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“What’s Your Name Again?” – Why We Forget

We’ve all been through it. The moment you’re introduced to someone new and you’re like “what’s your name again?” Is it a case of being forgetful or are you just disinterested?

We meet an unaccountable number of people in our lifetime. Some stay on to be friends while others just fade into the background and relegated to the acquaintances section of our FB page. It is a sure thing new people come and go all the time. Inadvertently, some of us with the memory of a goldfish find it very hard to remember their names and frustration takes over.

You might be forgiven for thinking that this is just the way you are wired. Though, psychologists are saying that this actually reflects your level of interest. It is not so much your brain’s ability to retain faces and names rather it’s about how interested you are in someone.

“Some people, perhaps those who are more socially aware, are just more interested in people, more interested in relationships,” says researcher, Richard Harris who is a psychology professor at Kansas State University. “They would be more motivated to remember somebody’s name.”

An example given was people in politics or teaching who may be better at remembering names because knowing a person’s name is beneficial to them. But it does not mean that if you can’t remember someone’s name, this equals to bad memory.

Professor Richard Harris believes that almost everybody has a very good memory for something. It’s just a matter of how you extract or make use of them. Don’t despair. He said the key to a good memory lies in your level of interest.

The more you are interested in someone or a topic of discussion, the more likely you are going to remember the new details in your brain.

Think about it; lets say this new cute guy you’ve just met, tells you the most mundane routine of his daily life, you’re bound to remember almost every word he said and play it over and over again in your head. You’re interested aren’t you?

Same theory applies when it comes to names. This is why some new people you remember, while others you forget almost immediately. So, the best way to remember a person’s name besides constantly repeating his or her name throughout the evening is to show more interest.

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