People address people with Sir/Ma for different reasons. It could be respect, sarcasm or even flirting.
If someone has recently called you sir, you may have some concerns, especially if you’re not much older than them or you’re not their boss.
In this article, I’ll roll out 11 different reasons why people call you sir. Also, I’ll discuss what you can do when people call you sir. In the end, you’ll know why what people call you is important.
11 Reasons Why People Call You Sir
As I’ve stated earlier, there are different reasons why people call you sir. First, people believe addressing people with this title is a sign of respect.
However, you’ll discover in this article that people have different reasons for calling people, “sir.”
For instance, people can call you “sir” because they don’t know your name or to keep things formal between you two. Also, someone might call you “sir” in an attempt to please you or to flirt with you.
In addition, someone might you call you this title because they’re intimidated by you, they’re sarcastic, or because you’re their boss.
That being said, let’s dive into the different reasons people call you “sir.”
- It’s a Sign of Respect
- You Are Their Boss
- You Are Older
- You Are a Stranger
- They Are Being Sarcastic
- They Are Flirting
- They Want to Keep Things Formal
- They Are Intimidated By You
- They Want to See Your Reaction
- They Are Being Playful
- They Are Trying to Please You
It’s a Sign of Respect
One of the common reasons people address others with titles is respect. If people call you “sir” it’s probably because they respect you.
There are various reasons why people accord you this respect. Are they your children? Then, that’s one of the ways they show their respect.
Also, if you’re older or you’re their employer or in higher authority, then they feel calling you by your name is disrespectful.
However, you don’t have to be all these things before someone will show respect. Naturally, people will respect a philanthropist or a popular person.
So, if you’re popular for being kind or probably a celebrity, you’re going to find many people that’ll address you as “sir” because they respect you and what you represent.
You Are Their Boss
Another common reason why people will address you as “sir” is because you’re their boss.
Except employers tell them not to, employees will address them or someone in higher authority as “sir” or “ma.”
Some do it for respect, some do it out of fear, some do it just because they’re the boss, and some even do it sarcastically.
For instance, if your employee keeps responding with “yes sir,” “okay sir,” or “noted sir,” you might want to check their tone because most of the time “respect” is the last thing they feel for you.
You Are Older
If you’re an elderly person or way older than the person addressing you as “sir,” then that’s likely one of the reasons they do so.
In many cultures, addressing an elderly person by their name is termed “disrespect.” So, people may address you by this title because you’re older than them.
You Are a Stranger
If you’re meeting someone for the first time and they don’t know your name, they’re likely to address you as “sir.”
It’s not out of the ordinary when someone trying to call your attention says, “Hello, sir.” They do this because they don’t know your name or to be polite.
For instance, the receptionist or anyone in an establishment might welcome you or address you with “sir” because they don’t know your name and also to be polite.
They Are Being Sarcastic
Another reason why someone might call you “sir” is to be sarcastic. When someone calls you sir, it may seem like a sign of respect, but if you watch their tone carefully, you’ll hear mockery and insincerity.
You may be the boss, but respect is the last thing they feel when they address you as “sir.”
Or if they’re your colleague but you’ve been placed in a higher position, they may begin calling you “sir” sarcastically because they’re jealous. So, watch out for their tone and body language to know if they’re being sarcastic.
They Are Flirting
One of the reasons a lady might address you as “sir” is to flirt with you.
There are many different ways ladies flirt to get the attention of the man they want. If she calls you “sir” watch her tone. Does it sound suggestive?
How does she act around you? If she’s flirting you’ll see other signs, like touching you, dressing provocatively, or staring boldly at you. Also, if she called you sir in the club or at a party, she’s likely flirting.
They Want to Keep Things Formal
Another reason why people address you as “sir” is to keep things formal between the both of you. Perhaps you’re getting too friendly, they might get worried and begin addressing you as “sir” to set boundaries.
Or perhaps you’re showing interest they don’t want, they can begin calling you this title to spell it loudly that they’re not interested.
This attitude is very common in a workplace where you’re becoming too friendly as the boss or an older person. Or with ladies that have no interest in you.
They Are Intimidated By You
One of the reasons someone might call you sir is because they’re intimidated by you and not because they like or truly respect you.
If you’re their boss or an older person, their reasons for showing respect might be intimidation and fear.
So, check how you behave with them, and check your tone with them; if you’re always rude and harsh, they’re likely to become scared of you.
They Want to See Your Reaction
If someone wants to see your reaction they will do things to provoke that reaction. So, one of the reasons someone might call you “sir” is to see how you’ll respond to it.
Perhaps they don’t know how you’ll feel by being addressed by your name or they don’t know what to call you, so they might try “sir” to get your reaction.
In this case, they’d watch for your reaction to see if it’s something you like or not.
They Are Being Playful
A playful person might call you “sir” to show their playful side. If they’re your friend, your wife, siblings, colleagues, or even your children, they’re likely calling you this title to tease you.
If it’s the case they’re only playing with you, you’ll hear it in their voice. There won’t be fear or mockery, just playful teasing.
They Are Trying to Please You
Another reason why someone might call you “sir” is because they’re trying to please you. Maybe they want to get into your good books, and they address you as “sir” just to show you the respect you want.
These people will act submissively, trying to do anything you want to get your attention.
What to Do When People Call You Sir
There are different things you can do when people call you sir. If you don’t like the title, you can tell them to stop addressing you with the title.
Also, you can ignore them if you think they’re being sarcastic or flirting, or just trying to get into your good books.
However, if you’re okay with the title you can respond accordingly. You can also flirt in response to someone flirting with you to show your interest.
Tell Them to Stop
One of the things you can do when people address you as “sir” is to tell them to stop if you don’t like it.
Whether they’re older, they’re the boss, or some good people, not everyone will appreciate being addressed as “sir.” Many believe that this title should only be reserved for knights.
Also, if you think the respectful act they’re putting on is a charade, you can warn them to stop.
So, if you don’t like it or you think they’re insincere, you can tell your employee, your children, your friend, or anyone to stop.
Another thing you can do when someone addresses you as “sir” is to ignore them. If you’ve warned them to stop and they keep on with it, you can ignore them whenever they use the title with you.
Ignoring them should push them to stop the use of the title. Also, you can ignore someone who calls you sir sarcastically, or ignore someone flirting if you’re not interested in them.
Doing so will show them that they’re not getting to you.
If you’re okay with people calling you “sir,” then you should respond accordingly. If your employees greet you with the title, respond naturally.
If people come to you with “hello, sir,” respond like you’ll respond when they address you by your name. This way you’re encouraging them to continue because you’re comfortable with it.
Flirt with Them
Another thing you can do when someone calls you “sir” is to flirt with them if they’re flirting.
If you notice a lady showing her interest in you by calling you “sir” and engaging in other flirting acts, you can return the gesture to show that you like her if you do.
For instance, if a lady approaches you with “hello, sir,” at the club and you can decipher her intention, you can respond with, “Hi, madam” while turning your full attention to her.
Also, you can meet her gaze and welcome her into your space.
Reasons Why What People Call You Is Important
The way you’re addressed is important. It shows others what you are and also gives you a feeling of being respected or loved.
Below I’ll elaborate more on why what people call you is important.
It Shows Your Status
Many people care about their status. It’s only a few that wouldn’t mind about their status, and so wouldn’t care if others address them by the right title.
However, what people call you is important because it lets others know who you are. For instance, apart from the pride a knight or a professor feels when people call them by their title, it’s also important on certain occasions.
If you’re a doctor, a chef, or other profession that displays your status, it’ll be nice if people address you by your title so others can know in case they want your services.
For example, if you’re in a neutral environment and someone addresses you as a chef, someone who needs a chef may walk up to you and engage you. This wouldn’t have happened if they’d called you only by your name.
It Depicts Respect
Another reason why what people call you is important is because it depicts respect. Most parents won’t appreciate their children calling them by their name to get that feeling of respect.
You can also know if someone respects you by what they call you. Someone giving you a nickname because of your size or character may likely not have respect for you.
It Depicts Love
Another reason why what people call you is important is because it depicts love. Many lovers call their partners endearing terms to show love and respect.
So, if your partner or loved ones give you cute nicknames, it gives a feeling that you’re loved and appreciated.
Summarily, it’s not only out of respect that people address you as “sir.” It could be to please you, flirt with you, or out of fear or mockery.
So, if someone calls you “sir” and you don’t appreciate it, you can tell them to stop or ignore them. You should also respond accordingly if you’re okay with it.