Awkward.

The daily awkward blog.

44. Forgetting someone's name

(Forgetting names. . . when they remember yours.)

I’ve always been good at remembering names. I don’t really have to try to do it, the name just sticks to me after they mention it the first time. Unfortunately, this always makes the other person feel awkward and I finally understand why!

The Barista at Starbucks remembered me from a social gathering somewhere. I didn’t remember her, her name, or even the place where I met her, yet she knew my name. Uh oh, I’m forgetting names. Instead of pretending that I already who she was and saying “Oh! Hey. . how’ve you been?” I was like “Oh, sorry I don’t remember you.” That’s when I realized that people avoid saying that at all cost, and that’s why they feel so awkward. Well, yeah . . . it is awkward.

How many of you have actually pretended to remember someone and acted like you’re never forgetting names?

“Hey, man. How are you?”

“What’s up dude! Long time.”

You avoid any type of conversation that would include his or her name, and just wait for the name to just end up being mentioned by someone else. Or wait to see if you can somehow spot the name on the person’s notebook. Or see if you steal their wallet and then check their I.D. (not advised). Oh, here’s a good one:

Me: Hey, so yeah man.. how do you spell your name again?

Man”: Uh, Andrew?

Me: Yeah, but you know . . how do you spell it? (awkward) Since there are so many different (awkward) spellings for a single name nowadays.

Andrew: Oh, right! A-N-D-R-E-W ha, ha!

Me: Cool, so it’s uh, normal. Cool.

PHEEW! Saved!  ..sort of.

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168 comments for “44. Forgetting someone's name

  1. June 15, 2011 at 7:13 am

    I usually just avoid using the person’s name until someone else mentions it… or I go ask someone else the name of that person 😛

    • June 15, 2011 at 10:52 pm

      Hahaha! Waiting for someone else to say it is a good technique :)

    • June 16, 2011 at 7:27 am

      Me too! haha

  2. June 16, 2011 at 7:18 am

    haha…this reminds of me the Seinfeld episode when Jerry forgot his girlfriend’s name Deloris!!

    I am usually pretty good with names, but the few times I do forget are awkward–especially if the other person remembers my name! 😀

    • June 16, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      I actually remember that episode!

      Thanks a lot for reading :)

      Edwin

  3. mairob
    June 16, 2011 at 7:18 am

    You could say, what was your name again?… and when they say their first name “Andrew”, you say… no, no Andrew, I meant your LAST name.

    • June 16, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      That, my friend, is perfection. Fail proof! I found my new technique.

      Thanks, mairob!

      Edwin

    • June 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      That one just might work!

    • June 16, 2011 at 11:36 pm

      mairob i like your idea very nice..

  4. June 16, 2011 at 7:20 am

    I can easy remember a face and also different numbercombinations.
    But I have problem to remember name

  5. June 16, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Ha! Great post. I have this trouble a lot, and my friends can’t stand it. I have a tendency to get mixed up between Lucy and Lisa. A bad mistake!

    By the way, I have a new post up about embarrassment, it’s humorous and satirical but also analytical, I would greatly appreciate your comments or feedback.
    http://muzzydaudonsports.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/well-this-is-embarrassing-3/

    Thanks, Muzzy

  6. June 16, 2011 at 7:21 am

    AWKWARD! Been there done that. What is worse in when someone has a baby and you don’t know if it is a boy or a girl. You can’t say “He is so cute” because you may be wrong, so you say “Such a cute baby” or something like that until you figure out from the colors it has on or something what it is.

    http://ginzotalk.wordpress.com

    • June 16, 2011 at 2:26 pm

      I just re-watched an episode of “The Office” where Pam says to a woman “She is so cute!” and the woman says “He’s a boy.” And Pam gets all awkward because he is wearing pink.. haha sorry, just had to throw that in there.

      I really like this comment, I hope its cool to add it to “The List” and link you on it :)

      Edwin

      • June 17, 2011 at 5:43 am

        Absolutely! My issue is that I am color blind, so that complicates matters for me.
        AWKWARD!!!!

        :)

  7. June 16, 2011 at 7:23 am

    I am the worst at remembering names. Whats worse is I live in Japan, and remembering Japanese names is much harder!

    I usually do the technique where I introduce the guy who’s name I don’t know to get him to say his name. It works…sometimes…

    • June 16, 2011 at 8:23 am

      Ive done it too, thankfully me and my boyfriend are horrible at names so we just introduce each other and it comes out that way 😉

  8. June 16, 2011 at 7:25 am

    I ALWAYS use the spelling one … especially considering my name is so funky. But yeah, you occasionally get the “Bill.” And it’s all downhill from there.

    Fun post! I just wrote about forgetting names (and faces) on my blog as well, but in relationship to the quality TV show that is The Bachelorette. Seriously: GOOD TV.

    😉

    It seems great minds are contemplating this important topic. Can’t wait to explore more of your blog!

    • June 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm

      Thank you!

      You got me interested now, I’ll be sure to check out your blog soon :)

      Edwin

  9. June 16, 2011 at 7:26 am

    Hahahaha!!!!!! I was worse than you!

    “How do you spell your name?”
    “Mike.”
    “Oh really? Just Mike? Like, M-I-K-E? Like my brother Mike! Oh okay cool!”

    I only got away with it when I worked at Subway or writing down new contacts but other times, you just have to secretly ask someone nearby:P

    I really hated owning up that I don’t remember the names because I always forgot if we didn’t really connect or I don’t remember anything specific about them. I guess it’s just that so many people always forget mine, I started doing that. But not anymore, of course! lol

  10. June 16, 2011 at 7:27 am

    guilty as charged of the “hey dude/buddy” dialogue started.

    also guilty as charged for snooping someone’s stuff (like notebooks and stuff) to find out their name.

  11. June 16, 2011 at 7:40 am

    I once did the ‘how do you spell that trick’ with a guy I met in Spain. He said ‘oh, it’s just the same way as in English”. I looked blank so he started to spell it out for me. ‘J-E-S-U-S’. Oops.

  12. June 16, 2011 at 7:45 am

    This method works
    Mr X : Hi xxxx

    Me : Hi

    Mr X : Long time no see .Gibber , babble ,mutter

    Me : Nothing much .How is life Y

    Mr X : I am X

    Me : Ofcourse not .You are Y. You play saxophone in front of the dentist.

    Mr X : I assure you ,I am X,

    mutters and leaves

    • June 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      I cannot wait to try this. Hahaha!! I REALLY like your Gravatar picture by the way!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Edwin

  13. June 16, 2011 at 7:46 am

    I just introduce my wife and wait for the guy to introduce himself to her. Avoiding this type of awkwardness was the number 3 reason I got married.

    • June 18, 2011 at 7:34 pm

      Wise use of your resources, man! Hahaha :)

  14. June 16, 2011 at 7:48 am

    This happens to me at least twice a day, usually with people I’ve known most of my life. Why is that?

    • June 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      Hmm.. maybe they just have difficult names to remember. Haha

      Thanks for reading!

      Edwin

  15. June 16, 2011 at 8:06 am

    That’s a good one. I am ok at remembering people’s names…but I also don’t think I am all that memorable so I don’t usually find myself in the position where someone remembers mine but I don’t remember theirs. Haha. Anyway, funny post and I love the list. By the way, how do you like your blog theme? I’m getting ready to change mine and I was thinking of switching to this one.

    • June 16, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      If I had to pick between being remembered for something embarrassing I did, or not being memorable, I’d pick the second option hahaha :)

      As for the theme, overall I like it. I took a look at yours and I see that you might like the simpler themes as well. This one has few personalizing options, and it uses a lot of dark colors (one of the options is a yellow-black combination), but I like that it doesn’t have a lot of things to change. . just my preference!

      Thanks for reading, sportsjim!

      Edwin

  16. June 16, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Hahaha, I’m very much subscribing to this blog. Posts like this describe me perfectly. ^_^

  17. June 16, 2011 at 8:17 am

    I am especially impressed by my son’s principal who remembers every student’s name – at least we have not heard her make a mistake!

    Asking for spelling is an awesome trick! Great, great idea!

  18. June 16, 2011 at 8:20 am

    hahaha… i always forget people`s name, but i usually ask them from the begin to not having any embarrassing 😀
    but the problem is when you meet that person every day and you forget his name!

  19. June 16, 2011 at 8:22 am

    haha i always have trouble to remember people’s name after only meeting each other once.
    my strategy is to stand beside that person for a while and listen to other people talking to her/him, then try to figure out her name and then say hi to her.
    but sometimes when people pass you on the street, they say ‘hi, summer’ and then you look into their eyes trying to figure out whether you know that person or not instead of just her/his name… then you saw a disappointment on that person’s face. you realized yourself did something wrong.

    • June 17, 2011 at 6:18 pm

      I know what you mean! I always feel like I disappoint others when I forget..

  20. June 16, 2011 at 8:22 am

    I actually do those lol!! I ‘m guilty of the how do u spell ur name Q…. even of the avoiding every topic that could make me have to say their name haha never can remember a name but always remember faces… so ak-ward ;(

  21. June 16, 2011 at 8:27 am

    I’m the worst at remembering names and faces. I’ll ask my wife about a coworker she’s talking about and she’ll say you know we had them over for dinner. Seriously.

  22. June 16, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Ugh. I hate that feeling, and I’m just awful at remembering names. It’s even worse when you do know them, and the name just slips your mind…

  23. GD
    June 16, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Fresh piece. I usually stall the conversation until I can remember who they are and what their name is. It’s quite awkward.

    -GD
    My writing blog: http://shelleddreams.wordpress.com/

    Great post, I’m looking forward to more!

  24. June 16, 2011 at 8:40 am

    definitely helpful, this happens to me all the time xP

  25. June 16, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Maybe worse than forgetting their name is calling them by the wrong name. Seems like when I do that I say the wrong name louder and more clearer than normal. Hard to correct that.

    Good post and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed…………I’m sorry what did you say your name was?

    • June 18, 2011 at 7:29 pm

      Haha! Good one. Calling them by the wrong name is worse! And even MORE awkward! Hey, good idea :)

  26. June 16, 2011 at 8:57 am

    ha ha! I like how you put it

  27. June 16, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I just cop to it right away. “Hey – how are you?” … [his/her response] … “Wow, I am so sorry but I am terribile with names! What was yours again?” (insert silly smile here while maintaining eye contact)
    Generally the awkwardness is relieved after that. As in most cases, honesty (accompanied by slightly self deprecating smile) is the best policy.

  28. June 16, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I am the worst at remembering names. I try to make a conscience effort but the name always seems to disapear from my memory 1 minute later. :(

  29. June 16, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Ha. Cute post. I always forget peoples names, and Im not shy about telling them in any given situation. Congrats on Freshly Pressed.

  30. June 16, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Too funny! I can never remember names, so this is hugely hysterical for me!

    And congrats on Freshly Pressed!

    By the way, you can call me “Kathy.”

  31. June 16, 2011 at 9:49 am

    This is too funny. My boyfriend has a sister-in-law named Maggie, and my friends thought it was the dog’s name! Here she is calling, “Maggie! C’mere!” Nice post.

  32. June 16, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I just come clean, I say… I am so sorry, I’m terrible with names… because anytime I’ve ever avoided it… someone will walk up that I should introduce out of respect… and I get busted… or look like a jerk for not making an introduction. What’s great is to work in pairs, you lean over to your spouse (whoever and say… can’t remember their name) and it puts them into agressive mode… they introduce themselves first… Hi, I’m Jeanna… and the other person will automatically intro themselves… works almost every time. LOL.

  33. June 16, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I’m usually pretty good at remembering names, but on the rare occasion that I don’t, I have had to pull out the old, “How do you spell your name?” question. Honestly, I have said the same things that you have…word for word.

    So awkward.

    :)

  34. June 16, 2011 at 9:59 am

    A couple of weeks ago, I met this lady named Treva. Then I saw her again at work.
    We all have to wear nametags at work.
    Therefore, when she saw me in the hall, she enthusiastically said, “Hey–” and her eyes went blank. Then her eyes darted to where my nametag should have been.
    Only…I wasn’t wearing my name tag at the time.
    So she just continued to carry out the “y”: “Heyyyyyyy!”
    Good one.

  35. June 16, 2011 at 10:00 am

    hahaha I do that all the time. “OH HEYYY”.. but I think I’m innately an awkward person so that dragged on “heyyy” lets the person know that I don’t remember their names… and they usually reply “You don’t remember me, do you?”… of course I remember you…:D…

    • June 16, 2011 at 5:52 pm

      Oh yes, the infamous: “Heyyyyyyy….” hahaha

      I appreciate the comment, thanks!

      Edwin

  36. judithornot
    June 16, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I just straight out admit I am horrible with names (because I am). I do remember faces, tho’, which helps. If you are honest with people and smile about it, they are usually cool.

  37. June 16, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Does that mean you’re a MCR fan too?? :) Just the Bandit reference is all.. Anyway, I NEVER remember a person’s name the very first time. Ever. It must be because I’m trying to make eye contact, or move in to shake hands or whatever is preoccupying my brain prohibits me from remembering their name. Weird!I have taught myself to repeat the name back to them as we shake hands or whatever. So, the 2nd time I hear the name, it’s locked in my brain.

  38. June 16, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I’ve noticed that since I was little I’ve had a habit of not only forgetting someone’s name, but completely renaming them. If I meet someone and the0r name doesn’t fit the image that I have for that name, I’ll give them one which I think fits. …I call people by the wrong name all the time! Sometimes the names aren’t even close!

  39. June 16, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Ah, it’s going to work better with Alan then?:)

  40. June 16, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Good post. I am terrible with people names. I have 50 sled dogs and tons of clients in my dog training school and for some reason I can remember the dogs names very easily. Its funny because I will refer to a client to my employees by the dogs name!

    Congrats on the Freshly Pressed! I was yesterday for the first time and loved all the comments!

  41. June 16, 2011 at 10:47 am

    haha, this is so true, dude! 😉 :)

  42. hmunro
    June 16, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Well … look who *else* just got Freshly Pressed! Congrats, Edward … um, Edlin? Oh, I’m sorry — Edwin! Very well deserved.

    • June 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm

      Thank you! I appreciate the comment! :)

  43. kuroloki
    June 16, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I must have an extremely quizzical look on my face when I’m recalling someone’s name, because people always offer up their names to me if they think I don’t recognize them. Even people I totally know but don’t see often have been like, “You don’t remember me, do you?”

  44. June 16, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I laughed out loud at “Cool, so it’s normal, cool.” HAHAHAH!

    http://confusedyounglady.wordpress.com

  45. June 16, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I try to remember people’s names. I repeat the name over and over until it sticks in my head. Or, I look for a characteristic like a red shirt or their name is like someone else’s. It’s something me and most people have to work at.

    I know people like Hillary Clinton never forget names, and that’s good. I think for random people you meet, try to talk to them more before using their names. For important people, like networking contacts, work related, etc. it’s very important to remember their names.

  46. June 16, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Haha! I’m really good with faces but not names so I’m usually just honest about it. “Oh hey! I remember you, sorry, I’m horrible with names though, what is it again?” It’s less awkward.

  47. June 16, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Another way of finding out their name is finding somebody (preferably someone you know but if that fails you could just grab a stranger and ask them to help you) and introduce them to the other person. Wait until the other person introduces themselves back and , although you may look a tiny bit rude, you will have discovered their name :)

  48. June 16, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Oh, I do this all the time, even to my friends when my brain is just on a roll and can’t bother to think of something as inconsequential as a name… XD You know, there’s an official term for this. It’s called anomia. It’s when you can’t recall names and words. ^__^ Anyway, fantastic post! Sooo awkward!

  49. June 16, 2011 at 11:56 am

    what do you do when you have to introduce someone you don’t remember the name of?

    • June 16, 2011 at 4:23 pm

      You don’t! Haha. I guess you could say something like “Hey, meet [say person’s name you actually know]” Then they might shake hands and say their name. BAM! Done!

      What do you think?

      Edwin

    • June 21, 2011 at 6:47 am

      you say… “uhm… meet my…uhm… my friend just now…” hahaha

  50. Meg
    June 16, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Hahah I hate it when this happens. I think I’m just gonna own it and call people whatever I like when I can’t remember a name. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed, my friend. I’d like to nominate you for a versatile blog award. Here are the rules should you choose to accept said award:
    1. Thank the person who awarded you and link back to them in your post.
    2. Tell 7 Random facts about yourself.
    3. Pass the award on to 7 new found (or old favorite) bloggers.
    4. Contact each blogger you want to pass the award on to and let them know you’ve done so, and let the giver of your award know you accept it… or not.
    Happy blogging :)

  51. June 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    I learned a great trick at a Dale Carnegie seminar. I was bad at remembering names before this trick but now I am the Queen of remembering your name (as long as I recognize that I have met you before!). As soon as you hear a person’s name you immediately think of the first person with that name that comes to mind and put the new person in that “name bucket”. Tom, for instance is my dad’s name, so all Tom’s go in the Dad bucket. Mary’s go in the Little House on the Prairie Mary bucket. And a brand new name will bet the response from me “oooh a new name to add to my collection! Yay!” Then I pick a rhyme, color, animal etc. to attach it to.
    On occasion I have had someone remember me, as the Barista did you, but I have no recollection. In those cases, I always make myself out to be the “ditz”. I say something like “you know, I know you told me your name the last time we met, but I am drawing a blank (or I have you being a Jane, but I am sure that’ not right) (or I am so sorry that I was not paying better attention when you said your name, I was too interested in our conversation) or one of those types of things that make ME look like I am the forgetful one. I rarely ever pretend unless I know I will most likely never see that person again. And class reunions are THE WORST b/c C”MON….I spent 4-12 YEARS with these people, I can’t remember the NAME!? But I just “awww, shucks” it and that is usually enough to make the other guy feel sorry for me and also loosens them up, b/c then they realize I am no “better” or more “perfect” than they are! :)
    Great topic! congrats on FP!!!

    • June 16, 2011 at 10:16 pm

      I am a huge fan of Dale Carnegie techniques, I’ve read almost every one of his books and have heard a lot of great things from Dale Carnegie’s seminars! Name buckets.. I like it.

      Thank you for sharing this with me :)

      Edwin

  52. Gem
    June 16, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    I usually find it easier to not beat around the bush. I’m terrible with names, and to those whom I first meet, I usually let them know in advance. What I find very awkward is if I’ve spent a year (in the past) knowing the person and then suddenly forgetting the name. :( I think there’s something wrong with me.

  53. June 16, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    hahaa hw d’u spell ur name??!! lolll i’m horrible with names too.i never forget a face bt names r jst impossible…

  54. June 16, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    I was eating lunch with my friend and a guy that I have met several times asked to sit with us but I could not remember his name. I realized I could not introduce them because it would have been awkward so I waited for my friend to introduce herself to him. After that day, I remembered his name.

  55. June 16, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Excellent post… And.. And… Andrew.

    Almost forgot there for a second…

  56. June 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    This happens to me a lot, so I tried to picture the person doing something that would remind me of the name (I’m a nurse so it’s Mr So and so…)

    Once I met a man and to remember his name, I pictured him sitting in the seat of a big 18 wheeler. I was so proud of myself when I saw him at rehab again and confidently said , “Hi Mr Driver!”
    “ummm…my name is Mr Trucker….”

    Oh well…

    • June 16, 2011 at 10:17 pm

      HAHAHHAHAHA!! That’s too funny!!

      Thanks for sharing that! lol

      Edwin

  57. June 16, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Always an awkward situation – I usually try to introduce the person I’m with first and let the person give their name. Not the best form but what to do? I just as often tell people I’m not able to come up with their name…

  58. dovearrow
    June 16, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    I’m terrible about remembering names. In fact, I’m so bad about it, that when I meet someone new, I usually tell them, “I’m really bad with names, so I’ll probably have to ask you your name about five or six times before I can remember it.”

  59. June 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I have friends who I have had for years and only discovered their name when they have added me on facebook…now, that IS bad! Lol! I do confess in the end which does provide amusement though! Thanks for this piece! And congrats on being FP’d! :)

  60. June 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I only remembered one of my (now longtime) friend’s names after a couple of months. Of course I was younger, and her name was complicated like hell, but it has put me in a lot of akward situations. Thankfully now, I remember and it is one of my most cherished friendships! Thanks for your post! It was amuzing :)

    Love
    Eva D.

  61. June 16, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Haha- I have done that before!! My tactic to remember names is usually to exchange phone numbers, and as I type in the numbers I ask them to spell their name. I did it one time though and the girl’s name was Emma… (awkward)!

    This week actually I was sitting in a coffee shop with a friend, and then a friend I hadn’t seen in YEARS spotted me and came up to me. Then to the point where I had to introduce them both. The first name I did without a hitch. But the second name- I looked around awkwardly and mumbled her name in a really weird way. My friend asked me to repeat what I said, and I just mumbled the same thing. Oh the shame.

  62. June 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    OMG – this just happened to me at a show last night! These two older women were there and the one yells out to greet me and I just smile and say hello back and I have NO idea where I know her from! I hugged her goodnight after the show, but still, no recollection. Sigh…

  63. June 16, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    They say it is best to repeat it the same moment

    • June 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm

      Yeah, I’ve heard that too.. If someone tells you their name, find a way to say it back to them, right? I think it works most of the time.

      Thanks for reading, Hiit!

      Edwin

  64. June 16, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I don’t use tricks. I go the honest route – “I’m sorry; I cannot remember your name. Please remind me.” That and a smile followed by a self-deprecating joke wins ’em over every time!

  65. June 16, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I honestly never remember names.. It’s not that I am not interested.. I just.. don’t recall names. So I have to ask over and over again if I meet someone new…

  66. June 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Forgetting someone’s name is certainly uncomfortable, to say the least. Do you find this annoying? You see a particular individual almost everyday and you greet him/her by name, but that individual will never say your name when he/she encounters and greets you. It’s been said that when a person addresses you by your name, “it is music to your ears”.

  67. chunter
    June 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    “How do you spell your name?” works really well when you’re about to capture a name and address on the telephone. Never tried it anywhere else, though.

    Best wishes and congratulations on FP

  68. June 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    My preference, although it’s probably totally transparent: Introducing them to a friend I have with me:
    “Oh, how have you been? Have you met my friend, Mike?”
    “No, nice to meet you Mike, I’m Sam.”

    SAM, of course… now I have my answer

  69. June 16, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    My sister goes the wallet stealing route. Only slightly less awkward than forgetting their name is accidentally goosing them I guess.

    • June 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm

      I KNEW it! Some people DO steal wallets just for that purpose!

      Haha, thanks for reading my post , wosushi!

      Edwin

  70. Dee
    June 16, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    I am the worst at remembering people’s name. I am the complete opposite, and they do not stick. I tend to wait for other friends to come along and introduce themselves (rather than me introducing the two strangers) just so I can avoid re-asking or getting it wrong.
    I wish i had a better memory for it… maybe i’d avoid a lot of awkward situations…

  71. June 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I usually just wait for someone else to say it, or find out later. I’m a twin so I get called the wrong name A LOT! Usually when I get called my sister’s name by someone who knows me fairly well, I would have rather them just not had even attempted guessing. I wouldn’t have even thought that they didn’t know my name until they screwed it up.

  72. June 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    That happens to me a lot even though my sister and I aren’t twins. We’re practically the same height and always come together, so it’s understandable. What bothered me when I first when to college was that people would frequently remember my name and I wouldn’t have the slightest memory of ever meeting them at all! Guess I just have a recognizable face.

  73. June 16, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    A friend taught me to just say, “Oh yeah… Fozzie the Bear! How you been?” Makes ’em laugh every time.

    • June 16, 2011 at 10:19 pm

      AWESOME! At least it relieves the awkwardness!

  74. June 16, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Hahahhaa, cool save. I’ve done that before and it had the same response.

  75. June 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    There have been times where a person and I will connect become friends immediately, and we’ll get so wrapped up in the conversation that we forget to ask for each other’s names. I’ve gone through months without knowing some people’s names (despite being ‘good friends’ with them).

  76. June 16, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    I usually use the last-name method. I’ll say, “Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t seem to recall your name.” Then when (or if) they act offended, I’ll counter with, “No, I meant your last name.” Because, you know, forgetting someone’s last name is more socially acceptable. Et voila! You now have their first AND last names, more importantly their first.

  77. June 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Yeah, it’s an awkward situation to get into. Especially when they remembered you and spotted you from a mile and screamed out your name excitedly while waving wildly. You can’t even run man.

    • June 16, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      Yes! It’s even worse when they’re all excited to see you, and you don’t even remember their names. Sad, sad. .

      I appreciate the comment, thank you!

      Edwin

  78. June 16, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    lol, funny stuff. I respect a person willing to say “I don’t remember your name” verses some stammering talker making it worse by protecting themselves. Just say it like it is.

  79. June 16, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Boy can I relate to this post! I am loving your blog! I just got nominated for the versatile blogger award, and I enjoyed your post so much tat I want to nominate you!

    I’m not sure if the award is truly real or not, but it seems like a good way to get to know other bloggers. Here are the rules…

    1. Thank the person who awarded you and link back to them in your post.
    2. Tell 7 Random facts about yourself.
    3. Pass the award on to 7 new found (or old favorite) bloggers.
    4. Contact each blogger you want to pass the award on to and let them know you’ve done so, and let the giver of your award know you accept it… or not.

    Hope you can do it…I’m working on it right now, so you can check out my post about it in a little bit. Fun to cheerlead for you!

  80. June 16, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    i always make fun of people who forget my name especially those who will ask “what’s your name again?” i’ll tell them another name.

  81. June 16, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I ask them how to spell it so that I can enter it and their phone number into my phone… not that I’ll ever call them, and not that I’m really entering it into my phone. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  82. June 16, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    The Starbucks baristas are the worst–

    “Tall Soy Latte, how are you?”

    “Um, I beg your pardon?”

    • June 21, 2011 at 6:40 am

      that has become your name… hahahah

  83. June 16, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Hahaha!!!!! I was worse than you! once,Someone told me his name double time. but i still forgotten when i met he next time. it was really very embarrased. Anyway, Ask someone to spell her name. i think that is a good way when you forget someone’s name!!!

  84. Zephyr
    June 16, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    This is great! I totally feel your pain. I generally remember every name I hear, even if it is just someone’s imaginary pet squirrel from when they were a toddler. But once, I was walking across my college’s campus and this girl ran up to me yelling, “Kellum! Oh my goodness, how ARE you?” She proceeded to ask me all of these questions about my life that were not just general questions, but questions that meant that she actually knew who I was and all sorts of things about me. And I would swear that I had never even seen her before in my life. No clue who she was. Finally, she gave me an enormous hug and ran off to her class and I never had to reveal my awkwardness, but dang…. I have never been so uncomfortable ever.

  85. June 16, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Hahaha, so not saved, buddy. Since I’m a proven veteran at forgetting names a good response is…

    “Hey, I’m so sorry, I’m terrible with names. What’s yours again?”

    I think taking on ownership for your own mental handicap really makes people feel more pity than anger over your slip up. Then you get to go on and be best friends.

    You can use it if you like.

    Great blog!

  86. June 16, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    This is too funny. In an industry where you HAVE to know people’s names, forgetting someone’s name, especially an important someone can be MORTIFYING. The “how do you spell it” trick usually works pretty well. Unless the person’s name is Dan…then, they just look at you like you’re an idiot. Yay…

  87. June 16, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    it happens to me all the time i forget people’s name quite often. I intentionally speak a wrong name so they can correct me instead of saying “sorry i forgot your name”.

  88. June 16, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    So true :)
    But I think my problem is different. I usually remmeber a name when it is mentioned. Unfortunately, I completely forhet the face that is supposed to go along with the name 😀 Funny, right?

    I always dread meeting someone a second time, because I am never sure if I will recall the person’s face.

    • June 16, 2011 at 10:22 pm

      That’s funny. It almost always is the other way around . . that is very interesting actually. . .

  89. June 16, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Sort of a similar situation tonight where I knew someone and her name was on a name tag, but for the life of me I could not think of how I knew her until an hour later, I felt stupid because she talked me up and I had no idea how we met.

  90. June 16, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Nice one……:)

  91. June 16, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    I ran into just this problem the other night. I am not known for my capacity to remember names, which usually leads to the awkward situation that you were mentioning. Luckily I have learned to deal with that awkwardness and just started asking the person their name and apologizing for not remembering. Unfortunately, the other night a girl approached me and referred to me by name. When I asked her to remind me of her name she ragged on me and refused to tell. I spent a fair amount of time trying to remember, and was completely embarrassed when I had to have her remind me, only to remember the exact situation in which we first met. You are very lucky to easily remember names. Humans are such social creatures that it is helps to have quick memory when it comes to names. Do you employ any particular technique when it come to remembering names?

  92. shekharonline
    June 16, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    same wid me.

  93. June 16, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    I’m good with names.. probably because of all those silly name games I had to endure on the first day of classes throughout elementary.. haha. Although I must admit, there were times when someone knew who I was but I couldn’t remember them.. at that point, I literally just pretend to remember until it clicks in my mind.. usually takes about a few seconds!

  94. June 16, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    I’ve always been bad at remembering names. That’s part of why I hated history in high school. I always warn people after I first meet them that I’ll probably forget their name so hopefully they won’t be too offended when I see them again.

  95. June 17, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Very true, I once asked a person about his brothers and sisters just to see if out of their names I could get his…It never worked and when he found out I felt like chicken dropped in water.

  96. June 17, 2011 at 1:31 am

    I suck at remembering names… it’s very awkward if i’m with someone and then come across another person who I only know “by face” and not “by name”.. it’s hard to introduce them to one another… >.<

  97. June 17, 2011 at 1:35 am

    yeah come on so many people this days the social network is bigger than ever from China – Timbuktu there are thousands of names all over the world so no one will mind hopefully

  98. June 17, 2011 at 1:44 am

    There is only one link which it is possible to leave here: an xkcd comic. Although I’m currently wimping out of contacting someone I need to speak to because I can’t quite remember their name (Mark? Paul?)!

  99. June 17, 2011 at 3:07 am

    Remembering names after I’ve been told them isn’t an issue. I sometimes tend to remember the name better though.

  100. June 17, 2011 at 4:16 am

    i am not good with name, but maybe rather good with face 😀

  101. June 17, 2011 at 4:40 am

    Haha! Fail-Proof 😛

  102. June 17, 2011 at 4:54 am

    I suck at remembering names. right after someone is introduced at me, there’s always an 80% chance that I wont remember it, make it 60% if you are interesting, and 50% if you’re a good talker.

    Often, I just find ways to bail out and then ask someone else later for the person’s name. :)

    and oh! my name itself is spelled differently, its MYCHAEL IVAN. and if you spelled it right the first time, the chances of me remembering you would be higher!

    and oh! let me know on what you have in mind…

    http://aybanlim.wordpress.com/about/

  103. June 17, 2011 at 5:12 am

    I thought I was doing doing well by just referring to this person as ‘matey’, until they finally said “You have no idea what my name is, do you?” I have never forgotten that night, nor have I forgotten any ones name since.

  104. June 17, 2011 at 5:23 am

    I can remember that they have a dog, where they live and where I saw them last but I can’t remember names. Now that I’m middle aged I blame it on hormones.

  105. June 17, 2011 at 5:26 am

    I am terrible at remembering names. After an interview, I had to write a “Thank You” Letter. I couldn’t remember the name of someone in the interview, but I knew I had to address everyone in the letter. I remembered everything she told me about her past jobs and such, so I searched her on linked-in, facebook,and typed in random phrases in google to match her story. Finally, I got a lead. Needless to say, I am very thankful for the seamless ways to stalk someone through various search engines. http://awkwardlist.com/2011/06/14/forgetting/#comment-form-wordpress

  106. June 17, 2011 at 5:58 am

    I for one am going to use the “how do you spell your name” trick. Smart thinking :-). Btw, congrats on freshly pressed :-).

    Josh — goldenbible.wordpress.com

  107. June 17, 2011 at 6:47 am

    My wife lets me down here, the last time I forgot a name was at the airport, Jill, Jenny, Dawn, darn it what the hell is her name, I never heard a word she said, I knew the face though!
    I say that my wife lets me down because on this occasion I nearly got away with it until my wife says ” well aren’t you going to introduce us then”? Followed up with a ” he’s forgotten your name, I do apologise for this, he does it all the time”..argh, grrh
    Yet when we had a builder in the house and it was clear he needed to take a handkerchief to his nostrils (something protruding), she was terribly offended when I without effort just said “here take this handkerchief I can’t look at you unless you do something about ” waving my hand in the direction of his nose..!!

  108. Chatter Master
    June 17, 2011 at 6:51 am

    You have no idea how much comfort I take from NOT being the only one who does this. Daily. I’ve worked in a building for ten years and STILL can’t remember names.

  109. June 17, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Haha! Its so true. It happens with almost everybody! (Me included)
    I remember this one time. My classmates and I were sitting in our class and it was the last day of school, so we were talking about each one them…their good points, their bad points and sorts…It just happened, I came across a classmate and I had to say something about him. BLANK OUT! Whats his name?! I just couldn’t remember! Thankfully I knew that we shared the same zodiac. I said, “You! What about you? We share the same sun-sign! :) Its been lovely working with you…have a good life!”
    Saved me! 😉

  110. June 17, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

    If it’s someone I really really really should know, I’ll be really blunt and point it out. “I’m sorry, I know I should know you and this is awful, but what’s your name again? I promise I’ll never forget it again” (and believe me, you won’t).

    If it’s someone I don’t feel like I should know, I hem and haw with “Sir” or “Ma’am” or whatever. “Oh, how have YOU been?!” (emphasizing anything at all that isn’t their name)

  111. June 18, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Ha! That’s hilarious. That happened to me the other day. A waiter at a restaurant started talking to me like she knew me. I jumped into the conversation because I knew what she was talking about, and at the end I’m like…so do we know each other LOL. She’s like yea we met through so and so. Afterwards I was like, I gotta remember faces and names more.

  112. June 18, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    I am so bad at remembering names, but I never forget a face. It is definitely awkward when the two of you recognize each other and don’t want to admit to forgetting your names. I just avoid mentioning a name altogether — no mans, no dudes, no hey yous. Just how are you and try to leave ASAP.

  113. June 20, 2011 at 1:58 am

    hey there sheena is your name right?
    uhh not really im jen..

    ohh i forget my bad.. im bryan 😀

    Theres nothing really wrong about forgetting names unless its your girlfriend or something lol

  114. Dian Wijayanti
    June 20, 2011 at 3:57 am

    Oohhhh, I experienced this a lot!! I’m really bad at remembering names that I could meet the same person three times and still not remembering their names :-/ (I’m horrible, I know) On the second meeting, I would usually ask them their names again and apologizing for forgetting their names, but it’s getting weirder on the third or even fourth meeting and still can’t remember their name properly, and I’d usually avoid talking to them :(

  115. June 20, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Thanks, Nice topic man.

  116. June 20, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Yep me tooo I am so bad at remembering names, I try my best. Like I know the face but I don’t know the name.
    I actually did pretend that I know someone’s name many times haha.

  117. June 20, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Too funny! I am terrible at names myself. What really amazes me is how teachers remember their students’ names, even years after they had them in their classroom. I saw one of my old high school teachers the other day and without a pause, he waved and greeted me with a big, “Well hello miss Wendi!” All I could do was stand there mutely and smile back, replying with a cool, “Oh it’s so good to see you!” Boy did I feel like a dufus 😛

    Wendi

    http://thisthatandtheotherthang.wordpress.com

  118. June 20, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    guilty! I only hope someone is with me like my husband so I can say “Hi, this is (insert name here) and they’ll also introduce themselves then we all know it! :)

  119. June 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    haha! I wait until I find someone I can introduce them to. My friend “Sue” walks up and I say “oh! this is my friend Sue!” And the other person will introduce themselves to Sue. Works every time!

  120. June 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    This is definitely on my list of scary…not just awkward moments. I dread this. Especially when I visit my mom, i’m scared I’m going to run into someone I went to high school with and since I haven’t seen them in a decade I was going to forget their name completely. I always prep my husband to jump in and introduce himself so they’ll say their name.

  121. June 26, 2011 at 12:07 am

    haha guilty of this! usually, i’ll just ask how they would like me to save their name in my mobile when we exchange numbers.. ha

  122. July 1, 2011 at 5:36 am

    i usually wait for someone else to say it 😀
    good technique though!!

    So this is the freshly pressed post! Proud of you Edwin!! AWESOME post!!!

    • July 1, 2011 at 5:50 am

      Yeah, this is it! Thank you :)

  123. July 1, 2011 at 5:54 am

    I’m not very good at remembering names, but I also have a condition where I cannot remember faces as a whole, only the seperate parts of them (eyes, mouth, nose, etc). After 3 years of sharing the same classes, I’m still learning my classmates’ names, and will refer to them mentally as “the guy with the triangle nose”, “the chick with different coloured eyes”, “the teacher-lady with huge lips”, etc. I was once shown a picture of a former classmate who had his eyes blurred for ‘privacy’ and I didn’t know who it was, but when he entered the room I could call him by name because I needed to see his eyes to know who he was. (His name was Pete, and he was blind in one eye which made it a milky-blue.)

    Being an Aussie, when I can’t recall someone’s name, I can get away with calling them “mate” until I remember or the conversation ends. Or I just bluntly announce: “I can’t remember your name, what was it again?”

  124. July 6, 2011 at 12:10 am

    Thanks for a great story to share.

  125. July 8, 2011 at 1:08 am

    HAHA! 😀 it’s really Awkward..
    Nice blog btw :))

    • July 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm

      Thanks for the comment, harlimae :)

      Edwin

  126. July 30, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    I usually ask for their number and have them put it in my phone and then look at it quickly to make sure it “saved” and then I’ll know their name! =)

  127. Pingback: AwkwardList

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