Illustrations by Ms Anje Jager

You know how it goes; you recognise the face as they approach you at a party, your brain scans and searches for context, history, and above all, a name. But, more often than not, it doesn't come and you are left standing there like a bumbling fool, improvising and sidestepping around the issue, hoping that somehow their name might just happily emerge from their mouths and relieve you of your rising idiocy. Forgetting or mixing up a name is one of life's cheek-flushers, but as infamous business coach and author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, Mr Dale Carnegie once explained, "A person's name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language" so it really is best avoided. Here, we show you how to play the name game... and win.

A FEW COMMON MISTAKES...


STARING AND SCARING

While we advise taking note of features, we also advise keeping it discreet. Being remembered is nice, but not when you are being remembered for being a weirdo

OVER AND OUT

Repeating the person's name during a conversation can be an integral part of committing it to memory, but don't over do it. People like hearing their own name, but one too many times can be peculiar

LEAVING IT HANGING

If you are faced with the tricky situation of introducing your friend to your sadly unmemorable acquaintance, introduce the friend first, "This is my partner, Frank". If Frank is any sort of friend he'll then reach forward, shake their hand and ask their name, alleviating you of your embarrassment

FORGETTING

Sometimes, there's just no getting away from the fact that you have forgotten someone's name. In these circumstances we advocate the following: "Darling, meet darling"

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