I have a problem with remembering people’s names until I’ve known them for a while. What’s the best way to approach the situation if I run into somebody on campus who remembers my name but I don’t remember theirs? These situations can be super awkward and I don’t want to make the person feel bad because of my own forgetfulness. I know that I could try and avoid having to say their name by using some generic bro phrase, but would it be better to just be frank and tell them I forgot their name?
This is a very awkward situation indeed—and trust me, I’ve been in this position many times. One time, I had a mutual friend who I talked to frequently but I decided that it would be too awkward to ask their name–so I didn’t. I didn’t actually find out her name until 3 years later and at that point we had still become close friends, but asking them their name would just be super awkward. So my advice to you is yes—just be frank with them and ask their name. Even if it takes 3-5 times, the earlier you ask their name, the better. It will only get more and more awkward as time goes on. Besides—the person will appreciate it if you take the time to learn their name, and people like hearing their own name when being greeted more than, “hey you” and “sup bro.” One way to help remember their name is to repeat it out loud and then afterwards silently in your head. Another thing you could try is associating his or her name with some kind of visual. They don’t ever have to know what it is, maybe the name Shawdra just somehow reminds you of sprinkles, or the name Jeffry makes you think of unicorns for whatever reason. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it is vivid enough to stick that in your mind and help you remember.
Hope this helps!