Have you ever been talking to somebody, and halfway through the conversation, you suddenly realize that you’ve completely forgotten their name? Maybe you looked around and hoped you would see somebody that knew them, so you could later ask what their name was. Or maybe you lost track of the conversation completely as you racked your brain trying to remember their name.
Of course, the worse thing that could happen is that a friend joins the conversation, and you are suddenly on the spot of making the socially required introductions. You can either admit you’ve forgotten their name, and look foolish, or you can ignore the introductions and hope they introduce themselves, and look rude. Either way, forgetting somebody’s name is an almost certain way to put you into a bind.
Luckily, because you are reading this you are about to discover how to remember names so that you will never find yourself in an uncomfortable position again. And one cool thing about this trick is that it can be applied to any situating where you need to remember important facts or details, and it wouldn’t be appropriate to write them down.
Before I explain the simple trick, one important, and often misunderstood concept about memory needs to be addressed. Remembering things, names, places, dates, etc, is not a passive process. You have to make a conscious choice, combined with conscious mental action if you want to remember anything, at least at first. Just like riding a bicycle, once you get the hang of it, you can do it without thinking.
Memory is no different. If you are having problems now, you can take simple steps that consciously remember things, just like you had to remember to hold the handle bars and pedal and steer so you wouldn’t crash into things or fall over. But just as you soon were able to ride a bike without thinking, you will soon be able to remember things without thinking.
The idea behind this is called pegging. A peg it simply something you hang something. Physically a peg is something on wall that many people use to hang their keys on, so they won’t forget where they are. You can do the same with names.
The idea is to make a decision that you want to remember their name before you get it from them. It may seem cumbersome at first, but once you get the hang of it will be second nature.
The trick is to give somebody a name before you meet them. And not just any name, something specific about the way they look, or walk or talk. The key here is to be as humorous, demeaning, politically incorrect as possible. This is ok, because you won’t be sharing this name with anybody. Then when you hear their name, you will need to connect their actual name in some way with the politically incorrect name you gave them before.
This requires a bit of mental flexibility, as you will need to take their name and create a mental picture of something associated with that name.
For example. Let’s say you are at a party, and you see somebody you might meet. You look at him, and he has a big nose. So right away you think of him as “Mr. Big Nose.” (Remember, you aren’t going to share this with anybody). Then when you hear his name, you create a picture based on his name, and attach it to “Mr. Big Nose” in your mind.
Let’s say his name is Mike. You can think of a microphone, and imagine a cluster of microphones dangling from his nose. Or lets say his name is Dave. You can think of a wave (rhymes with Dave) and imagine a giant thirty-foot tsunami exploding from is nostrils. Or if his name is George, you can imagine either the monkey, curious George, playing his hose, or George of the Jungle, swinging on vine from his nose, or George Washington, and imagine a cluster of rolled up one dollar bills stuck in his nose.
This may seem like a lot of work, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you can master this. You can practice this a couple ways. One way is to look online for baby names, and practice thinking of pictures to associate with common names you might hear. And when you are out in public, like at Starbucks or wherever, you can practice giving people politically incorrect names like “Mr. Big Nose,” or “Mr. Blue Shirt,” or “Miss Big Hair,” or “Miss on sale shoes,” or whatever. You will only need to practice this a couple of times before you get really good at it.
If you need motivation, just imagine what it will be like when people think of you as the person that always remembers people’s names. And when you realize that remembering somebody’s name is the absolute best way to make an impression, you’ll also really increase your popularity.