Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do I know you navigate embarrassing situation in English Have you ever had someone start talking to you and you can’t remember who they are?

Do you recognize them but feel uncertain as to who they actually are?

We’ve all been in that situation before and it can be pretty awkward.

We’re going to help you to work through this situation and know the right things to say to get things back on track.


Working Through This Isn’t Always Easy

We’ve talked about a situation where the two of you in conversation both feel familiar, but are unsure.

But what if you don’t know this person at all and they recognize you?

What if you can’t recognize them or place them at all?

This can happen in a variety of situations and so we’ve all been caught off guard.

This may be somebody from an old job, from a networking event, or a family friend from years gone by.


All Ears English TranscriptsMake sure you understand every word you hear on All Ears English.

Bring your English to the advanced level with new vocabulary and natural expressions.

Get the transcripts from today’s episode.

Learn to speak naturally with the American accent.

Click here to subscribe to transcripts and save 50%


How Can You Make It Right?

You probably feel quite awkward in this situation.

To try to save yourself from embarrassment,  what can you do?

There are a few simple but effective things you can do to work through this situation.

Be honest: Admit that you don’t remember the person, but follow that up with one of these phrases to make the situation less awkward. 

  • I’m sorry, remind me how we know each other!
  • Sorry I’m having a weird moment–how do we know each other?
  • Are you a _________ -friend of my mom’s, career-teacher, etc.? 


If you don’t know their name and they didn’t say it: You may have to do a bit more investigating here, and there are a couple of phrases that can help you to figure this out.

  • Remind me of your name again!
  • I’m sorry, I know your face but your name slipped from my mind.
  • What’s your name again?


Acknowledge the relationship and ask how they are to keep connection and make it less awkward: You are recognizing that you know there is some connection, but you just need a little reminder. 

  • Oh of course! I’m sorry. How is everything?
  • Oh that’s right! How is everything going with ______ (something personal)?


You Can Fix This Situation

Follow this three step process to keep things comfortable and to work through anything that is awkward.

If you are going through this process, then steps 2 and 3 may be switched .

Of course, there is no way to completely avoid an awkward feeling in this situation.

It can be uncomfortable when someone doesn’t recognize you, especially if you are excited to talk to them.

Although you can’t avoid this feeling all together, you should make the person feel that you care about this connection–try to play it off as if you are just having a “brain fart.”



Remember it helps to show that you are embarrassed, and you probably really are.

 You can laugh about it like it’s a silly situation and you don’t know how you forgot!

Make sure you are extra friendly in this situation so the person feels like you really care.

It happens to all of us and knowing how to work through it is what helps you to make important connections.


If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can. 

  • Badges (1)
  • Badges-1 (1)
  • Badges-2 (1)
  • US_ListenOn_AmazonMusic_button_black_RGB_5X
  • App-Store-Button
  • google-play-badge
  • Badges (1)
  • Badges-1 (1)
  • Badges-2 (1)
  • US_ListenOn_AmazonMusic_button_black_RGB_5X