Up until about a year ago, I had always considered myself to be someone who was “bad at names.” Then one day, I was having a conversation with a friend they said that they don’t believe anyone is actually bad at names– some people just don’t take the time to learn them.
That really struck me. It means so much to me when someone remembers my name! I know that it’s not an easy name to remember (most people named Anita are in their 80s) but when someone does, it feels like I actually made an impression on them.
So! I decided that it was time for a change. A year later, I can now safely say that I am somewhere in the “good with names” spectrum.
Here are my favorite tips:
- The best way that I’ve found to remember someone’s name is to associate their name with another person. For example: “Oh! Mike– like my Uncle Mike, who also has a mustache.” It’s preferable if these two people have something alike, even if it’s just their goofy laugh or the fact that they play golf.
- If they have an unusual name, or you don’t know someone else with their name, associate their name with a thing. For example: “Maggy– like Magnolia, like the floral print shirt she’s wearing.” Often, this is totally ridiculous and silly, but that doesn’t matter. It still works.
- Then, once you have an association, repeat their name three times. I usually do it twice during the conversation (It’s nice to meet you, Lauren” and “Great– thanks again, Lauren”) and then once to myself after I’m done speaking with them, “Lauren, like Lauren Conrad.” I’ve found that even just repeating their name at the end of the conversation goes a long way– many people don’t remember names just seconds after they’re introduced.
Would you consider yourself good with names? Any tips?