What to Do if You Forget Someone’s Name

Mindy Kaling says in her book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?:

“I don’t think it should be socially acceptable for people to say they are ‘bad with names.’” No one is bad with names. That is not a real thing. Not knowing people’s names isn’t a neurological condition; it’s a choice. You choose not to make learning people’s names a priority. It’s like saying, ‘Hey, a disclaimer about me: I’m rude.’”

But, here’s the thing, we are not always being rude when we forget people’s names.  Sometimes we were overwhelmed or in a situation where a lot of names were thrown at you… or maybe you were just blacked out at your company’s annual Christmas party. Either way, do not be embarrassed about forgetting someone’s name because here are the ways to ask for it again without blowing your cover:

  • If you are in a business situation, ask for their business card.
  • Ask them to put their number in your phone.  *Use caution with this on, do not do this if you are concerned it will be received creepily.
  • “How do you spell your name?” If their response is something like “A-m-y” or “J-a-c-k,” then quickly respond, “No, sorry, I meant your LAST name!”  You’re golden.
  • Ask for their e-mail address.
  • If you are in a social gathering of some type, introduce your friend to them and listen better this time.
  • Ask them if they have any nicknames or preferred names.
  • If all else fails, be honest about not remembering their name: “Hey, I am a dork, can you remind me of your name again?”  Everyone is human.

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