How to Remember Names

Have you ever met someone new, introduced yourself and then soon after realized you can't remember their name?  I think we all have been in this embarrassing situation.  Especially embarrassing if they were able to remember yours.  

Let's say you're talking to someone new.  The conversation is going great.  You seem to have similar views and interests with the new person you met, but now it's time for one of you to go and the goodbyes begin.  You stand there and look at your new acquaintance, realizing you are drawing a blank as to what their name could have been.  What do you do?!  You could try to guess it.  Was it Cody?  Or was it Brody?  Maybe it was Tony?  No, no it was actually Jessica!  Right...?  You start to say goodbye to the people you already know, hoping someone slips out your new friends name in the meantime... but no one does.  It's time to say goodbye and you decide to go with, "I'm sorry what was your name again?"  It was Jeff!  How could you forget?!  That's your name, too!

What if I told you there are actions you can take so you never have this problem again? Little tricks and games you can use to become a master at remembering names.  Remembering people's names was something I used to struggle with.  I was slacking on my memory and it wasn't helping when I met someone new.  I got tired of being the one who couldn't remember my new friend's name, so I learned some ways to fix that, which I would like to share with you.

The first and best way to engrave the new name into your head is to repeat it directly after they introduce themselves.  For instance, the beginning of an introduction with me may sound something like this:

"Hey, I'm TJ."

"Hey, I'm Katie!"

"Nice to meet you, Katie."

That's it.  I just immediately repeat their name back to them.  It doesn't sound out of place and it helps immensely with remembering it because you've already confirmed it and associated it with the new person.  

For some people, this may be all it takes to get the name dialed into their brain, but I'm not one of those people.  So after this, if I'm not trying to focus on what someone is saying, I'll repeat the name a few times in my head.  "Katie, Katie, Katie, Katie".  It is extra helpful to do this while looking at the person, or trying to visualize what they look like so you are more likely to associate the name to the face.  Even after I've walked away and am not around the person, I may still repeat the name a few times just for safe measures.  

Now here's a little game you can play to help you remember the name.  Every time you see the person, try to say their name in your head.  If you can remember, you've won!  Win as many times as you see them throughout the time around them.  Or if you're about to talk to them, address them by their name to start the conversation off.  

What if you see them and realize you've already forgot their name?  Don't worry... there are two ways to go about handling this.  The first way, which is the riskier way, is to go on normally and focus on who is talking to the person to see if they say their name during their conversation.  Sometimes you'll get lucky and it will casually come out, or they will introduce themselves to someone else and you happen to be close enough to hear it.  The second way, which honestly makes more sense is to just ask them to tell you their name again.  If you're still early on in the conversation and realize you don't remember, don't be afraid to ask.  Remembering names right off the bat is hard for a lot of people, so I can't see someone you just met getting upset that you already forgot their name.  They'll probably be happier you're taking initiative to really try to remember what their name was.  Once they tell you, go back to repeating the name in your head a few times.  Really drill it in there.

Now when it is time for you to say goodbye, it should be very easy to remember the person's name.    Give them a handshake or a hug and address them by their name.  "It was great to meet you, Katie!  I'll send you a message when I hear more about that music festival we were talking about!"  We all know it feels nice when someone remembers your name.  It leaves us with a deeper connection to the person and a more memorable experience.  

If at first, you still struggle with remembering names, don't stress it!  It just takes a little bit of practice.  I promise you that in time, you will be the best person you know at remembering new names.  I used to be horrible at remembering names and would have to be told over and over and over again.  Now, after repeating names back and saying them a few times in my head, it's strange for me not to remember a name.  Now go out, meet new people, put these methods to use, and make new connections that may just last a lifetime!  Best of luck!  

Remember to share this info on your Facebook, Google+, or other social media to help eliminate the embarrassment of name forgetting!

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