How can you live like this?!


I’m pretty sure I have a facial recognition and name learning disability. I just suck at it. My dad could walk down the street and recognize someone he went to high school with 50 years earlier, I don’t recognize someone I worked with 6 months ago. The sensei of a dojo I was in some months earlier stopped me on the street, and out of context I could not recognize him at all.


I don’t think it’s an excuse that people can’t remember names; it’s an excuse when people use it not to introduce. For example, Mr. Jilly is the worst. He’s over 50 too, and I’m very sensitive about his memory in this particular area. So, we’ve worked on strategies to deal with this.

There are ways to introduce that don’t involve names:

“Have you two met?”
"Does everyone here know one another?"
Even: “I’m sorry, I’m bad with names, but I want to make sure everyone has been introduced.”

I think not remembering names is a common occurrence, for multiple reasons: bad memory, anxiety, etc. It’s something to which most people can relate, so admitting it in a social situation can introduce (puns intended) levity and is preferable to ignoring the elephant on the table. Otherwise, the other person is left feeling as awkward as possible. I simply think it’s a social grace to make sure everyone feels comfortable if I’m the link the chain that connects two others.

I hope that clarifies.


In my experience these lead to an expectation that the introducer will supply names when the answer is “no”.

After a couple of experiences where I damaged relationships by not being able to retrieve a name in such situations – names I knew, dammit! – I’ve decided that anyone who wants someone else to know their name has to step up and introduce themself. I was “Mr. Introducer” for many years, it isn’t my responsibility any more.


After far too many social situations in which I either forgot someone’s name or, worse, used the wrong name – which is just about the worst social faux pas there is – the anxiety just ramps up when I’m in that sort of situation. So quite honestly I’ve just learned to avoid them entirely.




I have to admit, this drives me a little nuts, too. But I always chalked it up to me being an old fogey.


I get in trouble for this with my wife, she’s big on this as well, but the problem is in some circumstances it feels like it would be socially worse to interrupt whatever conversation is going on to do the intro. For example, I was seeing a cousin I hadn’t seen in a long time, and I’m paying attention to his life story and then my wife walks up and she only waited like 5 seconds before interrupting and then I got chewed out later for not introducing her. I was going to, but geez, give me a chance to wait for a natural pause.


crowds are the thing I can’t handle. I had a panic attack at an Ikea. I bailed on a company picnic (free food + beer) because I just could not handle the mass of humanity. I can handle slightly larger groups if it’s relatively structured, but a big group of people just milling around sets off all my anxiety


Traffic lights. It astonishes me that other people can hit every light in a row red, or be sitting at a red light with a bunch of traffic WHEN NO ONE IS GOING and not turn into a boiling pile of rage. I have a fantasy of reverse engineering the current and future states of all the lights in the city, or if the city has some kind of grid-wide monitoring system hacking into that, and being able to put into a program the place I need to go, and it would tell me the optimum time to leave so as to hit as many lights green as possible.


as always, XKCD has you covered


Then you’d love the UK where it’s all roundabouts. Some of them are quite terrifying even after you get used to them going the wrong way! Lights are the least of the hazards of driving here in NJ, I literally can’t take a 5 minute drive without encountering aggravated stupidity. People creeping along, terrified of the other half who blow through stop signs. The majority of drivers who have no idea what to do at a multiway stop even if they do stop. Those who see no reason to signal, or pull over when dropping someone off, or use a turn lane to actually turn, or think that they have right of way if they believe you can brake in time not to hit them. I really could go on…


I would! I absolutely love roundabouts. There are probably some situations where they aren’t ideal, but in general I think they are fantastic and we should have way more of them.


At a certain level of traffic they fail dramatically as one or more entrances never get an opening. It also requires drivers to know the rules. Since, around here at least, they don’t know the rules for right of way at a 4 way stop, I doubt they’d know them for a roundabout.


At that level of traffic a 4-way stop would be even worse.

Since, around here at least, they don’t know the rules for right of way at a 4 way stop, I doubt they’d know them for a roundabout.

I think all of us can agree that it would be a mistake to change out all our 4-way stops for roundabouts overnight.

I was intimidated by roundabouts when I first moved to the UK, but became a convert within a couple of weeks.


No doubt, that’s what traffic lights are for.

I just got back from a week in Scotland, and I’d say it depended on the geometry and location of the roundabout. Definitely got scarier the closer we were to Edinburgh, there were people flying through them. There were also ones that were roundabouts in name only, there was no center island and one direction could essentially fly straight through!


[quote=“gellfex, post:44, topic:98825”]
No doubt, that’s what traffic lights are for.[/quote]

Also bad in heavy traffic. You end up sitting in the same block through several light cycles, frustrating as hell. Getting through a roundabout is almost never a problem for an experienced driver in the UK. In part that is because you can’t get a motor vehicle license there without being able t do it.

There were also ones that were roundabouts in name only, there was no center island and one direction could essentially fly straight through!

Mini roundabouts. An excellent solution when one of more of the roads involved is narrow.


Is it time to mention the Magic Roundabout again? :slight_smile:

1.Yes, that’s it’s actual name and
2. Wait till you notice that the design means that you go around the middle roundabout the wrong way


If it helps any, when my chutzpah level is high enough, I can get away with following @Jilly’s

“Have you two met?”
“Does everyone here know one another?”


“Okay, then - I’ll start” (indicates self) “Hello, I’m $NAME”

Works better in slightly-formal (work, work-social, or club/society situations, admittedly, but does work.

(I’m also odd enough​ that a version of “Argh, I’m really sorry, my brain’s totally on the fritz, would you​ mind going round and introducing yourselves?” works - and yet I still only realised that I really couldn’t trust my facial memory a little while back.
Realising how much I did to compensate, when I did was scary.)


People who stand on stairs and in doorways of public places like subways and stores drive me batshit. The best part is they’re invariably offended if you’re not perfectly polite asking them to get the fuck out of the way. You see this a lot, no matter how rude someone acts, you better be polite to THEM.