How-To Remember Names

by bbilly on January 8, 2012

Hey there… you! Howdy……… man! What’s up… uh… doc? I’m sorry. I totally forgot your name. Well, I never really knew it because you’re a nameless, faceless reader. But for the sake of this post, let’s pretend that you told me your name and I completely forgot it.

Forgetting someone’s name sucks. There’s no way around it. They feel cruddy and unmemorable. You feel like a horse’s a**. Beyond the social awkwardness that name forgetting causes, it can also hinder your success.

Forgetting the name of an interviewer is a flub that won’t get you hired on as the newest forensic psychologist in the department. Forgetting the name of a cute girl could leave you dateless come this weekend. And forgetting the name of your favorite blogger, well, that will get you chastised all over the internet. No, I wouldn’t do that to you.

There are three things that you can do to become that person who’s creepishly good at names.

  1. Commit: Quit telling yourself and others that you’re bad with names. It’s just a cop out. Every time you know you’re going into a situation where you think you’ll be meeting a lot of new people, remind yourself that you’re trying to get better at remembering peoples names. Setting the intention will allow you to focus on the task at hand.
  2. Concentrate: You know that moment when you’re meeting someone and you’re doing that whole instant judging, first impression forming thing that you do. Push that back a minute and fully concentrate on their mouth and the words that are coming out of it when they’re saying their name.
  3. Repeat: After they say their name, repeat it back to them if you can. Comment on it if you can. Then say it to yourself silently. Use it in the conversation if you can. Repeat it when leaving. They say that saying someone’s name five times will help solidify it into memory. If you can’t do it aloud, do it in your mind while attaching it to the image of their face.
So there, Bob. You’re going to do just fine, Bob. See you later Bob!
How do you remember people’s names?

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