Can you believe that a lot of schools are already starting either today or sometime this week?! Where did the summer go??? Luckily for me, I don’t start classes again until September 9…but whew, it sure is weird to see all my friends returning to their campuses all over the country. In order to get into the school spirit and fall mode, I decided to revive my Back to School Series this year and create some fun college-themed posts, including what it’s like to do laundry in college and a tour of my new dorm room (coming soon!). On every Monday from now until September 16, be on the look out for a new B2S Series post!
To kick off the series, I want to discuss a crucial skill that everyone should be good at: Remembering people’s names. Whether it be meeting new kids in your classes (or diving into a completely new environment where you don’t know anyone—hello, college!), starting a new job, or attending some sort of networking event, being able to recall a person’s name after meeting him/her for the first time is a skill you’ll use throughout your life, in every facet of your life. Not only is forgetting a person’s name really embarrassing, but being able to remember a name shows that you’re attentive, considerate, and willing to make an effort to make a new friend or connection.
While I was walking the Camino de Santiago across Spain (more on that soon), my brother and I met countless people and had to try to remember all of their names. Thankfully, we both learned the same tip from our dad on the prefect way to engrain a name into our brains. Which is…drumroll please…
Repeat the person’s name back.
Let me give you an example. It’s my first day of college and like a nervous goody-two-shoes, I sit in the front row of my first ever lecture class. Some dude named Joey that I’ve never met before sits down next to me, and we strike up a conversation, which goes a little something like this…
Joey: “I’m Joey, how you doin’? This class is gonna be interesting.”
Me: “Hey JOEY, you’re right, I think this Paranormal Archaeology class is gonna be lit.”
Or another example, meeting someone in a more formal setting:
Fancy Person: “I saw your designs in that runway show downtown and really love your work. I’m Rachel Green, nice to meet you.” [Shakes hand.]
Me: “It’s very nice to meet you too, RACHEL.
Finding a way to repeat the person’s name back does a few things for you:
- It shows that you’re paying attention to the conversation and giving the person your focus.
- It allows you to double check that you actually heard the person’s name right (he or she will correct you if you say it wrong—this is particularly useful for names that sound similar like, “Cassy” and “Casey” or “Alvin” and “Albin”.)
- Most importantly, saying the name out loud requires your brain to process, think about, and actually communicate it, therefore helping you remember it better. Sure, you can think about someone’s name after he/she says it and hope you’ll remember it, but what about at the end of a long conversation when you go to say goodbye? Or when you see him/her in the hallways the next day? Having said the name before and associated it with the face makes it so much easier to recall the name later on.
What’s your best tip for remember people’s names? Do you think you’ll practice this trick, or are you already a pro? I can tell you for sure, every time I don’t use this tip, I always forget names right away! No more using the excuse, “I’m bad at names,” next time you meet people. You have the power to become good at remembering them, you just have to practice!
Check out the original Back to School Series here (from 2017), featuring posts about quick hairstyles, getting into an exercise routine during the school year, and dealing with strict dress codes. To see how I styled the outfit from today’s post way back in 2016, one of my first blog posts ever, click the post title below!
Have a great Monday and first day of school (for some of you). I hope this name tip is helpful for you as you meet new people this fall!
Miles of smiles,
P.S. These photos were taken in Spain, at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. The final photo was taken at Finisterre (the Western coast on the Atlantic Ocean).