Video: 6 ways to actually remember names

We’ve all been in the terrifying and embarrassing situation where the name of someone we’ve met before or someone we’ve just met completely eludes us.

And while it’s a clever workaround, there’s really only so much mileage you can get out of saying “Hey pal…”  or “Nice to see you” to sneak yourself out of an awkward moment. (While there’s no science to back this up, some believe that the universe actually knows when you don’t remember someone’s name and will often make a third person appear just so you have to introduce them to each other.)

The true power of remembering names

The truth is that the ability to remember someone’s name will do more than help you survive a social situation. It’s a crucial part of showing respect, making a meaningful connection, and making yourself memorable and liked. Think about a time when someone — a yoga teacher, barista, or someone you met for two minutes in 2005 — remembered your name. You probably felt special or important.

Of course, there’s a natural component of narcissism that plays to this dynamic. As Dale Carnegie once put it, “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

Making the effort is everything

The first and most important step to remembering someone’s name is to consciously make the effort. Meeting people can be a stressful process, you might feel like time is actually speeding up when an introduction is being made.

But there’s no good reason why we can’t resist this impulse, take control of the moment, and slow it down. So start from there and follow these 5 tactics from Harvard Business Review and may you never be left flat-footed again. Good luck…friend.


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