Last week, I shared that a 2005 StatsCan study revealed 61 per cent of rural residents knew all of their neighbours, but only 16 per cent of those living in major urban centres did.

This isn’t terribly surprising.  Do you have a hard time remembering names in the first place?  I certainly do, even though I know I shouldn’t.  Sometimes I forget the moment someone tells me…I was too busy thinking about what to say next!

But names are important.  According to a Lifehacker blog post, “a person’s own name is the single most important word to him/her; it is intimately tied to his/her identity as an individual. How you deal with people’s names can have a profound effect on their impressions of you: Think about the times you’ve felt special when someone you admired addressed you by your name in a sincere tone; or think about the times when you’ve felt belittled when someone negligently called you by the wrong name, or worse, maliciously made fun of your name in front of you.”

But something so important is also so easily forgotten.  Sometimes it’s physiology, since “names are among the first things to go as our brains begin shrinking — by about half of one per cent annually — starting as early as our thirties.”

People come up with all kinds of strategies for remembering names.  Personally, I write the name down as soon as I can, since it helps me most to see the name in print somewhere.   It works for me, but maybe not you.

Question: How well do you remember names?  What strategies help you?

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