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How To Remember Names And Details About People Better

How To Remember Names And Details About People Better

You’re introduced to a friend of a friend and two sentences into the conversation you have completely forgotten their name. Suddenly you lose all ability to pay attention to the conversation while your mind races for a way to figure out their name. We’ve all been there. I’ve been there more than I care to admit and only recently did I realize that this disease of forgetting names is actually quite curable.

Here are three easy steps I’ve learned for how to remember names and details about people you meet.

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1. Care About People

I shouldn’t even have to write this, but if you don’t care about the people around you, you’ll never be good at remembering their names. People easily forget about things they attach no importance to. You can learn to care more about people by losing yourself in the service of others, but that’s a topic for another time.

2. Remember To Follow Through

The same way a good golf swing requires more than just striking the ball, you’ll remember names far better if you follow through. Thurlow Weed, the man who is given credit for mentoring William H. Seward, understood this principle well. He was concerned that he “lacked a native facility for remembering names and appointments.” As a result, he consciously trained his memory by spending 15 minutes every night recalling everyone he met and everything that was said. It’s no surprise he became especially well known for his amazing ability to remember information.

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Every night I like to give myself a few minutes to remember as many details as I can about my day. Once or twice a week I also try to see how many days I can go back and recall using the same technique. This constant exercise has proven to be the vital follow through I needed in order to improve my memory. Now when I meet someone new, I instinctively attach more value to names and details because I know I will be going over them later. Thank you, Mr. Weed!

3. Say The Name Out Loud

One of my favorite, yet extreme, examples of this is Anna Faris in House Bunny. If you’ve seen it, you’ll remember that when someone new introduces themselves to her, she gets a serious look on her face and repeats the name in her deepest, raspiest voice possible. It’s pretty hilarious. She claims it helps her remember names better. While it might just be a funny quirk to add dimension to the personality of her main character, it is directly in line with a simple truth. If you repeat a person’s name back when they introduce themselves, you are much more likely to remember it.

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Think of a person’s name as a key to your conversation. Once they give it to you, use it once or twice throughout the conversation to keep it going. The quicker you commit a name to memory, the more you can focus on the details of the actual conversation.

Repeating names not only helps you focus and remember, it’s also an excellent way to build better relationships. In Dale Carnegie’s book, How To Win Friends and Influence People, he teaches that “a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

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Remember, care about people, follow through, and say the name out loud. If you still struggle, there is no shame in openly admitting you are trying to be better. Everyone learns at their own pace. Even the slowest progress is better than no progress.

If you struggle with remembering names and details, I would love to hear your experiences trying these tips. Let me know how it goes in the comments below. What other methods do you have for remembering names and details?

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Braden Thompson

Braden is an advocate for better living who finds fulfillment in helping others become better.

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

How to Overcome Boredom

How to Overcome Boredom

Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?

I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.

If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.

What is Boredom?

We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.

You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.

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It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.

If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.

When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.

Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored

If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.

Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.

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Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!

In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.

It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.

Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?

Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.

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In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.

3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom

1. Get Focused

Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.

You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
  • Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
  • Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.

2. Kill Procrastination

Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.

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So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.

Here are some ideas:

  • Do some exercise.
  • Read a book.
  • Learn something new.
  • Call a friend.
  • Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
  • Do a spring cleaning.
  • Wash the car.
  • Renovate the house.
  • Re-arrange the furniture.
  • Write your shopping list.
  • Water the plants.
  • Walk the dog.
  • Sort out your mail & email.
  • De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).

3. Enjoy Boredom

If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.

Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge.[1] Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.

So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.

More Tips on Overcoming Boredom

Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

Reference

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