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What To Do When You Forget Someone’s Name

Flickr user, Puchie_D

We’ve all been there. Someone walks up to you and addresses you by name, and you literally don’t have a clue what his or her name is.

That is an awkward moment every time. But the way we respond is sometimes even more awkward. Sometimes we can get away with a sentence that skips the whole name part. Something like,” Wow, how long has it been”? or, “Hey, what’s up”?? That does seem pretty obvious though.

You can turn the conversation quickly back on the other person and hope for the best. something like, “I can’t believe how great you look”. Most people would rather hear that than their name anyway.

If you’re with other people when the person walks up, you can just say, “This is Nancy and Liz” and hope the person uses their name to introduce themselves. That works, but it’s almost a flat out admission.

You could just admit it right away, but when you do that, there is no way to do it without feeling bad about it, and you know the other person isn’t feeling too good either.


Now don’t get me wrong, it’s literally impossible to remember everything, and with all the names, passwords codes and appointments we have to remember each day, it’s no surprise that we forget just about everything else, it’s just that it’s always awkward, and there seems to be no good answers…except maybe name tags.

Check out some expert advice on the topic from Miss Manners.

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