We all do it. And we all vow to get better at it. But it’s a force of human nature to be unable to hold onto names the moment we’re introduced. It happens to me all the time. I will be shaking the hand of a new person and being oriented with their name simultaneously; but unless I make a concerted effort, I will more often than not, forget said new person’s name the moment our handshake breaks! How does that happen?
And to cover, I’ve unfortunately invented a poor alternative. I have caught myself making the assumption that I’ve already been introduced and will often times, err on the side of hugging versus handshaking if someone’s visage is even half familiar to me. I know I’m not the only one who employs this poor strategy because it proved unworthy recently at a conference I attended in New Orleans.
Both I and the person I was greeting each went in for the hug and adorned it with the common and friendly small talk greetings. Upon our entrance to the second paragraph of our dialogue, when the other person asked casually, “So how’s Florida treating you?” I realized that not only had she mistaken me for someone else, but I had done the same. And there’s no getting out of it!
In the future, the use of the phrase, “Nice to see you,” when accompanied by a handshake, will be the safest approach. Because if indeed it is only the first introduction, who can dispute whether or not one is indeed happy to see the other?