We meet a lot of people throughout our lifetime, so forgetting names and faces is sometimes unavoidable. Embarrassing as it can be, it's important to remember it can happen to anyone.
The next time you have that oddly familiar feeling but can't recall someone's name (or if it was you who was forgotten!) the gracious phrases below can help you reconnect.
You're face to face and the person forgets meeting you: Refresh his or her memory by saying something like: "I thought you looked familiar! I just realized we met at ... " Or, "Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't we introduced by ... " These unifying phrases can help put others at ease, since they won't feel like they're alone in forgetting your prior encounter.
A contact emails but forgets you've already met: Get the connection on track in your reply with a simple: "Your name rang a bell," or "It's great to hear from you again!" Like the in-person scripts above, these openers can help people feel like they aren't the only ones with a lapse in memory. Then follow up with how you're connected to provide pertinent details that can help the person fill in the gap: "We both [attended the event/worked on the project] together back in ... "
When you draw a blank on someone's name: Chances are you're seeing the person out of normal context. Sometimes a simple statement like, "It's great to see you here. What have you been up to?" can jog your memory and you'll be able to carry the conversation as normal.
While these moments can be awkward, you can appear gracious and solidify a potentially valuable contact with a bit of extra poise, or a little humility.
Sources: The Muse, Verily
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