Wednesday, November 11, 2009

187 - "Sorry, I'm terrible with names."


In our lives, we all hear the same clichéd line at social gatherings whenever we introduce ourselves to someone new. "Please don't hate me if I don't remember your name the next time I see you, I'm terrible with names!"

What is that? That's not a good demonstration of social skill and sensitivity. Is that what you want to introduce yourself as, as Clifford, the guy who's bad with names, or as Christine, a bit of a bonehead with the inability to remember anything? Show a bit of interest in this interaction, mate.

And you know what they say the next time they see you?

"Hi, have I met you before? I'm so sorry, I'm so bad with names. Again, so sorry!"

Excuse me? That's your excuse? Maybe I shouldn't have even bothered with your name. How much more disrespectful and insulting can you be? Why can't you remember a simple name? Are you at all invested in this relationship?

What was that? You're more of a face person? What the Hell is that supposed to mean? You remember my face, but you haven't registered my name? Tell me, what the f**k is the use in memorizing a nameless face?

You say you usually remember people's faces, their voices, what they're wearing, and if they had something really nice on. That's the way to sound like a creepy klepto. Can't imagine what it must be like in the case you find someone sexually attractive. The focus is probably brought even further away from the person's name, and not just on the person's face anymore.

What about you? Why are you bad with names?

You say you get distracted by trying to make a good impression and you get nervous. Jesus, what did I ever do to make you feel you had to make a good impression and nervous? I've barely said anything. Do I look like a royal prince, searching the social scenes of the modern age for prestigious companions? ...No!

And what about you? You say you "instantly dive into analyzing people's personalities and forget to remember the names." I reckon you need professional help, my friend, because I feel violated in a Freudian kind of way. Since that emotion's so rare, that can't be good.

After a couple of months of having to endure this problem time and time again, with working in a place I've never worked in before, with coming to university meeting all these people for the first time, now, whenever I meet someone and they tell me their name, I make sure to instantly respond with, "My name's Mikey, don't worry. I'm very good with names, and I'll be sure to remember yours."

You should see the smiles on their faces.

11 comments:

Lihlipp Brocicooni said...

I'm pretty bad with names myself. But I'm just bad with memory in general. Yet I have never said that I probably won't remember someone.

tattytiara said...

Wuh oh. I bear a remarkable resemblance to this topic.

plentymorefishoutofwater said...

Haha, I always say this. It's not that I can't remember, it's just that I have no intention of ever seeing you again, so don't bother TRYING to remember.

missykimmy said...

Haha, I think it's just a way of being polite, or to break the ice or something - because you're comfortable enough to tell someone that you have a problem remembering names.

I don't know what I'm saying, really; I don't have this problem.

But I do dislike it when someone doesn't remember my name when we've had a conversation before. (Some people are just introduced and never really speak. It would be understandable if they forgot the names I suppose.)

missykimmy.blogspot.com

Naomi said...

I usually remember names, except for the occasional day where I have gone without sleep or coffee for a while.

Naomi said...

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gaf85 said...

Michael, I had no idea you referred to yourself as "Mikey"!
Anyway, sometimes I just fake like I really know the person and will go on and on talking to them without actually saying their name. Other times I will be preemptive and apologetic about not remembering their name and try to make a joke. Someone once told me if you repeat the person's name as they are being introduced, saying it out loud ,it helps to remember the name.

Michael said...

Lihlipp Brocicooni: For me, I have good memory if I care, and bad memory if I don't care. Depends on who it is when it comes to me, lol!

tattytiara: Admittance is the first step...

Fish: It seems to be a English mannerism that I've observed since being here.

Kimmy: Really, you should see the smiles on their faces. It is so reassuring to them that their name will be remembered, it's hilarious!

Naomi: No problem, will stop by your blog in a wee bit.

gaf85: Since I worked the bartending job, I've been using the nickname! I've found that it's easier for people to remember my name if it's a fun one like Mikey. :D

RenRexx said...

I really don't bother remembering names when the person is not interesting enough, and we probably won't hit it off. NOW, if the person is worth talking to, or if they made an impression, I will surely remember them.

Other than that, I really don't intend to see them again. If I do- then that's when it's worth recalling names.

Michael said...

RenRexx: Yeah, it can be difficult if someone's incredibly boring.

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