Do you dislike going to social events because you’re terrible with remembering names? Use these 10 great tricks to avoid making yourself look like a self-centered jerk with a partially-removed frontal lobe.
Keep repeating the person’s name until she asks you to stop.
2. Name play
Think of something funny to which you can link the person’s name. If you meet a guy named Mike, think of Mike the Molester. Kristen becomes Kristen the Klepto.
3. Image association
When someone says his name, associate it with an image. Rich can be a stack of bills. Elena becomes Mount St. Helens. If you want to address this person later on, sketch the image on a napkin and ask him to guess what you drew. There’s a good chance he’ll correctly give his name.
4. See how the name is written
A lot of people at parties leave their wallets and purses with their jackets in an unguarded bedroom. Steal everyone’s IDs and consult them when you have a doubt about a name.
5. Ask the person to spell it
A good trick is to ask someone to spell out her name. It she spells K-A-T-H-Y, inist the correct spelling is with a “C.” If she disagrees, say, “Are you implying my mother doesn’t know how to spell her own name?”
6. Connect the name with a job
Immediately ask what the person what does for a living, and then in your mind, connect it to his name. If you introduce the person to someone else, then you can say, “I’d like you to meet Don the unemployed.”
7. Learn more about the person
Sneak off to the bathroom and, using your smartphone, find the person’s Facebook profile. Gather details about his life, such as where he works and at which bar he got drunk last weekend. Return to the person and say, “So Jeremy — who works at Chili’s and who got drunk off margaritas last weekend and who has a sick grandmother — do you like being named Jeremy?”
Despite your best efforts, sometimes you will still forget a name. What to do then?
8. Use humor
Make a joke by saying, “I’m sorry, I’m really bad with names. What’s mine, again?” If the person doesn’t know, say, “Well, you’re not very interesting either.”
9. Be honest
Even people with excellent social skills occasionally forget names. Don’t be embarrassed to say, “I’ve had so much fun talking to you, but could you please tell you tell me your name again?” You can do this up to five times in a single conversation before it becomes awkward.
10. Use background noise to cover up the slip
Researchers have found that in noisy environments like parties, people often can’t actually hear each other, and instead, they just imagine what they wish the other person had said. String together some consonant and vowel sounds and smile. The person will think you said her name — isn’t’ that right, Brnintvlsty?