Why We Forget Peoples Names

Right after someone has introduced themselves, I’m kicking myself for already not remembering their name. I used to think I just had a bad memory (that’s still debatable). I have a new theory. Some people are visual learners, some auditory, and others tactile. I am an ambient learner (I do believe I made that term up.)

Image: Kevin Curtis

The moment I meet someone, I’m looking into their bright eyes, I’m noticing how their smile curls slightly to the right, I’m seeing how they are responding to meeting me.

I’m taking it all in.

And while I’m busy doing accomplishing all of that, the name… flies right out of my mind.

In fact, it’s safe to say, when first meeting someone, I don’t hear much of what is being said for the first 30–60 seconds. (A scary thought at times)

Here’s what I do remember…

I remember the ambiance in the room when we met. I can usually recall what music was playing. I know the vibe of the encounter. I remember you.

Unless you’re that one friend of a friend from book club that one time. But in that case, it was fine because we both didn’t remember meeting each other before and found our second rendezvous just as lovely as our first.


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