Are you good with names?

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I need help... when I am introduced to someone within a matter of minutes their name leaves my memory. I am terrible with names. I was once in a job interview where I was introduced to the two people conducting the interview, then at the very end of the interview they did the most cruel thing; they asked me to tell them their names! I didn't get that job!
Does anyone have any good ideas on how to improve my short-term memory and thus help me with this problem with names?
I envy and admire the person I am introduced to once, then weeks later I see that person again and they greet me by name; I want to do that!


Completely Boxer Crazy
I am sooo sorry but I have the same problem and it's getting worse. I'm not THAT old! Someone actually recommended Gingko Biloba - does that stuff work???? I'll try most anything herbal.


Boxer Booster
I try to write the name down ASAP. This works well at meetings. I'm involved in 2 professional groups, and they have dinner meetings with speakers. I try to write down the names of everyone at my table, and the companies where they work. Later on (like before the next meeting) I can go over the list. After I've read it a couple times, I remember.

This doesn't work during an interview, although I usually take notes then too.


Boxer Insane
Pleased I'm not the only one

Am totally hopeless with human names, but I think I remember the name of every single dog I have met :) I do not even recognise people without their dogs. I hate it if I go shopping and someone stops to talk to me from dog club as I really have to think deeply about who they are and which dog loves them :)

Lava Linda

Completely Boxer Crazy
I've read about using tricks, and it works for me to a certain extent. The moment you're told their name, you make an association of some kind.

For example, Jean might be wearing something that's denim blue. Jeff might have a nose like Thomas Jefferson, or have a shirt the color of grape Jelly. Sometimes just the first initial is all you need.

Another trick is to visualize the name. Pretend you see it written in the air above their head, maybe in smoke rings, or bright red marquis lights, whatever works for you.

Another is to associate them with someone else you know by that name, even if it's just a trick you tell yourself. Like Jennifer...she's wearing a scarf like Jennifer in my office does. Even if it's a phony association (i.e. the Jennifer in your office doesn't really wear scarves.), if you can picture them together in scarves, you'll remember! Or Eric, "I wonder if he likes Eric Clapton?"

When you're nervous in an interview, it would be much harder, especiially with several names at once. What a nasty thing to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck!!!


Your Friendly Moderator
Oh MY! Krikkit, I am EXACTLY the same way. It is so embarrassing to say, "Oh, you're Dizzy's daddy" when I see people in the grocery store. I can never remember the people names.

Years ago, I decided I'd just bite the bullet and ask people. I'm the one now who's always saying, "I'm sorry, would you tell me your name again." I do it sometimes 3 or 4 times. I should be embarrassed but I'm not. Some people have good memories for names, others don't. I don't. And if it offends someone, I probably didn't really want to know them anyway. I'm never offended when someone asks my name again because I know how it is to be bad at names.


Reasonable Moderator
Staff member
It's the same here. I know all the dogs names in the neighborhood, but only a few of the owners names. LOL

Julie Davis

Boxer Insane
Elsa...I have heard that if you repeat their name as much as possible after they introduce themselves...Elsa, it will stick in your memory better... Elsa. After you've said it, Elsa..numerous times, Elsa, you will never forget their name, Elsa. :LOL:
A college professor taught me the method that I use for remembering names, and it works remarkably well, and it's
simple: Just repeat their name 3 times during your initial conversation, and notice their eye color while you do it.
They won't mind hearing their name repeated.

Silly as it sounds, it works. If I forget someone's name -
I ask, after that I won't forget again! :LOL:


Boxer Insane
I'm not real good with names either. :( But, I too, can remember dogs' names. Why is that? :p

Everyone has given some good tips.
I try to repeat the person's name when first being introduced. "This is Elsa." "Hello Elsa."

Associations also help. I had a horrible time remembering the name of a neighbor down the street (and mother to my daughter's friend). For some reason, I wanted to call her Patricia. Her name is Stacy. :p I now remember her name rhymes with my daughter's -Casey.

I try to reintroduce myself when I see people in case they've forgotten my name, to avoid any embarassment. I think most people are NOT offended to be asked their names, again. :)
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