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I'm about 26 years old. I don't know my day of birth. I just know I was born in 1992 in either October or November, because I know the birth date of my cousin who is around 1 month younger than me. My parents never wrote my birth date anywhere. I was born at home so there are no written records. All my documents have a fake date, May 20th. Honestly, I don't like this date. October seems more realistic to me and hence I respect it more. Most of my friends know about both dates and this truth.

I want to share my happiness in my real birth month (October) on a specific date of my choice.

On social media, I've already published my date of choice in October. My friends (except my new colleagues, so it's more about new people I meet) seem to respect that, they wished me happy birthday on this date. Yet I feel embarrassed every year. I try to hide myself from October and May months, as I feel my friends will troll me for this by saying you have 2 birth dates in a year!

I want to tell my colleagues to celebrate my birthday in October, but I'm afraid they might feel I'm not being serious about it, that I'm manipulating my date of birth or be critical of me choosing a date that's not the one in my docs.

I'm willing to explain the true reason for picking October to celebrate my birthday, but it doesn't seem good to explain every person I meet the same story as it would seem tedious.

Given all that, how do I effectively explain to my colleagues that they should wish me a happy birthday on a different date?

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    Welcome to IPS! Right now your question is vague and unclear; you may want to add in your desired goal, e.g. How do I find out if they know that I have a fake birthdate on May 20 without directly asking them and potentially exposing the birthdate that they wouldn't otherwise know of? OR How do I tell my colleagues that I would appreciate if they wouldn't troll me on May 20? This way answers will then know to answer according to your goals. If you insist on asking how can you make yourself happy, then that is unfortunately off-topic on this site. – enlighten_me May 6 '18 at 6:24
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because unfortunately, this question appears to be asking “What should I do?”, which the community has determined to not be a good fit for Interpersonal Skills Stack Exchange. We can’t decide for you what to do; after you determine what you want to do, we can help you with your goal, but we can’t make these decisions for you. Sorry. – Arwen Undómiel May 6 '18 at 6:38
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    I was preparing an answer, when it occurred to me to ask: even though your parents didn't write down your birth date anywhere, they might be able to narrow it down for you - or even tell you the exact date. What did they tell you about your birth date? – Lawrence May 6 '18 at 6:48
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    I don't get how this is a problem. Why can't you tell them what happened? " It is about to happen again as my new colleagues in my new office will somehow know" I don't understand what that means. Also "I feel they will troll me" I do not understand that sentence in this context, could you explain? – Raditz_35 May 6 '18 at 8:55
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    I put this question on hold again, as on meta we agreed that it was off-topic. Please edit your post to be in scope of the site, asking for what to say or what to do in general is sadly not. If people want to discuss reopening this question and have reasons for why it should not be on-hold pending further edits, please see the meta link posted above and feel free to write your own answer. – Tinkeringbell May 15 '18 at 10:16
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In Australia, the Queen's birthday is celebrated on different dates in different states for historical reasons. This can generate some interesting discussion, but there is no animosity or awkwardness about this.

If even a country can officially celebrate the birthday of its Queen on different days, there should be no reason for someone in your situation to feel awkward about celebrating your birthday at a time closer to what you consider to be your real birthday. I haven't paid attention to when the Queen celebrates her own birthday, but it hasn't caused her to stop (some) people from officially celebrating or recognising it on a different date.

In the end, it's your birthday. Lots of people celebrate their birthday on a date different from the anniversary of their date of birth due to work or convenience. You ask:

Given all that, how do I effectively explain to my colleagues that they should wish me a happy birthday on a different date?

I don't think you should stop people from wishing you a happy birthday on the 'official' date - they're just being nice, and it'd be nice to accept the sentiment. If you have a birthday celebration on your preferred date in October, consider saying something like this without further explanation:

  • Please celebrate my birthday with me on (date in October).

If you want others to take the initiative to celebrate your birthday in October, just use the October date for your social media - it's as close as you can get to your true birthday, and it's more likely that your acquaintances rely on social media for birthday prompts than it is for them to remember your official date of birth from your passport or other official document.

If someone casually asks why you seem to have 2 birthdays, you can tell them that it was due to a mix-up historically. It's up to you whether you elaborate.

  • they're just being nice, and it'd be nice to accept the sentiment. Again, I don't want to admit to them that I have some feelings for May 20. So I'm more willing to say "Thank you but my birthday is on October N (date of my choice, they never know about it if it is right or wrong)" instead of "Thank you". There's a difference between these two, and I'm little serious about it. Would it be fine? – Vikas May 19 '18 at 2:48
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    @VikasKumar Yes, it's fine - so long as you're prepared for the natural follow-up questions regarding the two dates, especially about the 'official' one being wrong. – Lawrence May 19 '18 at 15:50
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First - I really feel for you. I think all people have a need to know certain basics to feel connected to life - like, who your parents are and when you were born. It helps us understand our identity internally.

Second - if this happened to one of my coworkers I'd be happy to celebrate their preferred birthday. Some people are really oblivious and probably won't even remember when you last celebrated a birthday. I'm guessing you're younger than me (by the time you hit 30 no one worries much about what their coworkers think of them). I personally would tell them the truth because I don't feel you should have anything to feel badly about.

However, if you aren't comfortable sharing this just make up something about how your culture or religion celebrates some extra day, or that you recommitted to a certain part of your faith that you abandoned previouslu and that it is so important to you now that you want to celebrate your birthday as this new date because it's the date you recommitted. People are nervous to ask about cultural stuff. But that sounds a little weird compared to the actual truth. So, decide what feels right to you.

I'm sorry you have to struggle with this. Something most of us never worry about.

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    Not my downvote, but making things up is how he got into this problem - someone made up the May date. He wants to celebrate something real; having a fake reason to do that doesn't seem apropos. – Lawrence May 6 '18 at 6:42
  • @Lawrence you are right. Hi Kathy. I don't have any problem in telling the truth to colleagues. I want to know is it bad or a good thing to celebrate on a different date, that is October even when you don't know the specific date, but you respect this month the more? I'm afraid my parents already made a mistake by writing May 20 in docs. Now I don't want to make another blunder, something for which I have to feel sad again in future. – Vikas May 6 '18 at 11:15
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    "I want to know is it bad or a good thing to celebrate on a different date" __ may I suggest that it is not so much a case of "bad or good" as just a matter of convenience for some parents @Vikas Kumar -- for you it is a matter of what you would like to do, and your friends would respect your wish -- being Indian I have seen many classmates born in June to December whose birthday was reported by their parents as April or May to "save a year" in school admission. – English Student May 13 '18 at 14:39
  • @EnglishStudent so there's no need to worry if I celebrate on a different month (October) provided that I accept this truth and handle this at my own? – Vikas May 15 '18 at 10:05
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    "so there's no need to worry if I celebrate on a different month (October) provided that I accept this truth and handle this at my own?" -- That's right @Vikas Kumar! – English Student May 15 '18 at 20:09
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You could try this:

I don't celebrate the anniversary of my birth in May. I know that's what's on the paperwork, but I like to celebrate [specific October date that you won't be changing again].

Some people celebrate their name-day, others their "gotcha" day - the anniversary of an adoption - and so on. It's probably best if you don't get into "my real birthday" and instead focus on wanting to celebrate on Oct 20th or whatever.

  • Just a heads-up: The question got edited quite a lot to add some details, and remove the off-topic questions of what to do/say. You might want to take a look at the new question and see if your answer needs to be adapted. – Tinkeringbell May 15 '18 at 17:40
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My grandfather actually faced a similar issue: He was born in Lithuania in the 1930s. Between the Nazis and the Soviets, and half the family getting killed in WWII, while the rest of the family scattered to the winds (none remained in Lithuania and survived), the documents of his birth got lost. His mother picked a random date for his birth, in March. It was not until the collapse of the USSR that my grandfather was able to gain access to synagogue records in the town where he was born, and find out his real birthday, in October. At which point he went and told everyone. Everyone was curious, supportive, and we're very happy to celebrate two birthdays.

What I'm getting at is, don't be afraid to tell people. You can be as open as you want - tell everything, or just state that you celebrate on your date of choice. (People are likely to ask why, but you can just say "long story" if you're not comfortable sharing. In fact, unless someone is close to you, "long story" is what they'd probably be more comfortable hearing.) Most people are not mean - there's no reason to assume anyone will troll you.

  • Just a heads-up: The question got edited quite a lot to add some details, and remove the off-topic questions of what to do/say. You might want to take a look at the new question and see if your answer needs to be adapted. – Tinkeringbell May 15 '18 at 17:40

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