Tuesday, September 02, 2008

accentuate the positive

Once upon a time I believed I had a shocking memory. Hideous. Faces, I'd never forget, but names? I'd never recall - people were Sweetie, Hon, Doll or... nothing at all. Then I interviewed a memory expert for a story on recall and her first piece of advice was "Never, ever say, 'oh, I've got a terrible memory' or 'I won't remember this' because then you're giving yourself permission to fail." Since then, I've been positive about my memory and it's, oh, I reckon about 1000 times better. I've also devised a trick for remembering names. None of the old tricks worked for me, so here's mine to share with you.

Whenever I'm introduced to someone I'll picture someone else with the same name just over their shoulder. This way, I'm using my excellent recall of faces to help with names. Whether it's a famous person, or just another friend with the same name this works magnificently. Just after implementing it I went to a function where I met 20 new people at once - normally my worst nightmare. Now, I know this sounds highly suspect, but I actually remembered every single name.

Remembering names is quite possibly one of the most polite acts you can perform - and I do love me some manners.

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