Sharing is caring!

Names are more than just words. They identify who we are, where we come from, and often carry deep personal meanings. 

So, when someone calls us by a different name or uses a name to tease or insult, it can hurt. Many of us have experienced name-calling at some point in our lives, and it’s never a pleasant experience.

Now, you might wonder, “Why do people call names?” Some believe it’s a way to show power or to make themselves feel better. But in reality, name-calling is a sign of weakness. 

It shows that a person might be struggling with their feelings or doesn’t know how to express themselves properly.

This article will explore why resorting to name-calling is not a sign of strength but rather an indication that someone is either emotionally weak. 

1. Insecurity on Display

One major root of name-calling lies in insecurity. People often resort to belittling others to elevate themselves, even if just momentarily. By tearing someone else down, they aim to feel superior or divert attention from their own insecurities.

Think of someone who’s unsure about their standing in a group. They might call another person names to get a few laughs and feel more secure in their position. 

But deep down, this behavior often reflects more about the name-caller’s internal struggles than the person they’re targeting. 

2. Lack of Communication Skills

Effective communication isn’t just about talking; it’s about expressing thoughts, feelings, and concerns in a way that can be understood and respected. Someone who frequently resorts to name-calling often lacks these crucial communication skills.

Instead of articulating their disagreement or disappointment, they default to name-calling as a crude tool. It’s like using a sledgehammer for a job that requires precision. 

This approach not only halts meaningful conversation but also shuts down opportunities for mutual understanding.

[Related: 5 Major Signs of An Emotionally Immature Adult]

3. A Struggle with Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence involves recognizing, understanding, and managing our own emotions while also being considerate of others’. 

Name-calling signifies a lapse in this domain. It suggests that the individual struggles with managing their emotions, resorting to an outburst instead.

Picture someone who, after a bad day, takes out their frustration on a barista, labeling them “incompetent” over a minor mistake. 

This behavior doesn’t necessarily mean they believe the barista is genuinely incompetent. Rather, it’s an eruption of their own accumulated stress and emotions.

4. The Emotional Escape

Name-calling isn’t just an outburst; often, it’s an emotional escape. Instead of addressing a problem or expressing feelings in a constructive way, name-calling serves as a shortcut. 

It’s a way of avoiding genuine conversation and understanding. By resorting to name-calling, a person can momentarily feel powerful without dealing with the actual issue at hand.

Imagine two friends having a disagreement. One could articulate their feelings, explaining their perspective. Instead, they choose to call the other “stupid”. The conversation stops dead, and the underlying issue remains unresolved. 

[Interesting: 7 Deadly Signs of an Immature Man]

5. Reflecting Internal Turmoil

Oftentimes, name-calling is a manifestation of internal turmoil. Someone who’s unhappy, stressed, or facing personal issues might lash out at those around them. 

The world can be a tough place, and everyone has their battles. However, taking out frustrations on others, especially through name-calling, is counterproductive. It doesn’t solve any problems, and it creates new ones in the process. 

6. A Desperate Need for Control

People often use name-calling as a tactic to gain control over a situation or person. By assigning a derogatory label, the name-caller tries to diminish the other person’s value or credibility. It’s a low blow, really, aiming directly at one’s self-worth.

Consider an argument between two colleagues. One of them might start name-calling to gain the upper hand, making the other person feel smaller. It’s a power play. 

Instead of discussing the issue, they divert attention and try to dominate the conversation.

Such behavior often stems from a person’s own feelings of inadequacy. Name-calling becomes a defense mechanism, a way to feel in charge, even if it’s just for a fleeting moment.

[Interesting: 10 Signs Someone Is Emotionally Damaged]

7. Lack of Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Those who resort to name-calling often struggle with this. 

They fail to consider how their words might impact the other person, focusing solely on their own emotional release.

Imagine a student frustrated with a teacher’s assignment. Instead of asking for help or expressing their confusion, they might label the teacher as “unfair” or “dumb”. 

In doing so, they ignore the teacher’s intentions and the effort put into the lesson plan.

This isn’t just about being inconsiderate. It shows a genuine gap in understanding human emotions and connections. 

A pattern of name-calling hints at an inability, or at least a reluctance, to step into someone else’s shoes.

8. Using Deflection

name calling is a sign of weakness

Name-calling can be a form of deflection. The name-caller shifts attention away from their own shortcomings or the actual topic of discussion. 

Hoping to change the direction of the conversation entirely, they introduce a new narrative.

Take a sports team, for instance. A player who doesn’t perform well might call a teammate a “show-off” for scoring. Rather than acknowledging their own lack of contribution, they create a distraction, pointing fingers elsewhere.

This tactic is an evasion strategy, dodging responsibility. While it might offer temporary relief to the name-caller, it does nothing to address the real issues at play.


The next time someone calls you a name, try to remember that it’s not about you, but about their own struggles. And if you ever feel the urge to call someone else a name, take a deep breath and think about why you’re feeling that way. Name-calling doesn’t help anyone and only shows weakness. 


What does name calling say about a person?

Name-calling often reflects more on the person dishing it out than the one receiving it. At its core, it’s a sign of frustration, a lack of effective communication skills, or even personal insecurities. 

People who resort to this might be dealing with their own issues and use name-calling as a sort of escape or defense mechanism. 

What is name calling a symptom of?

Name-calling can be a symptom of various things. In some cases, it might indicate low self-esteem. Someone might use derogatory terms to bring others down, hoping it’ll lift them up in comparison. 

In other situations, it could signal poor communication skills or an inability to express feelings and frustrations constructively. There’s also a possibility that it’s a result of stress or personal turmoil, leading someone to lash out as a coping mechanism.

What are reasons to avoid name calling?

Avoiding name-calling is vital for maintaining healthy relationships and effective communication. Words have power, and negative ones can leave lasting emotional scars. 

And, name-calling halts genuine conversation. Instead of addressing the issue at hand, it shifts focus and can escalate conflicts. Remember, meaningful dialogue involves understanding and respect, and name-calling simply stands in the way of both.

How do you deal with people who call you names?

As mentioned, name-calling often says more about the person doing it than about you. Stay calm and avoid retaliating with more name-calling, as this can only escalate the situation. Instead, set boundaries. 

Politely, but firmly, let the person know that such behavior is unacceptable. If necessary, distance yourself from consistent offenders. Always prioritize your mental and emotional well-being.

What are the side effects of name-calling?

Name-calling doesn’t just evaporate into thin air. It can have real, tangible side effects. For the person on the receiving end, it can lead to decreased self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness, and even depression. 

For relationships, it creates a toxic environment, eroding trust and mutual respect. And for the one doing the name-calling, it can create a cycle of negativity, where they continually push people away, further isolating themselves. 

Words can build, but they can also destroy.

  • All photos from

Website Profile Pics 4
Destiny Femi

Destiny Femi is a dating coach whose work has helped transform the love lives of countless people. With a writing style that is both insightful and relatable, Destiny has amassed a following of hundreds of thousands of readers who turn to him for advice on everything from finding the perfect partner to maintaining a healthy relationship. Through his articles he has inspired people around the world to become more confident, authentic, and successful in their dating life.

Sharing is caring!