Simple ways to remember people’s names.
We meet a lot of people. Remembering people’s names can be tricky. People love hearing their own name. It’s flattering.
The first thing that we do when we meet a new person is introduce ourselves. During those first impressions, a foundation is laid—this is a key moment in remembering someone’s name.
Effective tricks for remembering someone’s name.
1. Nail the introduction.
Looking someone in the eye and giving a firm handshake makes a winning first impression. I like to be a person that makes a lasting impression. Not everyone is like that. The hardest names to remember belong to the people who don’t care about making a lasting first impression.
I have a very generic first name, so I like to introduce myself using both of my names. “Hi. My name is Ashleigh Hitchcock.” This is a good strategy for me because I have a memorable last name. The person I’m meeting is then likely to give me his first and last name.
If we know both the first and last name of a new friend, we stand a better chance of remembering their name.
Strike up a conversation and spend a few minutes letting the person make an impression on us. Find out what they’re passionate about. Skip the boring small talk and get straight to the juice. We’ll be remembered as a person who’s both interesting and interested. And we’ll be more likely to remember them.
2. Repeat their name.
Work their name into the dialogue while it’s fresh in our mind. Purposefully look into their eyes while saying their name. Swallow. Force ourselves to remember their name—especially if it’s someone we like or are likely to run into again.
Giving a compliment is also another opportunity to practice saying their name. “I love that necklace, Betty.”
3. Make associations.
Think of someone we know who has the same name of our new acquaintance. Do they have something in common? Maybe our new friend’s name rhymes with something that reminds us of them? Hairy Jerry.
4. Write it down.
I am a person who remembers things by writing them down. I like to write my new friend’s name quickly in a notebook, sometimes right on the spot, or later in the day. Seeing their name helps me remember it.
Another great way to “cheat” is to ask for their business card. Then our new acquaintance’s name is right there in black and white. I’m the type to keep the business cards I collect, in my wallet for at least a few weeks.
Later, if I spy my new contact from across a crowed coffee shop and I recognize their face and but can’t recall their name, I sneak a quick peek through my mini-stack of business cards—until I recollect their name.
5. The next time we see our new friend.
Many times we come face to face with people we’ve newly met. If we simply can’t remember their name, it’s time to confess. It’s no big whoop to say, “Remind me of your name.” They will still be flattered that we remember meeting them.
6. Throw them a bone.
Many times we’ll nail remembering someone’s name but it is obvious that they don’t remember ours. In this case, a simple reintroduction is order. Reminding them our our name will help them feel relaxed and then we can ease into cultivating a new friendship.
Remembering someone’s name doesn’t have to be a chore. It’s easy if we have a few tricks up our sleeves. Good luck!
Video map of most popular girl names in the United States—1960 to 2012.
Video map of most popular boy names in the United States—1960 to 2012.
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Author: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photos: flickr, video still
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