Sunday, June 27, 2010

Not Good With Names

I'm not very good with names. Some of you are master's at this. In fact, I married someone who is exponentially better at this than me. If you remember names, you are lucky.

I've tried some tricks to help me. Like, think of someone you already know with that name and then find a similar feature that will trigger that name when you see the person you just met. Or say their name outloud when you meet them or 2 or 3 times in your head. Those sort of work for me. But not consistently.

What does work for me are 2 things:

First, before I go somewhere that I'm going to need to remember names I do my research. Perhaps, I'm going to a business meeting. In that scenario I will go back and review previous emails or business cards or reports that contain all the names of anyone I may come into contact with. If I'm going to a work happy hour and I have to remember spouses names, I will check Facebook before I go to refresh my memory. Another good way I do this is I ask the person I am going with, typically my huz, to just remind me of anyone's name I forgot.

Second, and this works wonders, I introduce someone who's name I know to the person who's name I don't know. You know what this does? It forces them to tell their name to the person I know. Here's how it goes: I would say, "Hey there! So great to see you! Have you met my friend Amie?". They would say, "Hi Amie, I'm Isabelle. Nice to meet you".  Ta Da!

I can't believe I'm telling my tactic, because I use it so often that no doubt many of you have seen it. And now you know that I've committed the social faux pas of forgetting someone's name. Many. Many. Times. One more flaw admitted to the world...

...QueenB Says


  1. Glad to know it's not just me! And my husband is just like yours, he can remember EVERYONE'S name - even our waitress/waiter at a restaurant just 5 minutes into the meal! It's amazing and I wish I had his great short-term memory. But my long-term memory definitely has his beat so I guess it all evens out. Thanks for the great tips!

  2. It's ok QueenB, I'm bad with names too. But I can remember faces and esp. voices. People used to think my dad was whipering sweet nothings in mom's ear when really he was asking what someone's names was!