“Mama, how do you remember names?

My mother is amazing, she remembers people’s names from 30 or 40 years ago and since I feel I don’t have this as an inherited skill, I asked her how she does it.

She said that she pays attention when the person says their name and then, she connects their name to their face. Are there any features that stand out? Does the person remind her of someone? She said she doesn’t look at the hair because that can always change but a person’s face tends to stay roughly the same.

Over the years, I’ve come across a few things that help. One of the biggest things I’ve noticed is to stop saying “I’m no good with names” because then it’s almost like my mind is agreeing with me and promptly forgets them. So I start by committing to remembering names. 

Then I need to concentrate when people tell me their name as if I don’t, it’s gone before it even registers with me. Nowadays when I meet someone, I often ask how their name is spelt, especially if it’s an unusual name. If I receive a business card, then I read it and ask them about themselves, where they come from, etc. This information I can group to help me remember the name more easily. 

There’s no one way to see what works for you and pat yourself on the back when you do successfully remember someone’s name.