Cassidy Williams

Software Engineer in Chicago

Cassidy's face

Tips for remembering names


Sup Tootsie Pop. You’re so pretty. I love what you’ve done with your hair.

So, when I’m at a meeting or in a club, and someone approaches me, here’s how the conversation usually goes: “Oh hey Cassidy, how has your semester been?” *terror* “Oh hey…you. It’s been great! How has…your stuff been?”

Then I stress eat or something while I listen to their interactions and hope they introduce themselves to someone.

”There must be a better way,” I whisper to myself, and a single tear slides down my cheek.

There IS a better way to try and remember names.

First of all, really focus. This sounds obvious, but think about it. When you meet someone, you’re often thinking about how you’ll respond next or what you look like or what they’re looking like. Stop thinking about that. Repeat their name in your head, and repeat it when they first say it. I guarantee it helps.

You can remember names based on your learning style too.\

If you’re a visual learner, look for a name tag or at their business card. If you’re in a more casual setting, ask them how they spell it. If you spell it in your head, you can better “see” their name and remember it.\

If you’re an auditory learner, repeat their name as often as you can (naturally). “Cassidy, what’s your major?” “Joel, did you go to the game last week?” “It’s so good to meet you, Shirley!” If you don’t overdo it, they’ll appreciate it as much as you do that you remember their name. If that doesn’t work, just ask them to repeat their name at the end of the conversation, like, “it was great meeting you! Remind me of your name again?” Boo yah. I mean don’t do that after a 3 hour conversation, but after a few minutes it’s totally acceptable.\

And if you’re a hands-on learner, you have to play with the name to remember it better. If you can’t write it down right away, come up with something in your head that’ll help you remember, like “Riley from Friley,” or “Jungle Jim,” or “Hannah Banana.” You interact with the name this way, and it’ll help you remember much better.

There’s always cop-out ways to find out too, like introducing a friend of yours to the person and hope they introduce themselves to your friend, or ask a buddy that might know. Those ways totally work too.

Good luck meeting people, my cream puff. I definitely don’t remember your name, and so my defense here is using complimentary nicknames to distract you. Whoops.

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