Do you ever find yourself forgetting people's names almost as quickly as they tell it to you? It can be frustrating, not only for those around you but also for yourself. I am one of those people. My mind has a natural affinity for purging itself of information that it deems as non-vital to my existence especially at that moment. While this may seem like a disadvantage, it's given me a unique perspective on the importance of connecting with everyone around me, regardless of whether or not I'll ever see them again.
I've accepted that remembering someone's name doesn't necessarily equate to a genuine human connection. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that memory equals interest in a person; however, this isn't always the case. Asking for a name, even if I won't retain it, is more about being fully present in that moment and acknowledging the person in front of me. It's a way of showing that I value their presence and yapping, regardless of how memorable I may find the conversation to be.
There are many different ways people connect, and I believe that genuine connections can be formed in a myriad of ways. In my experience, it's not just about remembering a name or other data points. Sometimes, it's as simple as a smile or a laugh shared with a stranger that can make a lasting impression. Focusing too much on remembering things can cause one to miss out on the present moment and the richness of the interaction happening in real-time.
This way of thinking has helped me to let go of the pressure to remember everything about every person I meet, and it's allowed me to be fully engaged in the moment. It makes me more approachable since people don't feel like I'm quizzing them or putting them under a microscope. It's helped me appreciate each interaction for what it is, not for what I can gain from it.
Now, this isn't to say that I don't still struggle with feeling bad for forgetting names. While I may forget a name, I never forget a kindness, a shared experience, or a moment of laughter. It's these moments that make connections genuine, and it's these moments that will stick with me long-term.
In the end, I believe that we should all strive to be more present in our interactions with others, whether or not we remember all the details. It's important to see the value in each unique interaction and to cherish the moments we have with each other. So, next time you forget someone's name, don't sweat it. Focus instead on being present in the moment and cultivating a genuine connection with the person in front of you because this is what I would do 😊.