The EASIEST Way To Remember People's Names
That moment when you’re shaking someone’s hand, and realize you have instantly forgotten their name… from THREE SECONDS AGO. Not to worry, this happens to the best of us.
No matter whether you’re introverted or extroverted, having conversations with new people can be a lot of work and stress inducing. Avoiding any awkward silence at all costs, while telling the same 10 stories you tell at every get-together and networking night (insert spouse rolling eyes here). It’s important to step outside your comfort zone and use these social situations to learn and grow from others; their experiences, goals, and perspectives. There are plenty of tips and life-hacks to remember names: from Hannibal Lecter-esque “memory palaces” to cringeworthy salesperson tactics of saying the persons name in every single sentence. None of these felt right, so instead, I examined why this is so common.
Now stay with me here, not to sound too holistic but the answer is to be present in the conversation.
When someone introduces themselves, instead of actively listening, we’re only thinking about what to say next. This is counterintuitive as we already know what we’re going to say, “Hi I’m Jeremy, nice to meet you too.” the same thing you say every time. However, we resort to planning out everything we’re going to discuss to avoid the dreaded awkward silence. We could be listening to their stories and experiences while commenting on interesting aspects to dive deeper into their lives. We instead decide to make a mental list of all the talking points we’d like to share with them. This is living in the future not the present, and believe it or not, people pick up on this more than you think. This drastically shortens the conversation as it is all surface content as no one is really listening to each other. Once the stories run out, you don’t feel like you know that person any better than you did before. You’ve essentially failed to make a memorable, lasting impression to that person.
Remembering peoples names has a massive added benefit of making you more memorable to others too. Countless times I have seen someone I met once, a few months earlier, recalled their name, and gained a new friend, business contact, or client out of the exchange. Sometimes it takes a couple chance meetups but in the end they remember you since you made them feel special. It feels good when someone remembers you so why not try to spread that feeling to as many people as possible?
Make this a goal for one month and I assure you, you’ll notice a huge improvement in your social skills.