I have a friend who has another friend with my name. So my friend has two friends named Danielle, and we occasionally run into each other at different parties. Let’s call us Danielle A and Danielle B.
Whenever I see Danielle B, I a) remember that we’ve met and share a name, and thus b) remember her name. Easy, right? Right. Except that whenever I see Danielle B, she’s like, “Nice to meet you, I’m Danielle. What’s your name again?” and I’m like, “Are you kidding me?”
So. It appears that forgetting someone’s name – even if you share that name – is a challenge for some people. Fair enough.
Here’s how to train yourself to remember people’s names.
1. Ask for it. Don’t be shy to ask for someone’s name when you first meet them, or if you’ve met them once but can’t remember it. But if you’ve met them 15 times and you’re just trying to make them feel small by pretending not to know their name, don’t ask. And shame on you.
Say,” Hi, I’m John, what’s your name?” or “Hi, I’m John. I know we’ve met before because I remember your face, but not your name. Remind me again?”
2. Repeat it. This reinforces what you heard, and gives you a chance to make sure you got it right.
Say, “Hello, nice to meet you! Is it Terry or Perry?”
3. Use it. If your conversations skills are up to par, you’ll be able to work the person’s name naturally into one of your sentences in a way that also involves the person in the conversation. This reminds your brain that it knows (and remembers) their name. Bonus points for knowing how to be polite at a party.
Say, “What do you think Perry; was Get Him to The Greek a good movie?”
4. Link it. Link the name to something about the person or the place you met. This gives your memory a little extra reason to remember the name. Sometimes the silliest association tricks are the easiest to remember.
Say (to yourself), “I met Perry when I was drinking Perrier.”
There you have it. A little crash course on how to remember names. Was that helpful?
How do you remember people’s names? How do you feel when someone forgets your name?