Do you sometimes forget people’s names as soon as they’ve been introduced to you? It used to happen to me all the time. What’s more, I’d let the deception that I still remembered who they were drag on forever. I’d keep on smiling, talking to them and feeling awkward when the use of name would be appropriate. Then I decided to drop the belief that I wasn’t good with names and started using these some simple tricks to help me jog my memory.
Often, while we wait for the introductions to be over, we’re thinking what to say next, scanning our surroundings or simply not paying attention. Instead make it a habit to listen out for the name and when you catch yourself getting distracted, turn your focus back onto the person you’re talking to.
Repeat the name back
Instead of “Nice to meet you”, you can say, “Nice to meet you, Jane”. This practice will ensure that you make an effort to hear the name in the first place. Speaking the name out will also engage a different learning channel from just hearing it. You can also repeat the name to yourself silently, just to make sure you’ve got it.
Find an association
If you already know someone with that name, bring up their image in your mind. Or maybe the name reminds you of a place you visited, a word in a foreign language you remember from school or it has a meaning that you could visualise. If you learn best by reading, you can imagine the name written down or even write it down at first opportunity.
If you didn’t hear the name, ask the person to repeat it. Even if you realise that you’ve forgotten the name half an hour into the conversation (or ten conversations later), it’s still OK to ask. If you never use their name it’s pretty obvious that you’ve forgotten it anyway, so it’s better to just admit it and save yourself more awkward moments. And if you’re feeling embarrassed to ask, you’ll probably want to avoid the same experience in the future, so you’ll make sure you remember the name this time!
Let go of excuses
If you’re always repeating to yourself that you’re not good with names, the chances are you won’t even try to change that. As soon as you choose to believe that you can do it, you’ll be ready to take action. Even if you don’t fully believe in yourself, simply set the intention to improve your memory and start applying the above tricks. You’ll notice the difference and you will feel a lot more confident with names very quickly.