Ok, maybe you’re great. But if you’re like me, and you meet someone it’s hard to make a name stick to a face. There’s scientific reason why people forget names…because they’re meaningless.
Memory works so that the more pathways you have, the easier it is to retrieve a memory. This doesn’t happen naturally with names. Names don’t give the brain enough information to grasp onto in order to create a memory.
This explains why you can remember what someone was wearing, their occupation, their family situation or how they were acting in a meeting more readily than their name.
I guess the weird thing with names is that they are incredibly personal for those involved. They have family or sentimental value. When someone forgets your name, it feel (for most) that you aren’t important.
The name of this name-forgetting phenomenon is called the ‘Baker-baker’ effect. It’s called this because it’s easier to remember that someone is a baker – ie. makes bread – than it is to remember that their last name is Baker.