While you yourself are greeted with the name friendly, you now try under pressure to cover the fact that you could not remember the name of the counterpart. But do not worry: So it goes very many people. According to studies, most people find it difficult to remember names. How the memory performance can still be improved and thus the forgetfulness can be beaten, we show in this article, with our 5 methods to remember names better.
Why is remembering names so important?
Names are abstract entities. People can therefore remember faces much easier and memorize. There is even a separate area in the brain that is only responsible for recognizing faces. However, the lack of or difficulty in remembering names is also due to evolution: here, faces came first and then names.
Nowadays, however, being able to remember names is part of etiquette. Especially in business circles it is often a big faux pas if you can't remember the names of your business partners or can only remember them incompletely. But even in private circles it can be very unpleasant if you can't remember a person's name. This often comes across as disrespectful - even if it's not really your fault.
Remembering names is worthwhile
Besides the social aspect, remembering names is also beneficial for joint cooperation. In one study, some participants took part completely anonymously, while others learned each other's names. The result: "We found that when participants knew the other person's name, they were much more likely to cooperate. And that paid off for everyone," said Marko Jusup, co-author of the study.
By remembering names, we respect our counterpart and perceive them as a person and as an individual. Not that this would not be the case without the name, but with names even more. This can bring advantages and opportunities in both private and business life. Remembering names is therefore always worthwhile.
Fortunately, remembering can be trained. Let's take a closer look at exactly how this works in our method overview.
"For every man, his name is the most beautiful and meaningful word in his vocabulary" - Dale Carnegie
Method 1: Immediately say names out loud
So, if you've been invited to another party and new people are being introduced, you can already start by saying out loud the names you've just heard. This also shows the other person that he or she is really taken seriously as an individual. Instead of shaking hands with the next person in your mind, you should focus on the person you are introducing. This way, the name is already in the short-term memory.
Method 2: Search for a suitable picture
Once the name has been spoken aloud, you look for a picture that matches the person. The picture does not have to represent the person 100%, but only remind of the person. Does the other person have special characteristics, such as a big nose, an unusual hair color or a style of clothing that you don't see every day? Here you can memorize a visual, external feature that will only be associated with this one person.
Method 3: Mnemonic devices help
Remembering names is easiest when mnemonic bridges have been built. Let's look at an example: A Roger Bauhaus introduces. Perhaps one thinks then directly of the tennis player Roger Federer. With Bauhaus, it could be that the particular style of the modern school in architecture comes to mind, or it could be the DIY chain. Fortunately, you can let your imagination run wild here, as long as it helps you remember names more easily.
Method 4: Let the person do something
We don't mean this literally, of course. Instead, you should have the person you just met do something in your mind - something that fits the name picture. For example, our Roger Bauhaus might be swinging a tennis racket in his mind. Mr. Baker might be baking a loaf of bread while Mrs. Müller knits a bright red sweater. By making these multiple associations, you catapult the name from short-term memory into long-term memory, and that's exactly where it should end up for sure.
Method 5: Remember and repeat
In order to really memorize the name, you have to train regularly: After all, the brain is a big muscle that needs to be exercised like arms, legs and all other muscles so that it can perform at full capacity and not even lose power.
So after the party, you can lie down comfortably in bed and go over in your mind's eye who you have met. While doing this, it is best to imagine the appearance of the persons and recall the mnemonic bridges - you are already a big step closer to remembering names.
"A good name is lost in moments; a bad one does not become a good one in years" - Jeremias Gotthelf
No more forgetfulness: remembering names with training
Remembering names has already been made more difficult by evolution. It is therefore hardly surprising that many people forget names or are unable to remember them. But this ability can be trained consciously. With our tips and tricks, we have presented five proven methods to remember names easily.
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