So Many Girls. So Many Double Names.
The doors open. She walks through. The anxiety creeps in. What. Is. Her. Name?!?! I’ve met her before but suddenly my mind is going blank, my throat is getting dry, and my left eye starts twitching. It’s now or never. Am I going to remember or not?
We've all been there.
Let’s just say remembering names has not always been my forte. However, working in ministry forces you to grow in the skill of learning names. A relationship can suffer severe harm or set back if a girl shared her heart with you on Thursday but you call her by the wrong name on Sunday. If you’ve met someone only briefly but call their name the next time you see them you immediately make them feel valued and more interested in getting to know you.
Knowing someone’s name is personal and a vital part of a growing relationship. When you have a lot of names to learn all at once, it can spin out of control rather quickly.
If you are a name struggler like myself, I have some good news for you. It is a skill that you can build. Here are a few tips that have really helped me:
1. DIG DEEPER
Don’t stop at just her name. Learn something about her (hobbies, school, siblings, extra curriculars, etc.). Your brain might be able to remember an attribute about her before her name that will allow you to connect the dots.
2. SAY IT AGAIN
Remind yourself of her name when the conversation ends. When you walk away, tell yourself her name again. It helps to solidify her name in my mind rather than jumping to the next thought.
3. IDENTIFY HER FRIENDS
Sometimes it can be really easy to remember the names that go together.
4. CREATE NICKNAMES
There might be a name that you just cannot remember. If that’s the case, come up with a nickname. It might also give you a good inside joke that could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
5. PICTURES & NAMES
At the beginning of each school year, we take everyone’s picture. We have an online database of all of our students that keeps us with their name, grade, school, small group, and picture. Especially at the beginning of the year, I spend a couple of minutes each day looking at pictures and repeating their names. It’s takes some time, but it’s totally worth it.
Bonus: if you really can't remember her name, go ask another student to introduce themselves and then come back and tell you. You have the correct name and they made a new friend. 2 birds.
I hope this helps you connect with your girls! Do you have any tips on remembering names? Comment below with tips, tricks, and stories. We'd love to hear them! - Becca