About bumping into people

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by klmno, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This is a general type question. I am bad about placing people or recognizing them if I bump into them outside of the place where I met them. For instance, I see people at the bank, in the store, picking up a sandwich for lunch, etc., and if their hair isn't fixed the exact same way, for instance, I won't recognize them. Even then, I'm not sure I know them unless they say something to me that makes it obvious who it is. This has happened several times and some people have been left thinking I'm rude because I didn't speak. Sometimes, I think I might know them but am afraid to act like I do because I'm not sure and don't want strangers thinking I'm some nut they've never met before who's coming up talking to them. LOL!

    To say "Do I know you?" sounds too blunt and rude to me. What is a good way to handle this if I'm not sure?

    Just this past week I spoke with difficult child's CM at Department of Juvenile Justice on the phone; she said "I'm the one who checked you in at last week's visitation". OMG- I swear I didn't recognize her and didn't speak to her at all other than to say "here are my keys".
  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I do that ALL the time! If they don't see me, I'll stand there for a while running through "picture" files in my head trying to figure out where I know them from. If they DO see me, I'll smile and say Hi and then let THEM talk! LOL That's usually all it takes to jog my memory....at least assuming they say something that gives me a clue! LOL If I were you, I would do that and see where it goes from there.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ok, smile and say hi will become a habit!

    It's funny how you worded things- I have compared it to trying to find a file before. First, I have to find the right filing cabinet (work related, difficult child's sd, someone from my life before difficult child, etc), then, I have to find the right file.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I have the same problem. My brain works using compartmentalization. Each kid is in a certain segment, husband is in another, work and volunteer work another. Because I am now a "senior" I hope when I walk by people I know that they chalk it up to age. Truth is...I've been like that since college! DDD
  5. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    LOL Actually it IS kind of like that. The pictures I referred to are more like....does this person fit into this picture of this job, that job, the store, around town...etc.
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    The only time I'm not comfortable with this is when I'm in a large crowd where I'm supposed to know everyone and I don't know them well enough to know them, you know?

    But I have no problem going up to someone and saying "I'm sorry, I know I know you but I can't figure out where from." They'll always tell you. Or, if someone comes up to me and starts talking and I don't know who they are I say "I'm sorry, I am just having one of those days. For the life of my I can't put a name to your face." People will tell you. They don't care. If they do, I probably don't care about them, much, either.

    Think of it this way. Say you were in the store and someone came up to you and said "I know I know you, but I can't figure out where from!" and it was someone you do indeed know. You wouldn't be offended. You would be glad that someone remembered you.

    So, hoover up your courage, and say "hi". You'll be glad that you did.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is nice to know I am not alone in this! I do the "Hi" and wait to get a memory jog or else I say, "You look familiar, but I am terribly bad at remembering names. Have we met?" And if we have, I apologize again and the other person often is standing there trying to figure out where they know me from.

    To make it harder, often the other person has seen my mom, and is remembering HER. We look very much alike, almost like she cloned me. I am starting to get it with Jessie. Because she looks like I cloned her.

    I find that no one gets offended and often we both laugh.
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hubby is really bad with names. I'm not. Usually, he smiles and says hi (thank you stang, it does work!), and chats a little, then pokes me and says, "Who was that?"

    Miss KT, on the other hand, charges right up and says hi, then admits she can't remember the name, but "weren't you in karate with me?" (or something like that)
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    If it gets bad and I don't get a memory jog, I just look at them and say...

    "I'm bad at putting names with faces, and I've misplaced yours. Help?"

    They laugh and it's all good. Just don't do this to a family member...
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This happens to me constantly. It has gotten much worse with age and medication. Another huge problem is that I have horrible distance vision and I never wear my glasses unless I am driving because they make it difficult for me to walk. Why I dont know. So...I cant see past 2 feet, I dont recognize anyone for more than 10 minutes and I get words jumbled. Even people that are related to Tony!

    I had one of our neighbors sit at a table right next to ours at a restaurant one night and I didnt even recognize them!
  11. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Oh, I do that all the time, especially with people from work that I don't know very well! A lot of the people from work I ONLY see at work and most of them are in uniform then. So if I run in to them somewhere else and they're wearing regular clothes, I'm left going ... "Who the h*** is that?" Another problem I have at work is that there are over 300 people there. About half of them have been there forever. The rest come and go, especially the young ones, and there are always new people. And a lot of times I know names and I know faces but I don't know which name goes with which face since I don't really meet these people as part of my job.

    Some of my trouble, too, is that I just really don't pay much attention to people and I really should! I can go to the bank or something and not be able to tell you later what the teller looked like or which one it was ... because I didn't pay attention. Then if I see that same bank teller later in the grocery store, I'm thinking, "She sure looks familiar... where do I know her from?". I would refer to it as a "senior moment' but I've always been that way! ;)
  12. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Sometimes, it seems that I can pull up names and faces at the drop of a dime and at other times, I just simply go blank. I ran into two people at the grocery store the other night and couldn't, for the life of me remember where I knew them from. The next day, not only did I remember, but remembered their names and all. It's like someone turned a switch and my memory came back.

    I sometimes just say, I'm sorry, but I've forgotten your name." I guess it's all dependent on the situation.
  13. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    This happens to me ALL the time, even with people who I see every day- I forget their names. Also, students see me all over our town, they go to the school where I work. They know my name, but I never know their's. When they say hello, I always say, "Hi sweetie, are you enjoying your summer?" Or somethimg like that. With adults,I say hello right back, never admiting I forget who they are, and say some small pleasantry or ask how they are. Generic stuff - nobody knows how clueless I am!
  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I used to be one of those people who never forgot a face nor a name. I learned to keep it to myself because I discovered other people often wouldn't remember me and it would be embarrassing. So I got into the habit of letting other people make the first move.

    Good thing I learned to do that. Now.......I might recognize the face......but my brain rarely produces a name unless I know the person well. Aggravating.
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I'm all for using Donna's style -

    If they walk up all cheery and smiley and say HI HI HI .......I look at them and say "WHO THE H#&& are you?" and usually they just walk away -

    Most times if you use that greeting they walk away and leave you alone so you don't HAVE to remember who they are. They also don't walk back up to you at any other point later in life and say HI HI HI - so that problem is solved.

  16. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    well, ok, but I'm really going to be embarressed if I'm the one that smiles and says "hi" and the person looks at me all weird and says "who the **** are you- I don't know you" and walks away!
  17. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I calculated the other day and as of last year I have taught about 4500 students---over a 22 year time period. They come up to me at age 40---and expect me to know them right away---I remember faces, but not names....those are gone each time I have to learn another 90 for a new semester. I"m lucky if I can remember from last year.
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, I actually did fair tonight, believe it or not. I went to place (a social place) that I hadn't been to in about 5 years. I ordered a drink, the bartender looked at me for a moment and although we have both aged a little, I recognized her! It took about 1/2 hour, then I remembered her name. LOL! Now, whether or not that was really difficult child's gal about 20 feet away, I'm not sure. If it was, she didn't notice me so I won't worry about it.
  19. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    "I calculated the other day and as of last year I have taught about 4500 students---over a 22 year time period. They come up to me at age 40---and expect me to know them right away"

    I do this all the time with people that my kids knew in school! My son graduated 10 years ago and my daughter 16 years!!! :surprise: Of course, I mostly remember their friends and classmates the way they looked when they were kids, not so much as adults. So when some guy my sons age says hello to me and asks how my son is, I have to try very hard to think which little kid on the tee ball team could have morphed into this grown man! Or which woman in her early thirties in the grocery store with her three kids played basketball with my daughter in the eighth grade! Some look exactly the way they did as kids and some look completely different! Makes me dizzy!
  20. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    What is scary is when you've been messaging an old friend via myspace or texting and then see them again for the first time in years - and don't know them. You should, but somehow...

    Last November I went to a friend's who was having a belated wedding reception. I hadn't seen him in about a year (ONE YEAR...) I wouldn't have known him except that he was the tallest person there AND when we got there he picked me up, hugged me and swung me around. That gave it away.