I am often quite embarrassed by my lack of ability to remember names. I acknowledge that this is a common problem and it probably wouldn’t be that big of a deal except I don’t remember faces either. It’s pretty bad. The other day I was at my kids’ school getting them all registered for the new school year. I hear “hello neighbor” in a jolly voice. I look up “Hey! How are you?” And then I totally blow it. I did a horrible job of playing it off as I quickly ran through the neighbors to my right, left and across the street. Nope, it wasn’t my neighbor. Perhaps he was mistaken? “Are we neighbors?” I ask.
Now here is where it gets bad. Granted, I had really only met him once but it was a pretty big deal. You see, his wife and I had become friends and actually started working together. Our kids were in the same class and since they lived so close and wanted the opportunity to get to know them better, we had them over to OUR BABY’S BAPTISM LUNCH! And there were only like 8 people there! How did I forget his face? I wanted to crawl under the table.
The worst part about this kind of memory loss is that it must come across as though I find people unimportant. I assure you, that is not the case. I know I have to take responsibility, but I want answers and I want to get better at this!
Reasons Why I Think This Happens
- I think my issue is partly due to being on social media and meeting masses of people on a weekly basis. This must play some part in my ability to absorb it all.
- Another very valid explanation was revealed to me a few days ago as I was listening to How To Remember Names and Faces By Harry Lorayne. Yes, after this last mortifying moment (one of many) I decided I had a problem and I knew there had to be a solution.
Remedying the Situation
One tactic I learned was to find some association with the name and then really get a good look at the person’s face and find a trait that really stood out. Is it a big nose, giant mole, broken tooth? It’s okay, you don’t have to tell them how you remembered their name. But find a way to apply the name association with the facial feature.
This method makes you really examine a person’s face and lock the name into memory. Here is where I think having 4 kids may have some impact on my actually taking the time to do this. Imagine the constant attention one or more of my 4 kids (age 1-7) need. It means never really stopping to have a full on conversation or making real face to face contact. Plus, I feel kind of weird deeply examining someone’s face. I am still going to try it. So if we meet for the first time and I seem to be staring your face down very attentively, I am just trying desperately to remember your name and etch your face in memory for life.
I have other stories too… like the girl I sat with on the cruise ship who shared my name. We had a full conversation about how we shared our name. And guess what, the next day; I called her by the wrong name! There are more. It is humiliating, but I am determined to conquer this!
Please tell me that I am not the only one with a story THAT BAD! Tell me your embarrassing moments with forgetting names and faces. This could get amusing!
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