How to Instantly Remember Anyone’s Name:

Everyone wants to be good at names, but we often assume it is something that we are either born with or not. This isn’t the case! I’m going to tell you how to quickly and easily remember anyone’s name. It will take a little bit of work, but I promise that it will be worth it!
Remember The Name of EveryoneCredit:
There are lots of tricks to improving memory (see bottom of page for other hacks and foods to improve memory) We often think of memory as trying to look back into our past for a piece of information. I find that this approach makes it more difficult to actually recall something. Instead, when I first learn a piece of information (such as a name) I try put it in a “filing system” in my head. There's nothing savant about it, but if that sounds a bit abstract and hocus-pocus, I’m about to break it down, Read on:

1: Belive in Yourself: First of all, repeat after me: “I used to be bad at names, but now I remember everyone’s name!” If you can think this enough to yourself, that may be enough by itself to improve your memory! When you think that you aren’t good at names, your brain actually stops trying to remember them! You will probably find that you have often forgotten someone’s name within a few seconds of hear it. Your memory isn’t actually that bad, just the way you are thinking about it.

2. Repetition: When someone, let’s say Robert, tells you their name, repeat it a few times. Make this part of the normal conversation. “Did you say your name was Robert? My uncle/dog/ex-husband/car’s name is Robert! Nice to meet you, Robert!” Now this may sound a bit cheesy, but most people won’t notice it and it keeps you associating the spoken name with the person.  Saying their name out loud is important, most of the people we forget the names of are folks who told us their name, and so we remember what they look like, where you were when you met and probably what they do because you talked about it! Say it out loud, it will help!
3. See the name. Imagine the persons name on their forehead while you are talking to them. Extra Memory hack: Studies indicate that you remember things that are in motion better than static things. Picture the letters of their name wiggling or just vibrating a little!

4. Write the name down! As soon as you stop your conversation with Robert, go somewhere and write the name down. You don’t need to keep the paper, and it even works if you write it in the air with your finger. Imagine his face while you do this. Even better, use it with the next technique!

5.  Make a picture. This one is probably the one that I find most effective. Think of a word that reminds you of the persons name and try to apply it to them for example, I think that Robert sounds like the word “robber,” so I picture Robert in a big cowboy hat with a bandana over his mouth with an old fashioned six-shooter in one hand and a big bag with a $ Cash written on it.Memorize Names with VisualizationCredit: Dreamstime
Vividly imagine this picture with the word and the next time you see them you will think of the visual memory and hence, their name. You are going to want to make the image as ludicrious as possible to hack your visual memory into remembering (see below). Another variation on this trick is to pick out a physical feature of the person to associate with the word and their name. I find this harder, just because it is more difficult for me to come up with an idea fast. Maybe Robert has a bald head that looks like it could be made of rubber. These associations are extremely effective, but I find that it is faster to stick with the funny/strange image method.

Why it works so well:
Visual memory is one of the most evocative and powerful memory tools that you already have, you just need to learn how to hack it! Your mind remembers strange, funny, or unusual images better than it does ordinary pictures. This is why you can probably recall the exact outfit that your little brother wore for Halloween last year, but your car keys (which you see every day and put in places that you see every day) are always eluding you! When you make Robert, the mild mannored store keeper into “Robber” all those little details will come rushing back, gaurunteed! Don’t be afraid to make the assosiations gross, your memory loves it if you think of Cathy with a catheter or Dick as... well, I think you get the idea. Just make sure not to share these private memory associations with others, they might not so flattered that you remembered their name.
Memorize Names Like Bill ClintonCredit: Alan Light
The ability to remember the names of the people you meet is an incredibly useful life skill! You will be at an advantage while looking for jobs, at new social situations, and even getting elected! People claim that Bill Clinton remembered everyone he ever met, even if only for a few minutes! However, name memory is a skill, not a gift. Some people have this skill more naturely than others, but anyone can achieve it with some focus and imagination. The visual imagery that is involved in making these techniques really effective requires that you exercise the skill of really seeing these strange images in your head and associating them with the names.
Improve Your Memory:
Total recall of an entire deck of cards? Totally possible with a few hours of work! You may never have heard of competitive memory championships, but you probably want to improve your memory. If you are like most people you occasionally (or if you are like I was, rather frequently) have trouble remembering the names of people you meet, to call your mother, remembering her telephone number, or how to remember a long list of things to buy for groceries. Maybe you are striving for more, memorizing pi to 100 digits or the order of a deck of cards. You may not believe me yet, but with a little work all of these tasks will become easy! I did it, and so can you! This article is the first in a series of articles on Improving Memory and is also part of the Body Hacks series.
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