March 13, 2012 in Blog, Relationships

Can I ask a HUGE favor?  If we are ever out together at a Swanky Function, Networking Event or Family Reunion, could you subtly ask the person with whom we are speaking, what is THEIR NAME?

Thanks, I’ll buy you a drink.

I embarrassingly and consistently struggle to remember names.  As a Motivational Speaker, I know this is not OK, and I am working hard at fixing it.

If we met prior to 2004 or you are in my life daily, then no problem, you are most likely etched into my cerebral guestbook.  Anyone after 2004… It seems (like the cake) your names were left out in the rain and I sometimes cannot quite make them out until a few minutes later.

I keep trying to remember a traumatic incident that may have caused this phenomenon – Oh wait, Yes!  Thirty-Seven Gallons of hormone bamboozling, memory annihilating, injectible drugs.

But they did lead to the birth of ONE miracle boy – which is TOTALLY worth a few million brain cells, wouldn’t you agree?  Incidentally, as he was born AFTER 2004, even he falls victim to the name game from time to time.

I DO always remember actual PEOPLE with whom I am speaking, along with insanely intimate details down to what is their favorite beverage, the color they just painted their foyer and that they smell like a spring day at my grandparents cottage on an island in Lake Orion

Then there is this insidious little game my mind likes to play.  It remembers the first LETTER of a name!  “Well” you might muse “isn’t that better than not remembering anything at ALL?”  No.  No, dear Poppet, it is not.  Because I cling to that letter with false assurance and call them some OTHER name starting with the same letter – out loud.  This leads to knitted brows and hurt feelings and me visiting my dark place.

Names are not the only victims.  I will find myself mid-step, half-way up the stairs and say (out loud) now WHAT was I going up for?  (I remember about 70% of the time, “Oh yes, I was getting my phone charger.”)  But names are part of my business and making people feel good and welcome in my life is my passion, so it bothers me a great deal.

I suspect I may not be alone in this dilemma, and so, I try at every turn to help others who may also be struggling.  I always wear a Name-Tag if offered.  ALWAYS!  And I write my first name BIG and BOLD and I slap it directly above my right… um… pectoral muscle.  This way when I reach out to shake a hand, the natural eyesight line moves up my arm directly to my name.

If I am in a non-Name-Tag situation (Quelle Horreur) I try to strategically drop my OWN name into the conversation early on, “So I said to myself, Tami do not even think about going near that cheese tray!”    For the sake of Muddle-Heads like me, would you do the same?

While I will continually aim to improve this social deficit of mine, I keep secretly hoping that all this new Social Media and Internet Language I’m learning might kick-start the young spunky parts of my brain, like an intellectual Red Bull.

In the meantime I wanted to hear from YOU – Can you share your favorite way to remember names?

Oh, and do you have any idea where I left my phone charger?

Warmly,   Whatsername

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