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How to Handle Forgetting Someone's Name

You meet someone whose face is familiar, but you can't remember their name. Not to worry, help is at hand.


  • Step 1: Tell the individual you remember their name Tell them you remember their name, but are stumped at the moment -- just drawing a blank.
  • TIP: You might also say something like, "I keep wanting to call you Tom, but that doesn't seem right."
  • Step 2: Exchange business cards Tell them you'd like to exchange business cards, and then get their name from the card.
  • Step 3: Praise the individual Praise them for being able to remember your name, while explaining that you lack such a gift.
  • Step 4: Ask for their last name Ask for the person's last name on the pretense that you forgot it. They will probably give you their first and last names.
  • Step 5: Introduce them to someone else Introduce them to someone whose name you do remember. They will probably say their name as part of the introduction.
  • TIP: If you're with someone else, say, "This is my friend, Mary...." and then trail off. They will have no choice but to introduce themselves.
  • Step 6: Ask the person's name Ask the person their name if all else fails. Just be up front and say, "I'm sorry, I don't recall your name." Pay attention this time, so you don't forget again!
  • FACT: The most common name in the world is Mohammed.

You Will Need

  • Business cards
  • Last name
  • Introduction

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