what’s in a name?

One of the absolutely worst things about me is that I have difficulty remembering names. It’s a horrible place to be, especially if you are at a social function and you somewhat know you’ve met him or her before, yet you can’t recall his or her name to save your life (or face).

I know all the theoretical tricks of memorising names. There was a part about this in one of Dale Carnegie’s books where a dude endeared himself by remembering EVERYONE’s names. He did that by muttering the other person’s name to himself a few times, and/or write down the name followed by an association, e.g. interested in fishing. I’m so terrible at this that I can’t even remember who the dude was.

Trust me, I’ve tried. Unfortunately it’s a bit difficult because sometimes I don’t see the person until a few months later, or even a year or two after our first meeting. By then my memory capacity would have already been loaded and reloaded hundreds of times. See lah, all those vitamin and memory enhancement stuff that you are supposed to eat before your exams in school that your mothers force you to swallow down even though they may taste like the foulest things on earth? My mother never gave me any of that so I’m putting all the blame on her. Makes life easier πŸ˜€

So mom, it’s really all your fault that I can’t remember people’s names. Me being overweight? Your fault too! Bwahahahahaha!

Seriously (as if I’m anything but), it takes a few times of meeting up and talking in real life for me to get your name right. I know it’s a disrespectful thing not to know your name and I’m really sorry about it. I’m trying, I’m trying…

Sometimes I try the old trick of trying to get the other person to say his or her name first so I would appear as if I know who they are. It goes like this…

Person A: Hey Suanie how are you?
Me: Hey!! Nice meeting you again!
Person A: Yah bla bla bla yadda yadda…
Me: Oh.. erm, hey have you met So-and-So?
Person A: Hello So-and-So, I am This-and-That.
Me: Yeah I met This-and-That at [insert function name here].

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t especially if Person A does not take the initiative to reveal his or her own name first! Then what do you do? Act dumb la. Don’t tsk me, I’m sure you all have done it before!

I am still reeling from the embarrassment of an incident that happened a couple of months ago. I was at a play and was hanging out with the cast afterwards. One of the cast members came to me and said hi. I know I’ve met her before, I just can’t remember her name! Terrible kan, especially seeing her on stage earlier.

So I tried to zig-zag a bit until she caught me…

Her: You don’t remember me ah Suanie?? I met you with so-and-so at this-and-that! I am [insert her name here].
Me: [red-faced in embarrassment] I know who you are!! Great job with the play!
Her: -_^




  1. ahaha i’m absolutely lousy in remembering names too

  2. my personal trick is to get someone else to come over, and then i say “hey, why don’t you introduce each other?” lol.

    it usually works.

  3. Oh I have the same problem as you. I always remember faces but not their names.

    Sometimes i use the same trick u do. other times i take out my phone and ask for their number and say “wait..how do u spell ur name again?” hehe

  4. haha i guess everyone has been in that situation too and me no less. usually i just whisper to the next person and ask when the person I’m talking to is not looking. lol,…

  5. Sama-sama la… and I have to try and remember all my customers names too!

  6. ky: same gang mah πŸ™‚

    lishun: haha i’ve never said that out loud before! usually i keep quiet hoping they’d take the hint

    icednyior: oOoO *writes down tip*

    eiling: what if they also don’t know who the other person is?? Hahhaa happened a few times!

    Jaime: lololol fyl πŸ˜›

  7. i think we need to have a face recognition features on the mobile phone. Then we can search the web after taking the pic. Pop, the name πŸ˜€

    So am I. I just not good at it.

  8. Gingko don’t work 1 lar. I have taken so many but still forget people’s name.

  9. Oh noes!!! I have a teeny weeny problem only xD

  10. Yah me also same, can’t remember until I met people at least 5 times.

    First time meeting, within 5 minutes the name has evaporated from my head.

  11. hahaha.. . . .same scenario to almost everyone . . .i usually will just tell the peson. . . .sorry but i dont recall ur name. . . .they will usually just tell ya. . . .

    remember my name suanie ?? met u once only up the hill . . .lolz

  12. i think have to depend on what name also i guess.

  13. I also have that problem, it happens to me all the time.

    One trick is, when you meet someone for the first time, is to ask them to spell their name for you. It works sometimes. Or, during the conversation, just repeat their name when you can ‘So XX, you really think… and, XX, do you want a drink?…”

    On a subsequent meeting, if I’ve forgotten their name anyway (which I probably have), I’ve learnt to often just be blunt and say – ‘Sorry I forgot your name’! It saves trouble sometimes.

  14. I’m really really bad at remembering names as well, I can forget the very next minute who this guy/gal’s name was.
    But of course to play it cool, I rarely call people by names anyway. heheheh …..

  15. too funny.. what the fuck. i usually look at namecards they give to remember. i couldn’t be bothered most of the time..


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