OOPS! I FORGOT YOUR NAME
Do you know what to do when you forget someone’s name?
Have you ever enjoyed a great conversation with someone you just met, but you forget their name the moment you walk away? Ugh, this feels so embarrassing and is so common.
What do you do? Do you pretend like you know it and just skip using their name? Do you tell them that you forgot? Do you run the other way to avoid speaking to them altogether?
Remembering names is a challenge. Sometimes we are distracted, tired, or didn’t fully hear the person’s name when we met. It takes time and repetition for a name to get stored in our long-term memory.
What should you do when you encounter someone that you have met before but your mind blanks on their name? Please do not avoid them. The other person will notice and think that you don’t like them. Pretending that you remember their name is also not a good strategy. While it may be uncomfortable to confess that you forgot, it is worse to repeatedly pretend that you know their name and then get caught.
What should you do?
Smile warmly and say, “Please remind me of your name.” It is that simple! If you remember where you met, you could also say, “It was so great to meet you at the charity event last week. Could you please remind me of your name?”
Another strategy is to try reintroducing yourself while acknowledging that you have met before. For example, “Hello, I’m Deborah King. We met at the chamber event last month.” The other person might have forgotten your name as well and will breathe a sigh of relief as they respond by sharing their name again.
Be kind! Names can be tricky. Be quick to share your name if you think it was forgotten. Using people’s names is a powerful tool that will help you be remembered well. Being kind about it will make all the difference.