How To Ask Someone What Their Name Is When You Should Already Know It

It's time to banish the darls and honeys by working out how to remember actual names...

We've all been there -- you're out at a social function and you meet someone, get introduced, have a chat, a laugh even, and then  -- whoooooosh -- their name just goes out of your head.

Or worse. You've met someone a million times. Heck, you've even spent a weekend in their company. AND YET YOU CAN'T REMEMBER THEIR NAME.

Gah, it's just MORTIFYING.

But what can you do?  After all, you have been introduced to them, you know their name, they are saying your name as they introduce you to someone else and then  -- well, all you can do is call them "honey."

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Well, according to Zarife Hardy, director of the Australian School of Etiquette, it doesn't have to be such a big deal to get yourself out of a sticky sitch.

"Honesty is always the best policy when having to ask someone for their name again," she told 10 daily. "Simply say 'I’ve had such a crazy day could you please tell me your name again?'," she said.

You are far better to ask than to continue building a relationship and delay finding out their name even longer. Our name is the most important word that we each own, it’s so important to remember and use names."

Of course, sometimes it's not you who is forgetting names. I know it's hard to believe but  *whispers* sometimes someone can forget your name.

I know. Crazy. The people in the coffee shop up the road have called me "Cath" for months now.

Zarife's advice on how to deal with those rude bastards -- haha just jokes -- is simple.

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"Firstly always say your name as clearly as you can when you introduce yourself -- so many people rush their personal greeting or introduction," she told 10 daily. "Then, if someone does say it incorrectly let them know as soon as possible."

If you find that someone has continued to call you the wrong name, you can address it -- Zarife suggests you approach it in a sensitive fashion, regardless of how long it has been.

"If a person gets it wrong diplomacy in your approach is always best, remain poised and tactful, use a tone in your voice of kindness and support," she said, "You can simply say, “my name is actually ___________” if it continues you can also say “John, I noticed you are still calling me ___________, my name is ______________.”

And lastly, howsabout that awful moment when you really should know someone's name because, well, you know them, and yet their name just slips out of your brain at the wrong moment?

"If you're with someone who might know the other person's name," suggested Zarife, "then quietly ask them before you get face to face. You could also try to only engage with them in a group environment where someone else will do the introductions."

If that doesn't work, maybe some additional information will help. "Say, 'It’s been too long. When was the last time we saw each other?'" said Zarife. Putting the face in context can help you come up with the name.

Ultimately honesty is the best policy. Say, “Of course, I remember you, but your name has slipped my mind.' Mention whatever information you do remember about them --“We met last year at Rebecca’s party' -- to show them that they’re not a total stranger. Or simply say, “I’m sorry. I’ve just gone completely blank.'”

Okay, whateveryournameis, go off and get em, honey! I'm off to the coffee shop.