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How to Stop Worrying

Dealing with Rejection

Forgotten Someone’s Name? Use These Tricks.

Forgetting names is something that nearly everyone does at some stage.  I know I have been guilty of it a few times.   How awkward the situation becomes all depends on the person and how often you have met them before (and forgotten their name before).  Here are a few tricks to avoid that embarrassing social situations.
 

1. Tell them your name first. 
Someone is approaching you – you know the face, but not the name.  Try being the first to talk, smile and say “Hello, we’ve met before – I’m Dee”.  In most cases the other person will say there name too.  This works perfect in situations when you only met someone briefly because there is a change they also have forgotten your name.  Using this trick provides the person with your name also, without either of you having to admit you forgot names.

2.  The extra sneaky tricks.
Ask the person their name and after they tell you say “No, I ment your last name.”  Another option is to ask how they spell their name, now of course this can backfire if their name is something simple (like Dee).   

3.  Avoid saying names altogether.
There are situations where you do not want to admit you forgot a name.  If it is a name you should know and the consequences are too big then starting a conversation without any names is your best bet.  For example,  “Oh hi, how have you been?”  “Good to see you again, I was hoping you would be here”.  This also gives you a chance to remember their name as you talk. 

4.  Use the ‘introduce a friend’ trick.
“Hello, oh have you met my friend Jack?”  Jack then says hi and in most situations the person will introduce themselves to Jack.    If the person merely says “Hi Jack” then you can still say “I’m sorry, I have forgotten your name”.

5.  Darling so good to see you!
This trick is really a twist on avoid saying names altogether.  But instead you use a substitute where you would usually say their name.  Such as darling, honey, champ, sir, dude etc.  Not recommended at business events but can work at parties. 

6.   Ask someone else what their name is. 
If you are attending a party or networking event scan the room for familiar faces.  If you can’t place a name to a face then ask a friend who they are.  Now you know their name and are ready to greet them later.

7.   Be honest (short and simple).
If you are going to ask someone what their name is because you have forgotten add an apologize.   “I’m so sorry I can’t remember your name”  or “I’m sorry, what was your name again?”   A simple apology is all that is needed before launching into a conversation with them.  Or you could try something even simplier like “Can you remind me what your name is?” 

There are a bunch of sites here and here that have tips on how to remember people’s names so you’ll never have to use the tips in this post.   

And just in case you have forgotten.  Hi, I’m Dee – nice to meet you.  

 I love blog writing projects like this.  Daniel at daily blog tips is kind enough to host this writing project and the topic is ‘tips and tricks’.  Last time I added about 6 new blogs to my reader so I am looking forward to reading some great posts.

—– 

Or you could really impress people by knowing everyones name.  Memory Improvement Techniques  will show you how.

Comments

Comment from GnomeyNewt
Time September 12, 2007 at 10:51 pm

I love these tips! I have terrible time remembering names so this will help out a lot.

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Time September 14, 2007 at 6:45 am

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Comment from Anna
Time September 16, 2007 at 4:29 am

Hi Dee,

thanks for your great blog and I could not pass by this post as I myself is a bit guilty too when it comes to forgetting names (notwithstanding all my efforts).

I think that if one cannot remember the name of other person and it’s really impossible to find it out by asking other people then it’s better to be honest and ask the person to remind his or her name. Yes it’s extremely embarrassing and stupid situation. But avoiding using names is noticeable and that’s much more worse in my opinion. Honesty is better as that’s what trust is mainly based upon.

Best regards and please keep your blog going!

Anna

Comment from Sheila @ GoVisitHawaii
Time September 17, 2007 at 7:31 am

Very good tips. I have to admit, I blushingly use tip number 7 most often.

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Time September 19, 2007 at 10:48 am

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Comment from John
Time September 20, 2007 at 12:08 am

Nice tips Dee. I have an unusually large blind spot in my otherwise well functioning memory when it comes to remembering names.

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Comment from Jennifer F.
Time September 29, 2007 at 7:22 pm

These are great tips, thanks.

And here’s one NOT to try: a while back I thought I’d be really clever and ask someone (whose name I’d forgotten) how they spell their name. It was “Bill”. I was tempted to throw out something like, “No silent ‘H’?” but decided that maybe I should just shut up. :) Really embarrassing.

Comment from Dee
Time October 1, 2007 at 3:20 pm

Jennifer, that would be embarrassing :-) I had heard of that trick, but wasn’t sure how it work. I guess it doesn’t work too well if the person has a easy-to-spell name. :-)

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Comment from John Dee
Time October 16, 2007 at 3:26 am

Hey!…I Googled for john dee, but found your page about en Someones Name? Use These Tricks | don’t be shy…and have to say thanks. nice read.

Comment from Jack Dee
Time October 30, 2007 at 7:59 am

Hi there…Man i just love your blog, keep the cool posts comin..holy Tuesday

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Comment from kellik
Time January 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm

I guess it doesn’t work too well if the person has a easy-to-spell name.
These are great tips, thanks.

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