I have a firstname which I like, however I prefer to be called by a different firstname in my life (which isn't on my ID Card), is that possible ? is there a way to announce it nicely to other people without looking like a freak? I live in France.
It is not uncommon for people to go by a different name from what is on their badge. Whenever you introduce yourself, just tell them your preferred name. If there are people who know you by your official name, at some point tell them "I never did mention it, but I usually go by Axel, not Andrew." Don't sweat over it - it really isn't a big deal.
is there a way to announce it nicely to other people without looking like a freak?
In my part of the world, this isn't at all uncommon.
I have a common first name, and often find that several co-workers have the same name. So to avoid confusion, I invite others to call me by my nickname.
I just say (in a friendly, casual manner) "My friends call me X". And I sign all my emails with my nickname as well. People catch on very quickly.
I also use a firstname that is different from my legal firstname. I introduce myself with the name I prefer to be called and use it in my signature in all of my professional emails.
If people already know you by your less preferred name, you can mention it next time they use your name.
Hey Robert, how was your weekend?
Hi Joe, I usually go by Bob. My weekend went well, I...
It's very common here for people born here but with a Chinese background to have a un-official western first name which they use exclusively. It was only when an airline couldn't find a colleagues reservation I discovered the actual name on their passport.
People with an Indian background tend to just shorten/simplify any complex first names.