Remembering faces

... a short minute's sleep, a booster for more well-being and performance

Mark Twain

"I never did any calisthenics other than sleeping and resting."

When we meet people, all our attention goes to the face. When we meet the person again later, we usually recognize the face, but the name has completely slipped our mind. You probably have a similar experience. Most people think that it is normal not to be able to remember the name of every person you meet. However, if you think you have a fundamentally bad memory for names, you need help.

With a little practice and a few tricks, you too can succeed in assigning the corresponding name to every face you know. In order for you to succeed, it is a prerequisite that you actually want to remember the name of a person you have just met. The most common reason for quickly forgetting names is primarily due to the fact that people do not listen with concentration (increasing concentration). This is an attention deficit combined with insufficient concentration.

But there are special techniques that can help you jog your name memory. Your friends will be impressed and just a few minutes of regular training will be enough and you will never forget the names of interesting people or people important to you.

Tips and tricks for remembering names

One way to memorize the name of a previously unknown person is to create a concise image of the name. You then have to link this image, which comes from your imagination, with a special characteristic of the person. (e.g. big nose, bald head, piercing eyes, glasses, etc.) If you want to memorize the first name as well as the last name, proceed as follows: For the most common first names, learn pictures that come to mind as soon as you hear that name: e.g., Andreas = St. Andrew's Cross, Bill with Dill, Hans with Goose, Jenny with Penny, etc. If you did not understand the name exactly, do not be afraid to ask and repeat the name out loud. By asking, you show your counterpart that you are paying attention. When your conversation partner says his name, ask him about the origin or meaning of his name. For the visual learner type, it is often helpful to write down the name and then read it off. (if you are alone!) When someone introduces themselves to you, think of someone with the same name. Try to relate the person's name to their physical appearance, occupation, or background.

Example: "Josef Berger

Josef Berger lives in Munich. Mr. Berger is therefore Bavarian and will therefore probably have mountain climbing as a hobby. Since Mr. Berger is the wearer of a full beard and is also very Catholic, compare him with St. Joseph, the husband of St. Mary. Try to associate the name with appropriate images and make a short story out of it. The crazier, the better.

Example: "Gustav Stahl"

When you hear the name Gustav Stahl, think of Gustav Eifel, who used a lot of steel to build the Eifel Tower. Think of Mr. Stahl as the architect of the Eifel Tower and also think that Mr. Stahl is a hard man, hard as steel.

In general, when you think about the new name in detail, you are signaling to your brain that this information is important and needs to be stored. With all these tips, always remember: No master has ever fallen from the sky. Practice in a relaxed manner and don't put yourself under pressure to succeed. For some people it will work better, for others not so well.

If nothing helps

If, despite following the tips listed here, you still have problems remembering people's names, then do as the oligarchs did in ancient Rome: they had specially trained slaves who always whispered the name of their counterpart to their master. Nowadays, however, such memory aids on two legs are no longer necessary. Just get yourself a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) on which you can store all the important data about a person; including their name, of course.

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