Clever tricks for remembering names

No more forgetting names one second after hearing them! AsapTHOUGHT gives you seven clever tricks for remembering names.

Video source: AsapTHOUGHT / YouTube.

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GREGORY BROWN: Hey guys! We are here in Japan, if you can't tell. We're staying at a traditional ryokan in Kyoto, which is beautiful, and amazing, and everything is so zen. But that's why things look a little different. We're also using our Vlog camera, so it's also going to look different because of that. And we've actually met so many people on this trip, and we continue to forget their names.

MITCHELL MOFFIT: Yeah. I am the worst at remembering people's names. So we thought for our special episode, we'd come up with some brain hacks to keep those names in your brain.

BROWN: Number 1. Pay attention. This is the hardest but most crucial part. If you really want to remember someone's name, you have to really focus on it when they tell you initially. It may be worth asking them to repeat it if you quickly realise that you weren't listening. Often, you don't forget names because of bad memory, it's just something that you really need to focus on. 

MOFFIT: Number 2. Use their name and repeat it often. Now that you know it and it's in your short-term memory, commit to saying their name or using it whenever you address them. So when I see Greg, I should say "hey Greg, it's nice to meet you", instead of just "good to meet you". Or instead of saying, "hey, can you pass that drink", say, "hey Greg, do you mind passing that drink?" This way, you're actively practicing their name and creating a bit of muscle memory to go along with it. After all, brain cells that fire together wire together. And like many things, if you combine your thoughts with an action, in this case, your mouth moving while you're trying to remember something, it'll stick in your brain more than if you were to just, you know, really want to remember it.

BROWN: Number 3. Build associations. The more connections you can make for your brain, the better off you'll be. If you notice someone else named Cindy, think of a comparison between the Cindy you just met and that Cindy, and it'll remember you to remember their name. Or, picture a more physical connection, for example, picture Cindy singing. The next time you see her, you'll associate her with singing. Because Cindy sounds like singing, you've actually created a visual connection that will help you to remember her next time you see her. Even if you have a hard time creating a visual connection, do not worry, because even the simple act of trying to do this will help you to remember their name.

MOFFIT: Number 4. Word play. If you're more attuned to words and sounds, you might try using mnemonic devices. Bob is a slob, or Dale works in sales. Even simple alliteration can work, like Greg is a Good Guy. Good Guy Greg.

BROWN: Number 5. Spell it out. Get the person to actually spell out their name for you, and then picture the letters going across their forehead. Actually picturing the letters will help commit their name to memory.

MOFFIT: Number 6. Be an awesome person and help people with your name. When it comes to people remembering your name, try and give them a hand and give them funny ways that you can make it easier for them. In my case, when I introduce myself to someone I might say, "hey, I'm Mitch, and you'll remember that by thinking I'm a bitch. Mitch is a bitch. Remember it". And then they'll never forget it. Next time they see me, they'll probably think of that, and now it's easy for them to remember Mitch. If you can think of funny or clever associations with your name, you'll be helping everybody else out.

BROWN: And finally, as an extra tip, if you do forget their name, then introduce somebody else that you do know. If you see someone walking up to you and you've already forgotten their name, what you should do is introduce someone else to them that you know very well. Chances are, they will then cough up their name, and then you should start back at tip number 1 to try and remember it this time so you don't look rude.

MOFFIT: So hopefully these tips have been useful for you guys, I honestly know we're so bad at remembering names, but we're going to be using these tips while we're travelling in Japan. And let us know if you have any other little tricks or sneaky things that you do to remember other people's names.

Total recall? The making of memories

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