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Up Your Name Game

A man in a suit with a "My name is" sticker on his forehead
Isaac Koval/Getty Images

If new names go in one ear and fly out of the other, you’re not alone. In a survey of 130 middle-aged adults, nearly 95 percent reported difficulty recalling names — and feeling annoyed when it happens.

But a few simple tricks may up your name game.

“You want to help lodge names in your brain — and the best way to do this is by framing and focusing the information with both visual and auditory cues,” says Gary Small, M.D., chair of psychiatry at Hackensack University Medical Center and coauthor of 2 Weeks to a Younger Brain.

A few of Small’s suggestions:

  1. Give yourself a pep talk; tell yourself you’re going to focus and remember names. Put away any distractions, including your phone.
  2. Repeat the name during a conversation. You can do this by gathering specific information: “Doug, where do you live?”
  3. Ask for the spelling. “Is that Smith with an I or Smyth with a Y?”

To learn more about name recall, read this article in Staying Sharp

This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide any expert, professional or specialty advice or recommendations. Readers are urged to consult with their medical providers for all questions.

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