Don’t Call Me Sweetie

Posted October 29, 2012 by Marcy Twete in On the Ladder

There’s an annoying trend in women’s professional interactions that has been driving me insane for a long time. It’s the tendency to call one another “honey, sweetie, darlin’, sweetheart.” And while I understand that it’s a term of endearment, it’s also become a substitute for remembering someone’s name.

So here are my ground rules for the honey, sweetie, darlin’ comments:

Don’t Call Me Sweetie If:

  • You’re calling me that because you forgot my name. I’m not dumb. I can hear that you’re being fake. Instead, have the courage to respectfully say, “I’m sorry. I can’t seem to remember your name. Tell me again so I can address you properly.”
  • You just met me. If we’ve never had cocktails together or you don’t know where I’m from, my husband’s name, etc. you shouldn’t be using a term of endearment like “honey” to address me.

Ok, I’ll Let One “Honey” Slide If:

  • We have a strong relationship that spans both personal and professional lives.
  • You’re saying hello and excited to see me, and you’ve already met the first criteria.
  • I’m sad, crying, or in a bad mood. I give you permission to say, “Honey, I’m sorry.”

Other than that, don’t call me sweetie! And don’t call other people sweetie either. We are grown women, we are professionals, and we can learn to use one another’s names properly and with care.


About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."