Self Help: Mental cramps over remembering names

In honor of " Do People Remember You" thread, there are many of us who cannot remember someone’s name. This is a terrible affliction. Everyone has their own way to handle the situation gracefully or humorously. Before I share myself help tips, let me explain how bad I am with names.

Before we were married, hubby threw a surprise birthday party for me. I walked in and could not remember anyone’s names.( Except my cousins) Everyone else (co-workers, very close friends and neighbors) it was a blank. It was terribly annoying and humor helped me through it.

Here are my self help techniques:

Stick out your hand and say your name, following with one of these tag lines:

1.Damn Glad to Meet you!
2.Didn’t we meet while shooting Lions in Africa?
3.You look like someone famous.
4. You have the nicest eyes I’ve seen …(great pick up/charm the pants off them line.)
5.You’re so and so’s cousin? You definately inherited the looks and brains. ( Never fails to charm the pants off them)
6.Didn’t we meet in a Turkish Prison?
7.You must have met my evil twin sister before, cause I would never forget a face like yours.
8. I’m just here for the food and drinks.
9. I met so and so when we were working at a strip club.
10. ( One that only old people get) Don’t blame me, I voted for Dewey.
11. A chicken in every pot and a beer in every hand. Vote for me.

Anyone else have funny opening lines to help along the memory impaired.

Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day.
Give a man a remote and he’ll never speak again.

I don’t have any funny ones. I just stumble along until I can either figure it out or find somebody to ask. But I am terrible with names. When I was in college and living in the dorms, I would have to walk to the showers first thing in the morning. Whenever I saw anybody, I’d just say, “Hello.” Finally, somebody asked me why I always said that and never used a name. I said that it was because I didn’t wear my glasses when going to the shower, so I couldn’t really see who it was. The excuse worked.

I should clarify – I lived with these people and did know their names, it’s just that the names took a long time to get from wherever they are stored in my brain to the part connected to my mouth. Given time, I’d remember the names; but when I walk down a hall and somebody pops out of a door or around a corner, the brain just didn’t kick in fast enough.

I confess that I’m also absolutely terrible with names. There are days when I barely remember my own, much less anybody else’s. I’m not ashamed to admit this to people either. I will walk up to them and say “Now, I know I’ve met you before, but I’m terrible with names. What is your name again?” or something like that. Nobody has ever been offended yet. Sometimes they laugh and confess that they don’t remember mine either.

“Most people would succeed in small things, if they were not troubled with
great ambitions.”

  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Wow. Honesty. I hadn’t thought to handle it that way. :slight_smile:

That probably comes from years of visiting my grandmother in florida. As we’d be walking around, she’d pull aside this old man or woman (they all looked pretty much the same to me at the time) and say, “You remember her, don’t you?” And I’d dutifully nod that I did. Worked fine 'til one smartass said, “Oh, then what’s my name?” Grrrr…

I don’t do names. I can remember faces and voices, but the names that go with them remain hidden in the dark recesses of my mind. It can be most frustrating.


Lessee, an old person in Florida…I would have said “Ralph” or “Gladys”, depending on gender. You would have been right 90% of the time.

The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. – E. Grebenik

God… i thought that said menstrual cramps and I was wondering how all these guys were replying in here… I have a pretty good memory for names and faces… my bro in law tho got himself into a pile of shit… shortly after he married my sister they were walking downtown and a girl approached them who turned out to be an old girlfriend of his… he promptly introduced her by name and when he turned went to introduce ye ole sister… he couldnt remember his new bride’s name…to the couch he went…

We are, each of us angels with only one wing;
and we can only fly by
embracing one another

Sometimes I’ll look at somebody I’ve known for many years, and just blank out. I’ll remember their name in 10 or 20 minutes.

Walking down the hall “Hi fred. Wait that’s not your name. umm… Well hi!” Ten minutes later when I think of it, I pop in and go “Hi Tom.”

Not only do I have a lot of trouble remembering names, I’ve always been poor at remembering faces, too. It’s very embarassing to be greeted by name by someone who you have no recollection of ever meeting before.