Tiffany, is there any way of handling what to do when you run into people and you have to introduce them to the people you are with, but you can’t remember names?
– B. Hart- Three Rivers, CA
Dear Thoughtful Introducer,
Some people are exceptionally proficient at remembering names, making the art of introductions look like a walk in the park.
Take Franklin D. Roosevelt. His staff members were amazed at his ability to recall the names of people he had met only once. When asked how he did it, he simply imagined seeing their names written across their foreheads. I wonder… who taught him this level of social etiquette?
My husband and I have an unspoken rule that helps us avoid the uncomfortable situation of not remembering names when really; most of the time, we ought to know names of people standing before us. Having this rule (and I hope you will borrow it) influences us to choose the principle of etiquette: respect.
If David is supposed to be introducing me and doesn’t, that’s my cue to stick my hand out and say “Hi, I’m Tiffany Nielsen.” This helps put him at ease, I gain a new friend and etiquette prevails in making us all comfortable.
Another helpful tip…
Say to your nameless friend(s), “Hi, I’d like to introduce you to our good friends Tiffany and David Nielsen.” David and Tiffany will say, “Nice to meet you” and then will ask “What is your name?” Ta-da the name mystery is solved and people form a new relationship!
My most thoughtful mother in law Charlene has this art of introductions nailed down and I rest on her plan for solving icky meet and greet situations. In her words, “As for my own failures in this regard, sometimes I just blush and say, ‘Forgive me, I can’t believe I’m drawing a blank,’ or whatever, as I request the name of somebody I’ve known forever.”
The good news for Charlene, as well as for us all, is an often gracious response that we aren’t the only one with this affliction.
The Power of Civility offers resources for learning more about how to get through introductions “Suzi” style. Who’s Suzi? Guess you will have pick up your copy of this brand new book to find out.