Tips for Remembering Names

We all forget people’s names from time to time. It happens at any age. As we get older, it may happen more often.  Even those of us with a gift for remembering names, may find it becomes more difficult as the years go by.

For most folks, forgetting a name or two is not something to consider worrisome. But, if you ‘re experiencing problems with your memory that go far beyond forgetting a couple names here and there, it’s important to let your doctor know. While general forgetfulness is common during the seasoned years, symptoms that could signal memory problems – like dementia and Alzheimer’s – should never be ignored.

Remembering names may take a little added effort these days, but we can sharpen our abilities to keep names straight. The following are a few things we can do to get better at remembering names.

Try These Helpful Suggestions

  • Use people’s names. The old adage “use it or lose it” applies pretty accurately when it comes to remembering people’s names. Repeating someone’s name during a conversation helps the brain connect the name with the person. Of course, you don’t want to overdo it. Greet a person with their name, say the name a couple times while talking with the individual, and then use it again with your goodbye.

  • Get in the habit of making introductions. When you introduce people to each other, you are forced to use their names and often to come up with some information about them as well. The more times you introduce an individual, the easier it may be to come up with that person’s name.

  • Associate visual images with people and their names. If you can find something to visualize that reminds you of the person, it may make it easier to recall the name when you need it.

  • Come up with a word that rhymes with a name. Rhymes stick in our minds. Think of all those nursery rhymes we learned as children and still remember to this day.

  • Link a name to something unique about a person. If there is something interesting, distinctive, or unusual about someone, associate that specific aspect about the person with his or her name.

  • Find reasons to write names. The very act of writing something down tends to help us remember it. If you send emails or texts to people, include their names with the messages.

  • Clear your mind and focus on the person. If you are having trouble remembering names, be present in the moment and concentrate on the person in front of you. You may be having trouble thinking of a name because your mind is distracted with too many other things.

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