Names never seem to come easy to aspies. We're often introduced to someone and lose their name in less than five mintues.
Often we don't feel comfortable using names and sometimes even hearing our own name in conversation makes us cringe.
On the flip side, I'm sure that our friends, relatives and spouses are tired of being referenced using nicknames or being addressed simply as "hey you".
Short Term Memory
I think that part of the problem is the awful short term memory capabilities of the aspie. If we need a name to stick, we either have to repeat it a lot in the first few seconds or find a good association (eg: same name as my sister).
Unfortunately, such associations are rare and most social situations don't allow for name repetition. The aspie is left in a position where forgetting is inevitable.
Confusion over Names
Aspies quickly get used to other people joking about names but often, although we know that something is funny, we don't always know why.
At my school, we had a large breasted librarian, Mrs Perriot (pronounced pere-o-tay). My best friend at the time used to call her "pair-o-tits" but I always "heard" it as "perritit" and figured it was the proper pronounciation of the French? name Perriot. I was very fond of this librarian, so luckily I was pulled up for the name by a teacher before I used it in front of her. Even then, I remember the teacher getting angry when I said, "but that's her name isn't it?".
Another funny names thing happened in my school years as a library monitor. There was a boy mucking up and I duly asked for his name and wrote it down. He was still abusive after being given a warning so I reported Mr Condom's activities to the librarian. I still didn't see the problem when she flew into an outrage and hurried down to talk to him. It was the sight of my best friend laughing hysterically that clued me in.
From that point onwards, I stopped trusting all names given by third parties.
There's something about a name that makes it just a little too personal for my liking and I find it very uncomfortable to do.
Most of the time I just burst into conversations with no preliminaries or use the word "hey" to attract attention. I'm sure it's probably bad manners but it doesn't make me feel bad. At work, I reply to "good morning, Gavin" with simply "good morning" or, more often "hi". Nobody seems to mind. Recently I've set myself a target of using one name per day but it still grates on me when I do.
The only way I can feel comfortable about names is to use nicknames. I found a great compromise with my wife by calling her Joey (her name is Joanne) but I've never thought of the name Joey as a short name. In Australia, it means a small type of Kangaroo.
My close friends all use nicknames too and both of my children do too. Luckily, I usually try to choose nicknames which are close enough to the originals to not offend.