Design

How to Introduce People

Want to hear a fascinating little etiquette tip? When you’re introducing someone, you should always say their name first and their relationship to you second.

Wrong: “This is my sister, Lucy.”

Right: “This is Lucy, my sister.”

That way, you spotlight the person–not their connection to you. It’s a small thing, but it makes a lovely difference! I just learned this, and I’m doing it from now on.

What do you think? Great? Random? Who cares? xo

(Photo by the Sartorialist)

  1. Katie says...

    This feels similar to the idea that when giving a compliment you should say “That dress looks great on you” rather than “You look great in that dress”.

    This way, it is the person adding the value to the object, rather than the object increasing the value of the person.

    • Great point, Kate. :)

  2. Cara says...

    I was just saying this about how everyone knows me as “the wife”

  3. So… how do I introduce my mother?

  4. Oh good to know!

  5. Pri says...

    I think it’s great!

    I just discovered your page and I’m loving it! Interesting and so femeninely designed.

  6. This is something that I’ve always said to guys I’ve dated. I want to be known as Nicole, not just your girlfriend. The guy I’m with now has it nailed, without any guidance from me!
    -Nicole
    Mercantile519

  7. I immediately thought of Bridget Jones. “this is Mark Darcy, top barrister…” Ahahah

  8. definitely putting this in my back pocket!

  9. this is so true! thanks for sharing!

  10. Anonymous says...

    I just stumbled upon this post from this summer and I think it’s great. I hate going to a gathering where introductions are not even made. Terribly uncomfortable and I always make intro’s…i just had never thought of this tip…thanks

  11. I’m very completely happy that I stumbled throughout this in my search for something regarding this.

  12. Such a great idea! I’m going to try that from now on!
    Thanks!

  13. It’s probably a “who cares” with most but I like to hear about funny/neat etiquette tips. It’s like getting a note in the mail in a era of email/twitter/text. Thanks for the tip. From now on, they will be “Ken, my husband” and “Jacob, my brother”!

  14. It’s probably a “who cares” with most but I like to hear about funny/neat etiquette tips. It’s like getting a note in the mail in a era of email/twitter/text. Thanks for the tip. From now on, they will be “Ken, my husband” and “Jacob, my brother”!

  15. I love this etiquette tip! This is such a subtle thing to change, but it does make a huge difference!

  16. This is the 1st time I’ve ever heard of this, but it makes sense. Thanks for sharing the tips :).

  17. i love this post.
    its little things like this that make such a difference.

    i am not so great with making any kind of conversation the first time i meet someone. i am a little shy and i don’t end up speaking loudly enough.
    but in reality i am a big chatterbox and people i know well always want me to shut up. its funny.

    so when i have to introduce someone i start off at a good volume and then fade out so the last few words of my sentence get eaten up as a result of which names always get lost.

    so thanks for the tip joanna :)
    ill surely use it the next time im introducing anyone.

  18. Anonymous says...

    Teachers are taught to do this with children with disabilities.

    Wrong: mentally retarded child
    Right: child with metal retardation

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. Great! it’s simple but much more thoughtful. Better
    late than never in getting it right!! Thank you!

  21. What a helpful piece of advice…I’ve ALWAYS announced their relationship first and then their name almost as an afterthought. HOW RUDE!

  22. I learned something new today! I’d say great AND wonderful.