Most of us recognize faces. For example, did you ever hear anyone say, “Oh, I know your name, but I don’t recognize your face”? It’s the names we have trouble with. Since we do usually recognize faces, the thing to do is apply a system wherein the face tells us the name. That is basically what a good memory techniques accomplishes, if it is applied correctly.
The first problem is the name. Well, that one is easily solved – simply apply the “Substitute Word” system of memory. You won’t need it for many names that already have meaning – names like Hayes, Howe, Carpenter, Fox, Paige, Coyne, Paynter, Gold, or Knott immediately create pictures in your mind.
Other names may not have meaning, but will still remind you of something tangible. For example, the names Hudson, Jordan, and Shannon will probably make you think of a river, and the name Ruth might make you think of baseball. The vast majority of names, however, have no meaning at all. They are conglomerations of sound, just like a word in a foreign language. That’s where the Substitute Word system comes in.
Before we give you some examples, you should be aware of the fact that most people don’t really forget names. They just don’t remember them in the first place – often, they don’t really hear them in the first place. Just think back and remember the many times you’ve been introduced to someone, when all you heard was a mumble. There’s no way on earth to remember a mumble!
For some reason, people are usually embarrassed to simply say, “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear your name.” There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Since a person’s name is one of his most prized possessions, it’s flattering to make even the slightest fuss over it. Asking him to repeat it shows that you’re interested enough in him to want to be sure you get his name right.
Then there are those who don’t bother asking the person to repeat his name because they feel that they’ll probably never meet him again, so what difference does it make? Of course, they often do meet that person again – which is why half the world seems to address the other half as Darling, Buddy, Fella’, Mac, Champ, Honey, or Sweetheart. Not because “Honey” is so special to them, but because they don’t know who they’re talking to! Which is probably all right, because the chances are that “Honey” and “Buddy” don’t know who they’re talking to, either!
Anyway, if you would like to remember names and faces, there are three steps involved; the first step takes care of the name, the second takes care of the face, and the third locks the two of them together. What you have to do is associate the name to the face in some ridiculous way.
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