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coffeenut's avatar

Why can't I remember names?

Asked by coffeenut (6171points) March 6th, 2011

I have a insane memory….Once I remember something I know it for life…I’ve been tested a few times and I’m really close to having a Eidetic memory…I can remember movies/books/TV shows in extreme detail, I can remember everywhere I’ve ever Driven or walked, I can remember every job I’ve had and how to do it, I know where everything in my apartment is located, Hell I can remember every conversation I’ve had…ect

But if you tell me your name I’ll forget it within 3 minutes… No matter how many times I repeat it in that time…

What the Hell? What’s the point of having a great memory if you can’t remember someone’s Fucking name? or a Street name?

Anyone know how I can fix this? I’ve already tried thousands of ways Or know anything about why it does that? Doctors don’t

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11 Answers

Taciturnu's avatar

A little trick is to associate the person with an animal, ie Kelly the Kangaroo.

anartist's avatar

Different kind of memory. Short term memory. Often must use a mnemonic trick to keep something in short term memory that actually doesn’t grab your interest. Like desultory introductions. [You would remember if it was love at first sight.] The best for names is say it to yourself, then use it in conversation by addressing the person by name within a minute or two [or you will forget].

A sneaky trick is lurking about nearby to hear someone else address the person.

I can recite radio commercials for acne products from 1961 but can’t do names either.

john65pennington's avatar

You are not alone. I avoid class reunions for just this reason. Faces I remember, the names that go with it, I do not.

I went to one class reunion and its a good thing each person had their name on their chest.

Its really totally embarrassing.

coffeenut's avatar

@anartist No…It’s not my Short term memory…That was tested too, I did the card test, the picture test, and the sound test, all were passed =. 1hr,5hr,24hr,1 week

Also Directly or Indirectly doesn’t matter, I remember things that happen around me (even if I’m not paying attention) I only won’t remember if I’m blocking…

@Taciturnu That wouldn’t work…lol…I’d only remember ((something) Kangaroo)

hobbitsubculture's avatar

I’m the same way. Most people, and their names, aren’t memorable. And they probably forget yours as well.

Repeating the name is supposed to help, but there’s something weird about that. “So, Joe, what are your thoughts on man-eating weasels?” Usually when I meet someone, I forget their name immediately. But if I end up having having an interesting conversation with them, then I will politely ask it again at the end of the conversation. “Nice meeting you. Joe, was it?” After that, I don’t forget again.

coffeenut's avatar

@hobbitsubculture You don’t understand….I have been friends with one person for 15 years now and I still don’t know his name…

I have 148 little notebooks with names in them, (currently) the only way I can remember who those names are is by each name having it’s own picture/character/number that I assign to that person when I write down their name…

hobbitsubculture's avatar

@coffeenut Wow. I’ve never heard of anything like that. Maybe there would be some way to figure out if the things you remember well have anything in common? Like if you remember images better than words or numbers, perhaps there is some way to remember a name visually?

Ron_C's avatar

I have the same problem, that’s why I like meetings and seminars where people wear name tags. I am often in situations where I learn, during conversations, about the person, there family, and sometimes funny stories about mutual acquaintances. Later, I remember the person’s face, and all the stories but not the person’‘s name. I have tried mnemonics, associations with colors or objects, repeating the name as often as possible then forget the person’s name in minutes.

A psychologist told me it’s because I don’t think the person is important enough. I don’t believe that. I have lived with this problem for more than 60 years and don’t have an answer but now I can use age as an excuse. I hope someone helps you, I need the help too.

augustlan's avatar

I have this problem too, and none of the tricks work for me. Only after I’ve met a person multiple times over a long period of time, do I remember their name. I gave up on it, and now just admit to it right away. As soon as I’m introduced to someone in a circumstance where I think it will matter, I tell them I’m going to forget their name and to please forgive me for it.

I just realized, though, that this doesn’t apply online. I remember most people’s names here. Weird.

flutherother's avatar

I am bad with names too; they seem so arbitrary they just don’t stick in my mind. I am not as bad as you however @coffeenut though my memory for other things is not nearly so good. Though my memory for people’s names is very poor I am a lot better at place names for some reason.

thecaretaker's avatar

I dont remember names very well but I never forget faces or images, must be how are minds are hardwired

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