Several people around the world use terms of endearment with almost everyone they meet. One such term of endearment is babe and depending on the situation, the question is how to respond to it.
If you don’t mind being called Babe, you don’t have to respond. If you prefer to be addressed differently, you must communicate it directly and clearly. For example: “I love you, but I don’t like it when you call me babe.”
You Like Terms of Endearment
Some people like terms of endearment. They use them right throughout the day with everyone they meet. If you fall in this category, you probably don’t mind when someone calls you babe.
You may expect it. You may feel that using the term endearment smooths the way in your interactions with other people. For example, you may use terms of endearment when you’re speaking to customers.
However, if you do, bear in mind that you should be alert to any hints that a customer is uncomfortable with that, whether they’re in a restaurant or at the beach.
You may also feel that it helps to build an immediate connection between you and another person. If you feel happy when someone uses an affectionate term with you, still be alert to their preferences.
By far, many people would agree that a term of endearment belongs in an intimate relationship.  It’s common for both men and women to call their partner by the following terms:
Some people exclusively use these terms with their significant other. A common variation of this is also the term “bae”. However, some people use it within the wider society as well. Some may even use it with strangers.
In case your significant other use the term, you can let them know you appreciate it if you do. 
If you don’t like it for some reason, just be upfront and let them know.
You could say:
“I love you so much, but I despise it when you refer to me as babe.”
“Whenever you call me babe I’m reminded of a particular setting that I don’t like.”
“I’m not a big fan of the word babe.”
If you like terms of endearment but prefer another term you could say:
“Honey, babe isn’t my favorite term of endearment. I know you’re just using it to show affection but is there another way you could do that?”
“Darling, for some reason babe just rubs me the wrong way. Could you call me by some other pet name?”
“Hon, I don’t like the word babe at all. I want you to find another sweet name for me.”
By using a term of endearment in the statements above, you’re showing your partner that you’re not opposed to those terms in general. You just don’t like being called babe.
You Don’t Like It
You might not like terms of endearment. You’re your person and you’re within your rights to speak up for what you want. You don’t have to answer to any name that doesn’t make you feel comfortable.
If you don’t like terms of endearment, you’ll have to let the people around you know that they should call you by your proper name.
You could do this with a serious tone or you could deliver the same message with a bit of humor.
As the song by Janet Jackson goes, “My first name ain’t baby. It’s Janet. Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty.”
Quote the song with your name if you want to have a little fun with the other person. You could also say:
“I don’t answer to babe, Mrs. Yardley. My name is Greg.”
“The last time I checked, D-A-V-I-D was pronounced David.”
“Nope. My parents didn’t name me babe.”
Sometimes, correcting people about things that you don’t like is a waste of energy, especially if you’re never going to meet them again. Choose your battles wisely.
You’re not obligated to correct every single person who calls you babe, even if you don’t like it. It’s perfectly okay to just ignore them if you don’t like it and move on with your life.
This is particularly true if someone you don’t know uses this term to call you or try to get your attention for no good reason while you’re walking on the street. You’re not obligated to pay any attention to them.
If the same strangers keep calling you along your route to work or another place that you visit frequently it might sometimes be beneficial to stop and let them know that you don’t appreciate being referred to that way. However, you’re not obligated to do that. It’s also not a good idea to do that with everyone.
Many workplaces have policies that prevent employees from using terms that might make their coworkers feel uncomfortable. These policies apply to both men and women.
While terms of endearment are supposed to convey affection, sometimes they’re used by men and women in a way that can come across as patronizing or condescending. In many cases, it’s all about the tone.
If you don’t like it when a coworker or supervisor addresses you with babe you can speak to them about it. If they do it in front of other people in an embarrassing way, you can hold your composure and politely remind them that in line with company policy, you prefer to be addressed by your surname. 
If that’s just their way and they don’t mean to be embarrassing or aren’t intentionally trying to diminish your position in front of others, you can speak to them about it in private. Let them know that you realize they don’t mean any offense but you would like them to address you by your surname.
Most people who did not mean any offense will adjust their behavior if they realize that it makes them uncomfortable. However, it’s important to convey your wishes in a polite and respectful tone. Sometimes people can react more to how something is said than what’s being said.
Sophie Hammond is a journalist, psychologist, and freelance speechwriter for people in politics and business. She lives on the edge of the Rocky Mountains with her dog and a lifetime supply of books. When she’s not writing, she can be found wandering through nature or journaling at a coffee shop.