Trouble Remembering & Using People’s Names? Here’s Help (PART 2)
And we're back. Last week, we emphasized what a useful skill it is to be able to remember, and then use, people's names when we're interacting with them. Hearing one's own name makes those with whom you're talking feel seen and that you care enough to remember their name.
We also discussed in detail the best ways to prepare for meeting people for the first time. Setting this intention ahead of time will mentally prepare you to do a better job at remembering people's names at social outings--even if that's online like many things nowadays. If you missed part 1, or want a refresher, it's right here.
Now that we've prepared ourselves ahead of time and know what steps to take before, during, and right after meeting someone, now let's look at some recommended ways to *actually* remember remember those names. (Disclaimer: some of these are chuckle-worthy, but hey if it works....)
It seems obvious, but really take a look at their face. Don't leer like a weirdo, of course. Just look at them. Often people are so distracted at social gatherings--take a moment and look at them. Face association is quite effective--especially now that we've got social media to back us up. If you can remember their name and face long enough to find them on Facebook, then your task becomes much, much easier. Try to create an association with some physical trait defining feature.
This one, admittedly, is a bit silly. But hey, if it works. Sometimes, it's easier to remember some people's names more than others. For the ones you find most challenging, imagine writing their name on their forehead in your mind. Use a bright color. Again, don't stare at their forehead and chuckle when you do this, that may not be well-received. Write each letter at a time in your mind while you repeat their name in your head. It can be helpful.
I had someone tell me once that when they met me, they always thought of the movie Gone with the Wind. However, one feels about this movie, they said he helped them remember my name because Scarlett's home was named "Tara." They said they'd play the music from the movie in their mind for awhile when they saw me because they'd associated it with learning my name. I guess it worked because we're friends and they seem to remember my name. Whether or not they still play the music in their head, I'll leave to them. Try associating music or an image with that person to help you remember their name.
These are just a few recommended techniques from people I've heard over the years. We do our best to remember names, but at the end of the day, there's is NO shame in simply saying "I'm sorry, please remind me of your name." People love "real" people. We all forget names from time to time, and showing vulnerability and humility can help people feel more connected with you. At the end of the day, that's what this should be about anyway.
That being said, the more you practice these techniques, the easier and more second nature they'll become.
Wanna practice at home? Pick a new show from Netflix and do your best to learn all of the new character's names by the end of the first or second episode.