employment physical for my new job (I am a dentist) and the nurse called me darlin twice. This is Rockford, Illinois--not the deep South! She had no southern accent. I half wanted to say "That's Dr Darlin to you" or "You don't have to call me Darlin, Darlin; you can just call me Doctor!" But I didn't say anything because I thought that it would come across as pompous. Just wondered what it was that made her feel like she could call a total stranger darlin without knowing anything about them. This discussion is fascinating. I save pet names for my dog and my son (When I use names like "Sweet Pea" for my dog and my son it is because I love them so much and I am so close to them). I do not call my boyfirend pet names often and never my mother and never my father. I feel that it would be degrading/disrespectful to call my mother a name like that. It would be treating her like a child. That's my take on it. When I was in Japan, I knew a woman who called her husband Sensei (he was a doctor). I thought that was so respectful and sweet at the same time.

Jan 24, 2012
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My two cents
by: Anonymous

This has been a pet peeve of mine for many years, but coming from the northeastern US this particular form of sexism wasn't so prevalent. Having lived in FL for many years now I find it much more common, and at my (female) doctor's office its use is ubiquitous, tacked on literally to every sentence spoken to me by the staff.

Once when a supermarket cashier was addressing the man ahead of me as "sir" but switched to "hon" when she addressed me, I asked her why she did that. Of course she took offense and she then corrected herself and called me "ma'am" in an exaggerated tone. I told her that it was not that I had a great need to be addressed formally but that I wanted her to think about what that says about her own attitude—why does she grant the male the respect of the formality but the female not? Whether or not it made an impression I'll never know.

I didn't appreciate it when I was a young woman addressed that way by older men in a business setting (who, thanks to the women's movement, learned that it was not politically correct) or older women, and I don't appreciate it now that I am in my 60's, particularly when it is done by younger women who, in a business setting, should know better, southern cultured or not.

Dec 04, 2011
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Being called sweetie pisses me off
by: Anonymous

I am from a big city and that was popular about 10 years ago and I found it annoying then. I moved to a small town and apparently they think its the thing to do here. When I go to the convenience store they call me "honey"...when I take my dog to the vet..they call me "swetie" The way I see it these women have no self esteem and it makes them feel better to call others "such endearing terms" I think its extremely rude and very annoying

Sep 22, 2011
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Forgetful about names?
by: J.R.

Hello Anne.
I thought I'd throw in my own two cents.
Personally, I am terrible with names and because I work with children, I can get away with calling them "kiddo" when I forget. So I'm just wondering, maybe this woman has such a terrible time with names that she uses pet names instead.

Aug 26, 2011
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Honey, sweetie, etc.
by: Anonymous

I'm also guilty of the same with females only. So do all my family, friends, and even when I go to the store or someplace in public, I'll hear it from the salespeople. Doesn't bother me at all. However, I recently started a new job. There is a young lady in the office that has been training me. I'm 55 and I know she is younger than me by at least 10 years. She was really stressed out today as she was by herself in the office and I felt bad that I needed to take up her time to ask her some questions about what I was working on. I must have said something like, "oh, that's ok, don't worry about it right now, sweetie, I know you're busy". Well, she shot back in her chair and said, "You know, you really have to stop with the honeys and sweeties and dears. It's a pet peeve of mine to be called that and it makes me feel very defensive". Well, I apologized and told her that I had no intention of offending her. I told her that I knew I said it alot and that it was probably a bad habit to say it all the time. I also told her that I say it so frequently that I am not even aware of half the time of saying it. I then told her that she had my permission to point it out to me the next time I said it and that I will do my best to not use those words with her in the future. Now, I didn't say this to her but do you want to know what I really think after having thought about it all day??? I think the way she approached me was much more condenscending than any "huns" or "dears" that I ever threw her way. My intent was never to offend, but what she said and how she said it was intentional and it really did hurt my feelings. She could have approached me in a different way. Also, the fact that she was SO offended is more about her problem than mine. Very judgemental individual is my impression of her from here on out. I'll do my best to monitor myself when I speak with her. Since I don't use those words with people I don't like, males, or people I don't respect, I'll now think of her as an old drunken sailor whenever I speak to her.....My advice, Ann, is to just approach the young lady differently and acknowledge to her that you know that she probably doesn't even know how much she says it and that she doesn't mean to offend anyone. Then just point it out to her when she says it, repeating what she says almost jokingly. Precede it by saying, "oh, there goes, you called me....again". I know I say it a lot more when I'm stressed and don't even really realize it. Perhaps the same is happening to her.

Aug 12, 2011
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Gulity as charged, sweetie!
by: Anonymous

You will all hate this, but I am guilty of the honey, sweetie, darling talk. I am 50 and have been doing this for most of my life - yes, I know you all are cringing - it makes me cringe a little too realize that you all hate it so much. I was raised by a very southern belle. These words are part of our vocabulary and are considered terms of endearment. I don't say them to just anyone, would never use them to speak to my boss, minister, police officer, President Obama, kids' teachers, etc. If I use one of these words when speaking to you, it is because I like you very much, value your friendship, am happy I work with you, and think you a great deal of you. I mean no harm or disrespect, and would rather die than insult you. Going forward, I will try my best to refrain from this form of speaking as it seems to offend so many people, but promise me that you will give it a second thought when someone says it to you and consider that they think you are a very special person in their eyes. "-)

Jun 22, 2011
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Problems about words Honey and Darling
by: Anonymous

I'm a woman .. i have boyfriend name is Willie Worthy.. he works at Torrance memorial hospital pcu 7.. one day i hear my boyfriend talk with nurse in his phone because he bye to me but forget turn off his phone so i hear my boyfriend said to nurse woman Honey and that girl said to my boyfriend Darling..and i hear they talk together very sweet and finally i hear that girl talk to my boyfriend very clearly that " you use phone for internet.. and i hear my boyfriend and that girl laugh together very happy..and not so long my boyfriend say hello in phone and i said i hear every things.. he said he called the patient 90 years Honey ..and i wanted talk with that patient and he ok but the voice diffrent from that girl and i ask over and over about that girl and he answer me that her name is Lynda .. she is travel nurse go to Torrance hospital that day and i still ask him about the relationship with Willie and Lynda travel nurse .. he said just greeting but the voice of them very sweet together and he told me he shall go to marry with me in this December but we still talking about Lynda why my boyfriend called her Honey and she called Willie Worthy is Darling and i called to ask many nurses in his work about Lynda travel nurse .. every one know about her.. and Willie Worthy ever let some woman explain me about the Words Honey and Darling i understand it just nice greeting and i asked that woman that she know Lynda travel nurse or not?? she said know Lynda and she has husband already and my boyfriend said he meet Lynda not often if he meet Lynda again he let me talk to her and finally we give up marriage because he tell me today that he make name of Lynda for let me stop to asked him in that day so i confuse that so long time i called very often to his work and every nurses said they know about Lynda travel nurse go to that hospital in that day and she marriage already and every one in his work talk to me very nice and know i call from where and i am Willie's girlfriend and today Willie Worthy said he makes name of Lynda in that day ..it about 4 months we talk about Lynda but today Willie said make name of Lynda and the truth is he did not know that nurse who he calls Honey what is her name??? every one read my letter and maybe laugh because Willie big lie to me and i don't know what words he lies what words he said truth so i give up to marry with him and this is my truth about words Honey and Darling make me still single don't marry with Willie but i'm ok because the voice of Lynda and Willie very sweet i recorded the sound which i hear in phone to listen very often and he said he doesn't close to Lynda but Lynda said Willie use phone for internet and laugh together very happy but Willie said not close to Lynda and not let Lynda see the phone too .. very funny .. i beg everyone's pardon for read my letter but this is the probleams which words Honey and Darling in feeling not just greeting.

May 20, 2011
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Stop calling me honey at work
by: Anonymous

Anne, I totally agree with you, and I am being called honey, sweetheart, sweet, and darling, while at work. Can you not talk to the manager who over heard you, and tell him the problem is still going on. Maybe he can talk to her, and tell her several people have complained about her manner at work. Mention you have politely asked her to call you by your name.

Dec 19, 2010
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I am having this problem right now
by: Anonymous

I have an employee who does the exact same thing and I am the owner of the business. I believe the habit comes because the person is in an abusive relationship and she uses this kind of language as avoidance behavior. Even though I understand it, it annoys me terribly. I have no solution.

Apr 06, 2010
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Sugar Coated Bully the worst kind!
by: Anonymous

Anne, does she do that to everyone or just you? It is a very subtle form of bullying and then she can play innocent and pretend she is confused that you would be offended by such endearing names. So very condesending of her to speak to a women of more maturity and experience in such a phony manner.

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