Jai, 37, and a media and communications creative also goes by her nickname and described a similar experience.
“A few months back, I worked for a client who would not call me Jai even though I and several colleagues insisted on more than one occasion. In the end I decided she was being deliberately rude.”
Dr Levine agrees. “If you have already told someone you don't want to be addressed in that way and have done it repeatedly, it can feel like the person is purposely trying to antagonise you,” she said. “It may, in fact, be passive aggressive.”
It isn’t just hurt feelings we have to worry about. Kate Smith, 36, who works in PR, described it as “highly embarrassing” when friends introduce her by her university nickname, “Smithers”.
“One friend is a big talent agent and I have been introduced to so many famous people as Smithers,” she said. “I keep trying to tell my friends to keep it in the inner circle. It brings up images of Smithers from The Simpsons
! What to do? How long will the name stick? Will I be an OAP called Smithers?”
Nicole Zangara, author of Surviving Female Friendships
, suggests a direct approach.
“Sit your friends down and tell them their friendship means a lot to you. Ask them if they could explain why they still use it. Then explain to them why it bothers or hurts you,” she said.
“If it were me and a friend asked me to stop calling her a nickname, I'd stop. Simple as that. If they're that stubborn about stopping, I'd really question the friendship.”
And indeed, that was where I had found myself. Twelve years on from the birth of “Frannie”, here we were, a group of adult women sitting in awkward silence around a table in Wahaca.
“Look,” I said, steeling myself. “I’m really serious about this. In fact, if you don’t stop calling me that… well, I won’t invite you to the wedding.”
If my friends were incredulous before, it was nothing compared to the expressions on their faces now. I was telling them to stop calling me by my nickname before I'd even shared the news of my engagement. What can I say? That's how serious I am about it. Madonna would understand.