"Hi, great to see you, who are you?"
July 10, 2012 8:02 PM Subscribe
Which is best: asking an acquaintance "What's your name again?", hoping they don't notice you don't remember their name, or guessing their name and being wrong?
posted by escabeche to human relations (35 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I am bad with names. Really bad. There are people I've met a dozen times whose name I don't remember. My most frequent practice when I encounter one of these people is to hope that nothing comes up in conversation that requires me to reveal that I don't know their name -- or, in some cases, who exactly they are, beyond "somebody I've met a bunch of times who thus knows my name and reasonably expects me to know theirs." Other options include simply asking "Sorry, remind me your name?" I'll do this if intuition tells me I've only met the person once or twice, but if it's someone I see more frequently it just seems painful. Often I feel 80% confident I know the person's name and so I just come out with what I think it is. 20% of the time I'm wrong. This is also painful.
So: a) Forgetful people, what are best practices for gracefully managing the fact that you don't know who people are? b) Regular people, can you tell when the person you're talking to doesn't know your name / who you are? c) Is it more offensive when your forgetful friend pretends not to have forgotten your name, or when they call you by a name that isn't yours?