How to Remember People’s Names

Are you having problems remembering people’s names?  Don’t worry, it happens to everyone.  In fact, studies show that most adults struggle to remember names of people they just met.

A long time ago, I remember that a friend of mine introduced me to somebody.  A couple of weeks later, I bumped into that person in the mall.  Imagine my surprise when she greeted me first by my name and we chit-chat a little but I could not tell her directly that I forgot her name.  When I got home, I called my friend and asked for her name.  So, I thought by then I would have learned my lesson.

And then a few weeks later, I saw her again on a party.  For the third time, I still could not remember her name.  This time, I was so ashamed to ask my friend again for her name.  If I feel so bad, imagine how that person would have felt if she only knew that I could not remember her name considering the fact that she remembered mine the first time.

So, if you are like me and this happens to you on a regular basis, then it is time for you to address the issue.  Just like what I did.

Forgetting people’s names sends a clear message that you do not deem them important. Remembering other people’s name will not only make them feel better, it will also help you create a good impression that might lead to a good business or personal relationship later on.

Here are some tricks that you can apply so you can get better in remembering people’s names:

1.  Repeat 

Once you are introduced to someone, it is recommended that you use the name immediately.  Try to get into the habit of saying something like “it is good to meet you ______”.   By repeating the person’s name, it helps engrain the name into your memory.

You can also try to repeat the person’s name at least three times during the conversation.  You can also opt to repeat the name silently to yourself.  Repeat it again when saying goodbye.

2.  Associate

Pick out the most prominent feature on the person’s face.  It could be a dimple, a pointed nose, a mole on the face, strong eyebrows, beautiful eyes or any other distinguishing feature on the person’s face.  Now, connect this feature with the name.  Oftentimes, our ability to recall images is greater than our ability to remember words.  This visual trait will serve as your anchor from your memory each time you try to remember that particular person’s name.  Use your sense of sight to form a vivid impression in your mind.

3.  Concentrate

One reason why people have a hard time remembering names is that people don’t normally pay attention when being introduced to other people most especially if they are not interested with the new person.  If you are distracted or simply not paying attention, there is no way you can possibly remember a person’s name.

Concentrate then listen.  Don’t be afraid to ask the person to repeat it especially if you have not heard it correctly.  If the name is not common, by all means, ask the person to spell it for you.  If it is a business meeting, exchange business cards with the person and take a good look at the name before keeping the calling card.

4.  Write it Down

You can keep a small notebook to write down names of people you just met.  Beside the name, write a brief description of the person and the time, event and place where you met the person.  Do this immediately after the meeting so you won’t forget but don’t do it in front of the person.  Look through your notes every now and then to help you remember.

5.  Seek Reinforcement

If you  have done all the steps above and you are still having a hard time remembering people’s name, then it is time to ask a friend to help you, discreetly of course.  You can ask them the name of the person you are going to meet beforehand so that you will have time to embed the name in your memory.  If you are both meeting the new person for the first time, ask them to state the name of the person during the conversation to  help you remember.

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