Have you ever met someone for the second time and forgotten their name? It’s so common that I find most people don’t even seem to mind.
Have you ever met someone for the second time and they’ve remembered your name? It could have been a day or a week, a month or a year, and somehow they know it.
Noticers know your name.
I used to do the common: hi I’m Nadine, what’s your name? Oh yeah? Cool. Gosh, I’m so bad with names. Sorry in advance for next time. Hehe. Yep, I’d probably laugh like that.
I used to give myself an excuse to forget the names of the people I meet.
Until a lovely lady at my church heard me saying that to someone and told me that I was telling people – in that short phrase –that they do not matter enough for me to remember.
When she said that to me, initially I was offended.
No I’m not. I’d never say that, or think that. I just have a poor memory.
But then I actually considered Jesus. Because I’m all about looking at the life of Jesus to see how the Gospel applies to my life.
I do not think that there was a moment when Jesus met somebody and said, "hi, I’m Jesus. I won’t remember your name next time."
I’m not saying Jesus remembered every name, or that it is a sin to forget. But I am saying that maybe we should stop giving our mind an opportunity to forget and maybe we should choose to remember.
Names matter because when someone hears their name, they realize that they are where they are meant to be. They're known.
A name is probably the first thing anyone is given upon birth. It's a part of identity that remains throughout all of life.
My name means "hopeful one" and I remember that when life seems hopeless. I remember that my identity is one who has hope.
So I choose to remember the names of the people I meet.
And when I forget – which I do because I’m not a name wizard – I apologize with a genuine apology and determine to remember for next time.
Noticers know your name because they made a choice to remember it.
How are you at the name game? If your answer is “awful thanks for asking”, well, maybe get better! Is that rude? I’m sorry.
But truly. What if you let go of the excuse of being forgetful and actively chose to remember.
That lady I mentioned earlier? I’m not using her name because this is the INTERNET and I tend not to share specific names around here. I do know her name. She chooses to meet three (I think) people per week at church. She meets them, chats with them, and them prays for them for the week. She says that when you pray for someone, you will not forget their name.
The next time she sees them? She uses their name.
Are you a noticer? I hope so!
One last thing. Noticers say name the right way. This is just me being picky, but I feel most cared for when someone asks me HOW to say my name. See, Nadine is prounonced multiple ways, and most people say it wrong. Well, they say it the way I don't like.
There is nah deen and nay deen. I'm a Nay.
Noticers pronounce names correctly because they recognize that being known matters.
What’s your game plan for adding this remembering name things to your already too long list of things to do in life? I try to actively listen when people tell me their name, repeat it back, ask about pronunciation (because it gives me an excuse to say it multiple times and also I'm sensitive about the whole nah/nay-deen thing), and then use it again later. But seriously? Below, comment and let me know your game plan. Because people without game plans don't win games. I think that's a fact or something.