How to remember names and faces better
A lot of people think that the ability to remember names is a given thing. This is why they get offended if someone forgets their name. However, if you are on the other side of the problem and you are having trouble remembering names, you might think that it's just the way things are and there is nothing you could do about it. However, this is far from the truth.
1. Make commitments
In order to make sure you will succeed with your quest of remembering names, you have to want to remember. This means you will have to make a commitment. Be conscious of your goal when someone introduces themselves. As a result you will pay more attention and you will have bigger chances of actually succeeding. It's not enough to want to remember as a wish; you have to actively take part in it and make an effort.
It is impossible to remember things if you don't pay attention to. Someone might walk in the room in the exact moment another person introduces themselves. You may remember what the other person was wearing, but you won't be able to remember the name of the person who introduced themselves. Make sure you are aware that in the moment someone introduces themselves there is absolutely nothing more important going on around you.
3. Repeat yourself
Once someone introduces themselves, you should repeat their name immediately. You could say something like "Nice to meet you, Bob!". This will reassure the other person that you paid attention and it will imprint their name in your memory. You could use other social situations as well to repeat their name, but make sure you don't take it to extremes; the other person might think that you have a problem with them or their name.
When asking how to improve memory, you should be thinking about associating a name with something memorable. As an example, if someone says their name is Richard, you could associate them with Richard the Lionheart. This way it will be easier for you to remember. In the same time whenever someone tells you something about Richard, you will instantly know who he is and where you met him.
As strange as this may sound, you could remember names more easily if you imagined how they are spelled. The tip works especially well in case of names that are more unusual, such as Kayleigh. It is difficult to remember it on its own, but you could remember the way it is spelled. Don't worry if you can't spell it correctly; at least you will remember that you weren't sure of the spelling when it comes to the person in question.
Overcome Your Inability to Remember Names and Make the People Around You Feel Special by Showing Them You Know Who They Are
So, how to remember names? What could you possibly do to show people you care enough about them to at least remember their names? - As a matter of fact, there are some tips and tricks that could help you with your problems and they will make your social relationships more successful than ever before. You just have to try.
1. Make a commitment
In some cases if you want something bad enough, you will make it happen. However, this is not the case. It's not enough to hope that one day your memory will improve. You have to take action when it comes to how to improve memory. If you know you are about to introduce yourself to another person and they will introduce themselves as well, you should take a mental note to pay extra attention to their name. This way your brain will become more alert and it will tune out all the other stimuli bombarding you at the moment; the only thing you will see is the other person and the only thing you will hear is their name.
The first step is making it a goal to introduce yourself to more people. Then you take the next step towards making a goal of remembering their name and introduction. This goal-setting is vital to instill social values in yourself that allow you to genuinely care about other people. They will take notice and they will remember your name in return, most likely. Since most people are bad at remembering names, you will set yourself apart from the norm.
You may think that it's not worth to learn how to remember things; you simply shake it off saying that you have bad memory and there is nothing you could do about it. Just think about how awkward it is when someone else forgets your name. It is just as unpleasant for the other people around you as well. Do them a favor and pay more attention.
2. Don't get distracted
There are hundreds and thousands of stimuli bombarding your brain every minute, so it is no wonder you can't remember everything. However, when it comes to learning how to remember certain things, you should make sure you tune out everything else and concentrate on that single thing that is of interest to you at the moment. To make sure that nothing will interfere, imagine that there is only the two of you in the room and look the other person in the eye. By maintaining visual contact, it will be easier for you to tune the rest out.
If all other options are exhausted, then it's time to remove the distraction from sight. People are very easily distracted most of the time, so it's very necessary. If you are talking with your colleague in a coffee shop and he is facing the doorway and can't seem to pay attention to you, then you should switch seats if you feel you are less likely to be distracted by people walking through the door. Same applies to everything else including remembering names and faces. Eliminate all distractions when you know that you will be meeting new people that day.
Although this is one of the best ways to remember things, you should make sure you're not too insistent or the other person might wonder whether they have something on their face. Remembering names is a lot easier if you can associate a face to the name. This will help you with that as well. It might also be useful to make people say something about themselves that you can associate with their name. For instance, you may know Ray, the history teacher.
If you are wondering how to remember something, you should know that repetition is the key. There are some smooth ways to repeat a name out loud. Once someone introduces themselves, repeat their name to them. This will show them that you were attentive and it will help your brain memorize the name. For sure you have heard people using the same technique. You could also repeat the name silently to yourself. Another tip is to make a small comment on the name. You could associate it with a flower or a historic figure, anything to help you remember.
When wondering how to memorize words, you could also try using the other person's name in the conversation. Just make sure you don't overdo it or the situation will become a bit embarrassing for the both of you. You can repeat the name of the other person one last time before leaving. You could say something like "It was nice meeting you, John!" This is both a compliment and a technique for you to remember their name the next time you meet.
Repetition is a proven memorization technique that works on people as young as preschoolers and never loses effectiveness as you age. Learning a language works the same way: repeating your vocabulary words etches them into your mind. The same goes for names. So there is really no reason not to do it unless you are afraid of sounding creepy from saying their name all the time. But that is a flaw in your logic, as people never tire of hearing their names being said. It's like music to their ears.
4. Make an association
In case you don't know how to remember names and faces, here's a good one for you: associate the name with something you know. For instance, if you meet a Shirley, you could instantly think of a Shirley Temple. For sure you know the cocktail and it will help you remember the person as well. Naturally, it's not only food and beverages you could think about. If the other person's name is Ted, it might remind you of your teddy bear from your childhood. Maybe you have another friend of acquaintance with the same name or you have someone in your family.
You don't necessarily have to think about a person when associating. If you would like to know how to remember names better, you could imagine the given person in a funny situation. For example, there might be a piece of ham hanging from Ryan's nose. If you remember sounds better than visual images, you might think that Simon needs a shave and you may imagine the noise it would make.
Association exercises and mnemonics work in memorization because our minds are more visual than linguistic. We need an image in order to associate someone with their name. Since almost everyone living does not have a name unique only to themselves, it's possible to mix people up sometimes. Because some people don't "look" like their names. We tend to give people our own nicknames that we associate with them to remember them by. But some people don't appreciate being given a nickname that they don't approve of. So it helps to make an association with every person you meet in order to find the best way to remember names.
5. Spell it out
Do you remember when you were a child how your teacher always made you spell words and write them on the blackboard? This technique is meant to help children remember how to spell. You can use the same when someone introduces themselves. Consider their name a new word and try to spell it in your head. In case you are struggling with the inability to remember names, it might also be a good idea to ask the other person to spell their name. Make sure you take mental notes. When this happens, you make it easier for your brain to remember the name.
Such a technique is especially useful in case of the uncommon names. However, if someone has a truly special name, such as Billion (which seems to become more and more popular these days), most probably you won't have any trouble remembering. It's the Jacks and Johns that could cause you trouble, but there is nothing you can't handle if you use the right techniques. Just don't dismiss the problem saying that there is nothing you could do; there is always something for you to do to make a problem better or to master a skill.
It's a lot easier to match names to images in your head rather than just trying to remember a name by itself. So a helpful tip when doing this trick, is to write something next to their name to remember them by. You met Jim yesterday who was wearing a peculiar vanilla-colored trench coat. So you write his name as "Jim Vanilla" instead of his last name. Since first names are hard enough to remember as it is, just make it easy on yourself in order to find ways to remember names at all. People appreciate it if you remember their first name. Just be sure not to call him Jim Vanilla to his face, as he might take offense that the only reason you remembered him was his peculiar coat.