How to remember someone’s name

1. Ask for their name.

2. Use the person’s name a couple of times as you converse.

3. Repeat their name under your breath when you part.

4. When you meet the person again, simply say “I’m sorry, I’ve utterly forgotten your name.”

Repeat about eight times.

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6 Responses to How to remember someone’s name

  1. Clearly, sir, you have stolen my methodology.

    Of course, if this were software, I could have applied for a patent on it.

  2. Justin Heiner says:

    I’ve never had a problem just using 1 or 4. None of the other techniques work for me. Nobody really gets offended when you ask them their name, or even if I ask them if we’ve met before (and the answer happens to be “several times”). In fact, many of them laugh and say they have the same problem and ask me my name.

    I guess that makes it kind of a good icebreaker as well.

  3. James says:

    I’m a teacher, my capacity for remembering names seems to run to about 600… then my brain’s full and you become “that kid that sits over in the corner on Tuesdays” and that becomes my handle on who you are.

    My ability to forget names is equally great – I might see you every day for five years, get to know you quite well and know your parents. Once you leave school and I meet you on the street you’re “errm that kid from school… I think”.

    Never ask a kid for its name, they’ll either take massive offense that you are unable to remember them against the 1500 other kids you see every day or will tell you they’re called “Bert” or some other kid’s name.

    Depending on the kid you tend to do 3 quite a lot, often accompanied by some unpleasant words to help ensure you remember them for the rest of your life whether you want to or not.

  4. Kent says:

    Yup, that’s me, except I gave up on steps 1-3 years ago. I’m also with James, I can remember everything about former and current co-workers, except their names.
    When I taught college, I told my students I wasn’t going to remember their names, so don’t take offense. I also point out that this benefits them as I won’t remember their name at grading time after they do something that annoys me.

  5. Adam Robinson says:

    “Never ask a kid for its name” I now know exactly how your brain is working, consider yourself debugged 🙂

  6. Xelous says:

    True story… Stood at the door at my own wedding, welcoming guests before my bride arrived to start proceedings, and a rather nice looking lass comes over, she’d clearly spent a LOT of time – and maybe a lot of the poor bugger she had in tow’s cash – getting ready… and I looked at her… I smiles, she looked at me, she smiled… and I just… Could not think who the hell she was….

    I was rattling off names, going over the seating plans… I was like… Who the hell is this… My brain at this point was rather busy asking “Where’s the wife… Where’s the wife”…. looking for my bride, so my body took over with its own brand of honesty, and I remember my hand going out to shake hers and just saying….

    “I’m sorry, but I have no idea who you are”….

    The silence was palpable… But, at the time my brain was still going… “Where is that car… Where is that car”… I didn’t care about this lass in the posh dress, the main lady of the day was due to arrive in seconds, so I wanted to just run and hide.

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