My name has been a struggle for the majority of my life. People misspell it constantly, and I cannot count the number of times people have mispronounced it or called me by something completely wrong.
Most times, it’s unintentional or simply a mistake, but I have never let it go. When I came to Harding, I wanted to make friends with as many people as I could because I didn’t have any — I wanted to remember the people I met and vice versa.
Memorizing peoples’ names is not easy, especially after only meeting them once. Let me be clear, I am not bitter about all the people who have ever called me Kelsey or McKenzie. However, there is so much importance in knowing someone’s name and calling people by their name.
A name is part of a first impression — the first look into who a person is. A name is the beginning of a friendship or introduction into someone new. It is important to remember it. Calling a person by their name makes them feel seen and known.
This is such a small gesture, but genuinely addressing someone and asking them how their day was or how they are doing is such a simple task. When someone remembers your name after only one introduction, it makes you feel noticed.
This concept applies to so many situations. When applying for a job, addressing your possible employer by their right name is imperative. Them getting your name correct is just as important. It helps you realize your value and their active pursuit of getting to know who you are.
This is true in relationships too. I think of this most in the context of the club process, because it is currently most relevant to me. Going around to different mixers, introducing yourself dozens upon dozens of times, as well as having hundreds of people introduce themselves to you, is exhausting.
However, I want to be sure the people I meet do not think I am just going to forget them when I turn around to meet the next person behind me. So I actively commit to remembering a person’s name after meeting them the first time.
Now, I do not know what it is about my brain, but I find this task incredibly simple, which is probably why I think it is so important.
It seems silly, but making eye contact with someone when introducing yourself makes it so much easier to remember their name. Memory is about intentionally remembering details so a moment will stick in your brain.
Eye contact and listening to them when they say their name the first time will help you remember who they are. Actively introduce yourself. Actively remember them.
I find it so disrespectful when I have to introduce myself over and over to someone. It genuinely feels like they do not care enough to know who I am. Learn your neighbor’s name; it will make a difference in how you treat them — and how they treat you.