There are few things as embarrassing as forgetting someone’s name, and yet it’s a scenario we’ve all experienced. Even when you hit it off great with someone else, you may see them a few days later, totally blank on their name, and have to struggle to not give yourself away.
Here are a few simple and easy tricks you can employ the next time you meet someone. Keep them in mind, and you’ll never have to sweat about remembering that person’s name again.
1) Pay attention.
Simple and obvious enough, but you’d be surprised by how many of us fail to pay attention when we are meeting someone new. We can get wrapped up in thinking of what to say next, and often forget to focus on the person’s name. The best thing to do is be present in the moment and pay attention to the person you are meeting.
2) Repeat, repeat, repeat.
There’s a reason your high school teacher played the name repetition game on the first day of school, where you had to introduce yourself to the class and repeat the names of all those who went before you. Repetition helps to cement the name in your mind. When you meet someone, either say the name to confirm you heard it correctly, “Jillian, right?” or use it in conversation, “So how do you like living here, Jillian?”
3) Make an association
Associate the person with someone else you know with the same name, or pick out an unusual trait from your new acquaintance and associate the name with that feature. If Jillian has really long nails, make a note of it to yourself. It’s a simple trick but it helps to fix the name more solidly in your mind.
4) Word play
Be creative and use all those memorizing tricks you relied on in high school. Rhyme the name with something – Jillian looks like a million – or use alliteration – Jillian from Jersey. It doesn’t matter how silly it sounds, just find something that works. You can also associate hobbies with the name as you learn more about the person.
5) Ask for details
For unconventional names that you haven’t heard before, ask the person for details. You can either inquire about the meaning of the name, how it is spelled, or what place it is from. Exploring details like that help spike your memory for the name.
Remember, if all else fails, you can always apologize and ask for the person’s name again and explain you’re “horrible with names.” They’ll most likely say they are as well, and you can refresh each other’s memory. However, if you get in the habit of using these tricks often, you’ll be a pro at remembering names in no time.