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  #1  
Old 01-23-12, 04:36 AM
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Inability to remember names

Whenever I meet somebody at social gathering, I almost always instantly forget their name and will have to covertly ask someone there that I trust what the person's name is because I don't want to feel rude. It can take me a quite a while to remember some names, but some names I will remember quicker. I have introduced myself to someone who informed me that we had met and spoken with each other 3 times prior and I did not know his name, nor did I recognize him, but he did know who I was. That was really awkward and I felt so embarrassed.

Do you have trouble with names and how do deal with it?
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Old 01-23-12, 06:13 AM
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Re: Inability to remember names

I have that problem unless there's something I can instantly associate the name with. But often I try so hard to remember someone's name that I miss half the conversation and still forget it. Then I have difficulty with facial recognition, so I'm trying to look for a way that I'll remember their face as well and in the end I remember neither and little of what we spoke about. I think this is why I've developed social anxiety because I dread meeting someone again when they might know me but I have no idea who they are.

I think openness is always a good approach. Maybe tell people when you meet them that you have a problem with names and they'll probably have to remind you next time making sure they understand that it's nothing personal. I'm sorry I can't give you a way to remember names.
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Old 01-23-12, 08:25 AM
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Re: Inability to remember names

That's what I do. I simply say I have trouble remembering names.
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Old 01-23-12, 08:44 AM
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Re: Inability to remember names

Thanks for the response, no need to say sorry. I know I won't get better at the name thing. I'm looking for strategies or different ways in which people deal with forgetting names and avoiding awkward situations. I think being open is the simplest and best way. However, I usually tell people that I meet that say we've met before that I'm awful at remembering names and apologize. I think that your suggestion of letting people know when meeting them is better, so that there's no need to apologize the next time.
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Old 01-23-12, 03:47 PM
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Re: Inability to remember names

I always forget names, mostly because I wasn't really listening when they told me. I think I come across as rude because I just never use names when I address someone, but I feel like saying I'm bad at remembers names is insulting, so I just ... don't use them lol
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Old 01-23-12, 03:51 PM
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Re: Inability to remember names

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Originally Posted by emploding View Post
I always forget names, mostly because I wasn't really listening when they told me. I think I come across as rude because I just never use names when I address someone, but I feel like saying I'm bad at remembers names is insulting, so I just ... don't use them lol
That's a interesting strategy, great if it works for you. What do you address people as? Or is it just not using any names. One concern is that this would just make things really weird when you absolutely need to know someone's name for whatever reason.
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Old 01-23-12, 03:54 PM
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Re: Inability to remember names

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Originally Posted by cameron90 View Post
That's a interesting strategy, great if it works for you. What do you address people as? Or is it just not using any names. One concern is that this would just make things really weird when you absolutely need to know someone's name for whatever reason.
Then you just ask them to remind you how they spell their name. Most
names these days have more than one way of spelling. If they think that's
weird, just say you know more than one person with the same name and
they all spell it differently.
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Old 01-23-12, 04:02 PM
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Re: Inability to remember names

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Originally Posted by Lunacie View Post
Then you just ask them to remind you how they spell their name. Most
names these days have more than one way of spelling. If they think that's
weird, just say you know more than one person with the same name and
they all spell it differently.
I once asked to see somebody's ID because "I wanted to see what their province's drivers license was like" or something equally ridiculous. It worked.
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Old 01-23-12, 04:20 PM
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Re: Inability to remember names

I find in general conversation you don't need to use someones name to address them, a simple "hi how are you" tends to get a conversation rolling, you don't need a "hi sally, how are you".

If I need to get someones attention I'll say "excuse me", or touch their arm lightly. I guess if you really need to know someones name then it's different, but rarely do I come across a situation where someone will die if you don't know a persons name.

edited to add: at work I ask people for their ID number if I need to look them up in the system for whatever reason, that way I don't need to admit I don't know their name, even though it's much easier than going by ID number lol
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Old 01-23-12, 04:22 PM
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Re: Inability to remember names

One thing that I learned in my ADD testing is that my working memory (auditory memory) sucks. Given that, I have to Repeat and Elaborate on such things as names.

e.g. If you meet a Sally then say to yourself "Sally, Sally Sally, Sally is Skinny; Skinny Sally" (and make this a real attribute of the person's appearance).

My testing Psychologist told me that ADDers tend to not slow down and do mental encoding tricks to help lay down new knowledge in our memories.
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Old 01-23-12, 04:23 PM
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Re: Inability to remember names

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunacie View Post
Then you just ask them to remind you how they spell their name. Most
names these days have more than one way of spelling. If they think that's
weird, just say you know more than one person with the same name and
they all spell it differently.
"So how do your spell your name?"

"B-O-B. How do your friends spell it?"

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Old 01-23-12, 04:32 PM
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Re: Inability to remember names

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Originally Posted by Brob2 View Post
"So how do your spell your name?"

"B-O-B. How do your friends spell it?"

LOL yeh that wouldn't work. Plus in a social setting, asking how someones name is spelt is a bit weird, unless you need to write it down for some reason.

If I used some sort of link to remember someones name (IE: Skinny Sally) I'd probably end up calling them that to their face
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Old 01-23-12, 04:35 PM
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Re: Inability to remember names

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Originally Posted by emploding View Post
LOL yeh that wouldn't work. Plus in a social setting, asking how someones name is spelt is a bit weird, unless you need to write it down for some reason.

If I used some sort of link to remember someones name (IE: Skinny Sally) I'd probably end up calling them that to their face
Yeah that could be extremely awkward. I think I'm going to stick to the open and honest policy.
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Old 01-23-12, 05:38 PM
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Re: Inability to remember names

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Originally Posted by Brob2 View Post
"So how do your spell your name?"

"B-O-B. How do your friends spell it?"

I'd say I have a friend I call Bob but his email is Bobby at . . .
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Old 01-26-12, 04:53 PM
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Re: Inability to remember names

I can manage pretty well to hide the fact that I don't remember someone's name. But one thing I have discovered is that people really don't mind if you tell them. "I'm terrible with names. Could you tell me your name again?" It tells people that the reason you didn't remember their name isn't because you thought they were insignificant. The fact that you want their name tells them you are paying attention to them.

It's not like you are going "... and you are... whom, exactly, peasant?" It may feel like people think that's what you're doing, but other people really don't feel that way.
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