3 Ways To Play Off Not Remembering Someone’s Name

Raise your hand if you’re someone who interacts with a lot of people in your career and professional life and find it exceptionally challenging to remember people’s names. Yeah, I’m right there with you. For me, it’s ironic because I was a middle school teacher for four years, so I had to learn a TON of names (I taught 95 kids a day!). Nowadays, I’m meeting new people through work what feels like every other day, and I have the hardest time remembering who is who. 

Today, I’m going to share a few tips that I’ve come to know and use for these specific situations where you run into someone that you’ve previously met but can’t for the life of you remember his/her name. 

How to Play Off Not Remembering Someone’s Name

1. Ask Them To Remind You of Their Name

This is the simplest option, and my go-to strategy. If you’ve met someone 1-2 times, this is an appropriate way to get someone’s name. The framing, “Remind again of your name?” implies that you’ve heard it before, but it’s not coming to your mind at the moment – no harm done by blaming a brain fart for the blank. Now, if you’ve met this person more than a couple times, then I suggest utilizing one of the two options below.

2. Introduce Them To Someone That You Already Know

I love this trick. Say something like, “Oh, let me introduce you to my friend, Sarah,” and then the person who you’ve been chatting with will introduce him or herself to Sarah, and you can catch their name!

3. Ask for Their Email or Phone Number

Wanting to network or collaborate with your nameless friend? Ask them to type in their contact information into your phone or have them write it down on a piece of paper – most people have their name within their email address, and people also usually type in their full names when adding their contact info. into a phone. You’ll have their name in no time!


Pretty easy and effective strategies, right? I also found a video that has a handful of other suggestions for remembering people’s names. Check it out below:

From the video, two name tricks that I hadn’t tried that I will definitely give a go is creating associations and rhymes for people and their names – I think my brain will respond well to these two tips.

What about you – what’s your go-to way to remember someone’s name? Share with us in the comments below. 

  • Brittany F

    Love the trick of having them put their contact info in your phone! It’s not only helpful to remember their name, but also reduces my “to-do” of consolidating contact info/cards into 1 location. Win-Win ?