Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you ever run into someone you remember from a while ago?

Have you ever run into somebody that you know through a mutual friend or some other way?

Did you feel unsure of how to address the person in this situation in English?

Today we’re going to talk about how to work through this type of situation so that you can make it comfortable for everyone.

This can be a great point of connection, and so you will learn how to make it less awkward and introduce yourself to get the conversation going.

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Working Through An Awkward Situation

This is all about knowing how to approach somebody that you don’t know very well.

It can be a bit awkward, particularly if you don’t remember each other that well when you see each other.

If you want to approach somebody who may not know you well or remember you vividly, then your introduction needs to be great.

You want to be sure that you are clear in how you introduce yourself, as well as the circumstance or person that you may have met through.

It’s important to identify yourself, make the introduction concise, and be as friendly as possible.

It helps to have something to hook this person in with, and we have something helpful for you to check out in this area.

We did an episode that is related to this, and you will want to check it out.

Your Ears Are Burning! We’re Talking About You

This whole thing can feel awkward, as you may know this person minimally or think you recognize them.

You basically want to focus on the right introduction to put this person at ease and help them to remember you.

This can take the awkwardness out of things and ensure that you get the conversation going in the best possible way.

Steps You Can Take In This Introduction

So you recognize that this interaction can be awkward, though it doesn’t have to.

You want to make this a great introduction and get the most out of this interaction with somebody that you likely don’t know very well.

What steps can you take to make this a positive interaction and to ensure the best possible introduction?

  1. Introduction: You can say something simple to get their attention and start things off. Some good examples are simply to say “excuse me”, “are you x?” , or just to say a simple hi. This doesn’t need to be elaborate, but rather just a good way to grab their attention in a positive way.
  2. Say who you are: This is clear and to the point so it takes the guesswork out of it. You can say something as simple as “I’m x” or “My name’s x.” The idea here is to keep it simple and to try to bring about a memory of who you are.
  3. Say how you know each other: This is the interesting and rather important part. You want them to remember who you are and leave nothing up to chance. This is where you have to say who you are and how they might remember you. Be clear as to who you might have met through. If for example it’s a mutual friend you could say “Aren’t you a friend of X?”, “You know x, right?”

It can be really helpful to say how exactly you met, and that can be something as simple as “I remember meeting you at x”, “I think we met at x”, or even “were you at X?”

When the person you are introducing yourself to remembers you, then you want to have the right thing to say.

This is where you want to say something like “Yes it’s good to see you again!”

Why is this an important connection skill?

You don’t want things to be awkward, and you shouldn’t feel afraid to tell someone you remember them from somewhere.

Sometimes it can feel a little funny at first, but if you think through things and use these steps it can help tremendously.

You want to be sure to put the person at ease, and be as friendly as possible to make the interaction go smoothly.

Roleplays To Help

We’re going to take a look at a few smaller roleplays to help here.

In this roleplay, Lindsay recognizes Michelle at the grocery store and they have a mutual friend.

Lindsay: “Excuse me, are you Michelle?”

Michelle: “.”Yes

Lindsay: “I’m Lindsay. You know Sarah, right? I remember meeting you at her birthday party last year.”

Michelle: “Oh right!! Hey! Nice to see you.”

Lindsay: “Yes, it’s good to see you again!”

In this roleplay, Michelle recognizes Lindsay at a conference.

She remembers having a conversation with her at last year’s conference.

Michelle: “Hi! My name’s Michelle Kaplan.”

Lindsay: “Hi Michelle.”

Michelle: “I think we met last year at the meet and greet before the conference. We both know Sharon Hilder.”

Lindsay: “Oh right! How are you?”

Michelle: “Great! How have you been?”


We gave you a framework to navigate this situation as it is bound to come up quite often.

Be sure to listen to the other episodes as well to get ideas for these sometimes awkward situations!

Check out these episodes to help you through, in addition to the tips we gave you today.

Do I Know You? How To Navigate This Embarrassing Situation In English

Surprise! Have We Met Before? What To Say In This Situation

These situations come up often, and you want to be ready for them.

If you know the right things to say and the best approach then you can work your way through this with ease.

Knowing the right introduction can put both of you at ease and ensure that you make it through this interaction without anybody feeling awkward.

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

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

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