Anyone have this type of moment in life?
Someone walks up to you and says, "Hey it's so good to see you!"
And while you are staring at this person you are frantically trying to recall their name, nickname or even where you know this person from?
I really dislike these moments.
I'm really good with remembering faces however. I secretly sometimes think I should've worked for the CIA or FBI as a profiler or negotiator. I've been the weird guy walking up to someone saying,
"Hey have we met before, you look really familiar?"Some people may not care if they forget someones name but for myself, especially working with teenagers, I try really hard to remember names along with their face. When a student is recognized or remembered you can see the look in their face when they feel they important enough to be remembered. And when they come up to you, expecting you to remember them and you don't, you can also see the disappointment in their face.
The truth is sometimes I really suck at remembering names. I'll admit I've met and that I've even talked with you, but I can't remember the name. It's really embarrassing when I guess at their name and I'm not even close. In those moments I confess that I don't remember their name and ask them to remind me what it is and I try to sear it to my brain, hoping it won't leak out. When you are interacting with a few hundred people each week, many of them new or you've just never met them 1on1 yet this can be a regular occurrence.
The problem with youth ministry is you not only need to remember the students name but what parent(s) go with what student. That is really critical depending on the type of phone call you are making to a family. You never want to be calling to inform parents of their son/daughters accident at camp only to realize too late in the hysteria of the conversation you've called the wrong parents [ooops!]
If you are like me I'm glad I'm not alone. If you are gifted to recall people's names instantly I'm happy for you and jealous.
Both of these websites (Forbes) & (Psychology Today) have really good tips that I use and yes they do work…sometimes.