How to Remember Names Better
A name is a very important thing.
One of the most important sounds to a human.
It’s easy to understand the importance.
However, the importance does not always translate into action.
I have this weird feature about me.
I remember faces very well.
Faces I’ve seen from years back can be instantly recalled to this day.
But with names, I always had an issue.
To this day, I have to check myself.
Checking myself has built the muscle (and awareness) to remember names better.
In this blog, I’m going to share my strategy on how to remember names better.
But first, we need to understand the importance of the name.
Why The Name is Powerful
Have you ever had that feeling of knowing something that someone else didn’t know?
Let’s say it was breaking news.
You go to your friend and ask:
‘Did you hear about x, y, and z?’
And they are like, ‘no why?’
Now you feel good.
Because you can share new information with them.
Humans feel good when they share information.
Another feeling is when someone gives you a compliment on something that you were second-guessing.
Let’s say you pulled the trigger and got a new haircut.
You hate it.
But others are like:
‘Whoa, this new hairstyle makes your jawline look sharper.’
Another warm feeling.
The name creates that feeling in others.
That feeling of warmth.
It’s because the name is their identity.
They heard it since they were a baby.
They will continue to hear it as an adult.
Use It or Lose It
Here’s how you remember names better:
- Get names with the intention of using them.
‘That’s your fantastic plan?!’
I used to go to a bunch of networking events a while back.
When I would go to these events, I’d have a bunch of business cards.
I’d robotically ask others for their names.
They would give me their names.
We would talk for a few.
Then I would give them my business card.
I was entering these interactions to promote myself.
The intention was:
What can I do to insert this business card into their pocket?
The names were just a formality.
I rarely (if ever) used the names in the interaction.
When you don’t use the names, it’s like lost seasoning.
Imagine that you buy garlic powder, salt, and pepper for this chicken dish that you’re about to cook.
While cooking the chicken, you leave the seasoning in the pantry.
Will the chicken taste as good without the seasoning?
Similarly, an interaction won’t feel as good without the use of names.
How Often Should You Use the Name?
You don’t want to be weird about it.
Where it’s like:
‘Hey, Bill. How have you been, Bill? What are you doing for a living nowadays…Bill?’
‘So how often should I use the name?’
That’s something that’s based on the feel.
Once again, picture the name like seasoning.
You need the seasoning, yes.
But if you over do it, then the chicken will taste disgusting.
Allow your body to be the compass.
When you go for a warm feeling, you’ll see that it doesn’t require much logical effort.
You just occasionally drop the name.
So, to learn how to remember names better:
- Get names with the intention of using them.
- Use the names as you would use seasoning in a dish.
- Allow the body to be a compass.
Story of Sagar
When I was a freshman in college, I went to a party where I didn’t know anyone.
Eventually, this guy named Sagar introduced himself to me.
It seemed like he was popping.
He had people coming up to him left and right.
He got my name and began introducing me to all these people.
I learned that he was in a fraternity.
‘Hey Armani, how about you come to our fraternity party next week?’
I was happy to be invited.
I knew he was recruiting me to join his organization, but I didn’t care.
Your boy needed to make some friends!
Next week, I arrive at the party.
I see that it’s packed.
I eventually find Sagar and am like:
‘Yo Sagar, what’s good!’
He looks at me with a confused face.
‘I know you. Remind me of your name again?’
When he said that, I had a sour perception of Sagar and his fraternity.
I didn’t feel like he was recruiting me with purpose.
Instead, it was just a numbers game for him.
Was I overreacting?
Hey, I was only 17 at the time!
But that moment allowed me to see that remembering names is important.
It will influence perception.
It will influence decisions.
The Importance of Reminders
You would think that moment with Sagar would have made me exceptional at remembering names.
But that wasn’t the case.
There are plenty of times when I go to a networking event and am like:
‘You’ve been robotically asking people for their names. Use it or lose it, Armani!’
After I REMIND myself, things get better throughout the event.
‘Why did you capitalize remind?’
Because REMINDING ourselves over and over is how we internalize information.
It’s difficult to get it right the first time.
But the more we remind ourselves how important names are, the more we learn to remember names better.
Now, it’s not a wishful fantasy.
The nervous system deems remembering names as very important.
So, keep reminding yourself that names are not just words…
It’s another person’s identity in word format.
For more tips to improve your charisma, be sure to check out my book:
This book will cover the basics of social skills and teach you concepts like:
- Practical ways to tell a joke.
- Easy ways to keep the conversation going.
- How to listen better.
- How to spot snakes.
- Difference between a friend and an acquaintance.
And much more!