5 Things Smart People Do If They Forget Someone’s Name

It’s the most embarrassing thing in the world to forget someone’s name half a minute after they told you what it was — even though it’s actually rather common. Science says it’s because names hold no information in them that is relevant to the person they’re assigned to, and are completely arbitrary. Our brains are designed to remember faces better. When we can’t remember a name, we usually walk away, head hanging in shame. If you’re smart, though, there are so many ways to get that name back after it’s slipped your mind.

1. Ask for their card

If you don’t already have their card, ask for it. If they don’t have any cards left, go onto point #2. Don’t feel like asking for their card? Just ask them to download Ohai, and save their details in the app without saying a word!

2. Ask them to save their contact details

Hand them your phone and ask them to write their details. Let them type their name! Alternatively, you could hand them a blank card and a pen and ask for their number.

3. Introduce a friend

Find one of your friends and introduce them. Listen for the elusive name and be sure to memorize it this time!

4. How do you spell it?

You could always use the most common trick in the book — ask them how to spell their name. This can backfire if the name is very simple, like Ravi or Anita. In that case say “No, I meant your surname”. Pray their surname is complex enough that it can be spelled multiple ways.

5. Start a conversation

Ask them about the last time you both met, say you can’t remember exactly when it was. They’ll tell you, and that may help you remember their name too.

The Ohai app’s awesome ‘Seen Around Me’ feature will help you keep up with people even if you forget their names and haven’t stored their numbers. Click here to download it.

This article was originally published for Ohai app on the Cutting Chai blog. Ohai is a proximity-based professional networking application.