For those of us who can’t remember anybody’s name.
Hi, how are you?
I’m fine, how are you?
Awesome. Would you like to dance?
Yes, I would.
Cool, let’s go.
Honestly, I have no idea how many times a variation of this conversation has happened to me. Every class night, at least 15 times. Freestyles more than 15. Weekenders ???? times.
You will notice the obvious missing part. The name.
Mainly, as I should already know it. It will have been mentioned at some point way back in the past. Normally after a superb dance when we have paused afterwards and swap names.
Once, just the once mind, let’s not get too familiar.
With all these lovely people that I meet on a regular basis, the chances of me remembering their names are minimal. Or in actual practice, close to zero.
As with most things, I instantly expect this to be my fault; I’m an awful human being, how could I be so callous and heartless and everything else. I must be an evil bunny.
But the truth, as with most things in life is simple; this is happening to a lot of us.
So, why can’t we remember, what the hell is going on? The person seems reasonably sane and likeable. They seemed pleasant enough that we know we should know them. The dances are good, and everything is going well.
As a person, we may have formulated quite a lot about them from their dancing and the odd chat. With all things going well apart from that one small iddy biddy detail that is so elusive.
How many times can you keep asking someone their name before it gets embarrassing and or irritating to all involved?
I tend to give up after the fifteenth attempt. If it hasn’t stuck by then, it probably isn’t going to.
And it is a big but; I should figure out how to remember the names as this is my sub-culture of choice. I think we as a collective are freaking awesome. So as a mark of respect I shall endeavour to learn all of your names.
Or, I could do what my female friends do. Which is to call all the men either Chris, Paul or Steve on the simple basis of probability that they could be right.
Here’s my plan.
As with my post. How to remember your dance moves, there has to be more than just the name said once to help out.
So, the most important one first.
Choose to Remember it.
Most memory experts point out that one of the main reasons we forget someone’s name is that we’re not that focused on learning it in the first place.
There’s too much else going on, and it’s vying for our attention.
A busy dance floor. Who the next dance partner is going to be? All the dance moves you just did. The loud music, the constant movement about you, the noise, the heat.
There is usually a lot of things going on when we are swapping names, so the most important task is to decide you are going to make the moment meaningful and focus on the right thing.
Repeat Repeat Repeat.
Hi Sarah, how are you Sarah, would you like a dance Sarah, yes I do sounds nuts Sarah, but I need to do this Sarah so I don’t forget your name Sarah. Etc.
As you can see, it’s a simple, but apparently effective way to help get the person’s name stuck into your brain.
It also works to help people remember your name.
Hi, I’m Sarah, Sarah talks about Sarah in the third person because Sarah is a bit silly. Etc.
The Sparkler Effect.
Do you recall the first time you got a sparkler and waved it about your head? The after image it left in the air was too much so you had to wave it about some more.
That is the imagery for this next one.
As soon as they say Sarah, then you write their name out with your finger and if you can add in the memory of the sparkler effect to make it a bit unforgettable.
Please note, subtleness is required. Writing imaginary words in the air at head height in front of the person you are talking to is not recommended, unless you are trying to make sure they don’t forget your name.
That goofy kid’s card game where you had to get all the family together.
Mr Cook was a cook. Mrs Carpenter was a carpenter, and Ms Whiplash was from the adult version, and no one knows how that got mixed into the pack, sorry about that.
But the point is the name associated with something that can create imagery and smells and even memories. If someone told you their name was cook, you have a full repertoire of thoughts and associations to latch onto and make a connection.
You can place that person in a situation that brings up everything you can think of to create a memory that will be hard to forget, thereby keeping the person’s name in the bank.
It is a bit hard with just a first name, however, if Bob looks like Bob the builder then work with it. If Sarah looks like your dog then work with it.
Have some fun and see where it takes you.
Become Facebook Friends.
Cheat, just try and find them on Facebook or whatever you are into as their name will keep coming up on your timeline. Which will give you the chance to remember it before you see them.
You may come across a bit creepy if you don’t know them well enough and keep asking for a friend request but such is life. But, on the plus side if that is the case. Everyone will know you, as everyone knows the names of the creepy people.
If you have any cunning tricks to help me out then please leave them in the comments.