Remembering Names or How to Recover If You Can’t

Have you ever forgotten someone’s name?  I have. Even if we have just been introduced and I heard it only moments before, I sometimes find myself forgetting that quickly!

M. and I wanted to have some trees and bushes cut back and pruned as well as a drainage concern looked at in our yard.  We had several people come out to give us estimates on the cost of the project.  No sooner did the contractors give us their names when the words went in one ear and right out the other.  It was embarrassing to have to ask them to restate their name especially after they had been so professional and friendly.

I have tried a few of my own tricks such as repeating their name right after the introduction: “Glad to meet you, George” or repeat it silently to myself over and over a few times.  Most of the time these work, but only if I make the effort to do it.

This article in Forbes written by, Kristi Hedges, recommends the five best tips to remember names:

  1. Meet and Repeat.  
  2. Spell it out. Ask the person to spell their name for you.  This might work unless it is very simple like Mark or Ann.
  3. Associate. Conjure an image when you first hear a name or create an alliteration ie. Rita in Real Estate or Chet from Chicago.
  4. Make a connection.  Think of someone else you know with the same name.
  5. Choose to care.  Make a conscious decision to care enough to remember the name of the people you meet.

As I was searching the internet I ran across this unique way to recover when you have forgotten someone’s name.


How do you remember someone’s name?

Also posted on #SeniSal


28 thoughts on “Remembering Names or How to Recover If You Can’t

  1. Good advice. You are spot on with #5. Remembering names has always been difficult for me. But, I have noticed that I am more likely to remember when I make a conscious effort. I admire people who have that gift.


  2. As I’ve gotten older (isn’t that when everything happens?) I’ve had more trouble remembering. I attribute some of it to the unusual names floating around today but I know that’s not all of it. I have tried the suggestions and they work sometimes when I do them. I like to remember the baristas names at Starbucks so I’ve started to write them down along with a unique attribute. Writing seems to cement it better in my head. Nothing offense but maybe big hair, gorgeous eyes or even crooked nose. Something distinctive. Even with all this, sometimes I just forget anyway. Argh!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the comeback idea with asking for their last name…but I guess that’ll only work once.
    My way around it is that often during introductions I’ll state that I’m bad with names and ‘not to worry’ if they forget MINE!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In that case I would ask for their business card or their quote in writing which normally has their name attached 😉 or ask them to put their name on the bottom if a company logo.

    In other situations I attach their face to their name, so I take a mental snapshot of their face & place their name over it like a watermark in my mind, similar to a mental mugshot 😀 works everytime!
    Bless you,


  5. I do forget names often. A few years ago, my hubby made a conscious effort to remember the names of people we just met. He does great. I am going to try this technique so I don’t always have to ask him “What is that person’s name?”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ‘ no, no your last name ‘ 😄that’s so cute! I usually write down their name with something outstanding about the person like ‘ brown glasses ‘, ‘ big smile ‘ , ‘ reddish hair ‘ etc…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I met a lady a few years ago who I had no idea or recollection of her or her name. I blagged with ‘how are the family’ where she named my grown children and their children. I kept up the pretence of knowing her mostly bevause It would hurt her feelings if I admitted that I did not know her from Bob the Cat. She must have known me truly … to have all the information she had. I still have no idea who it was and live in fear of bumping into her again.


    • Oh my, that is funny and probably a little frustrating for you! I had a little different experience. Once, many, many years ago, my husband and I had a waiter who looked so familiar to me. As he continued to serve us, he introduced himself to us so he could learn our names. It turns out I looked very familiar to him as well. We then began to talk trying to figure out how we knew each other and never could find a common link. That was so strange and I have never forgotten it!


Leave a Reply to ellenbest24 Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.