My Brain In 6 Words

Once again, I am participating in Eli – aka Coach Daddy’s – 6 Words feature.

March is Brain Awareness month. Sometimes, we’re not so aware, though. In six words, what’s something you’ve done with your brain switched off?

I have to say it’s a bit ironic that this month’s prompt is about times when my brain shuts off since it took every bit of my (feeble) brain power to come up with my 6 words to meet the challenge!

Here it is – something I do with my brain shut off:

Just met, already forgot your name.


I am TERRIBLE with names.

Every single time I meet someone new, my brain seems to choose the exact moment of introduction to drift off into the clouds.

Why is that?

Is it that I just don’t pay attention? Lack focus?

Honestly, this failing makes me feel terrible. I never, ever want to make someone feel unwelcome or unimportant. But being asked your name after you just shared it a minute ago does not make one feel warmly greeted.

It’s not that I don’t care. I love to meet new people. I’m just not very good at it.

I’ve heard all the tricks.

“Use the person’s name a bunch of times in your initial conversation.”

“Come up with a foolproof pneumonic device.”

“Make some sort of association or connection to help you remember.”

My problem is not that I don’t remember a name. I swear, it is like I never heard it in the first place. Maybe it’s my ears AND my brain that let me down.

Hello My Name Is ?

Name tags are my favorite party attire. We belonged to a Newcomers group in California whose policy was to require name tags at every single function.

Yes!! Thank you!!

I think I’m a visual learner so name tags – being able to see someone’s name in print – really helps.

But what if their handwriting is illegible? Or their hair is covering their name?

And then, of course, there is the awkwardness of staring at someone’s lapel (or worse) as you try to casually read their name tag.

Eyes up here, please.

My dear husband, bless his soul, has bailed me out for years.

When he walks up to join me in a conversation, he can immediately tell if I’ve forgotten the other person’s name.

Mary? Carrie? Sherry?

Peter just jumps right in and introduces himself. This saves my dignity in two ways: it spares me the embarrassment and it gives me yet another chance to hear the name of my new friend.

Usually the second (or third or fourth) time is the charm.

So let me take this opportunity to publicly apologize for the very rude behavior of my sieve for a brain.

I will try very, very hard to work with my brain to remedy this unfortunate and discourteous conduct.

Does this happen to you, too?

Please, share your suggestions. How can I keep my brain engaged, at least long enough to hear the end of the sentence, “Hi, I’m ______.” ?

Does your brain let you down in other ways?

Do tell! In 6 words if you can!

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Thanks for stopping by!


  1. HA HA! I usually have to bail out my Hubster in similar situations. I learn names quickly, but other things not so much.
    I have become convinced that our brains reach a point where it is full…I constantly write lists and since I am a teacher if the schedule changes for the day I need to write it down or I will be standing at the cafeteria door with 24 hungry children who are not due to arrive until a half hour later…this does not end well for me…I hear the song Hungry Eyes and Don’t Let me Down by the Beatles playing simultaneously when this happens.
    Beemie recently posted…Did someone say…My Profile

    • I love that a musical score accompanies your predicament! And, although you may have arrived a teensy bit early, I know you could name every one of the 24 hungry children and probably will remember their names when you run into them at the grocery store 15 years from now! Teachers are truly gifted in name retention – as well as so many other fabulous traits!
      Mo Lux recently posted…My Brain In 6 WordsMy Profile

  2. I’m with you, Mo. I try so hard to remember names, but I’m a miserable failure. The Mister is the same way, but couldn’t care less. We’re a great team – just don’t invite us to parties.

  3. I’m not great, but I’m better than Hubby. The funny thing is, often when I admit to someone I’ve forgotten their name (AGAIN!), they admit they can’t remember mine, either.
    Kathy G recently posted…I’ve Been Looking Forward To This For Weeks!My Profile

  4. I’ve reached an age where I am not too embarrassed to say “I’m sorry, I’m a little hard of hearing. Can you repeat your name?” and then immediately repeat it to them. I think part of it is nerves about making my own impression on someone else so I miss what they are telling me.
    my six words: “Sorry, did I say that aloud?”

  5. Thanks for playing along again, Mo, and I loved this post.

    I’m awful with names of parents of my soccer players and even people I work with, but can tell you every NFL team’s backup quarterback and match up a blog name with a writer’s name like a champ.
    Eli recently posted…What We’ve Done with Brain Switched Off, in 6 WordsMy Profile

    • Isn’t that crazy? I think, at least for me, there is a tiny kernel of truth to the notion that we commit to memory that which is most important to us. I’ve loved participating in the 6 word challenge and hope to be included again! Pretty please?
      Mo Lux recently posted…My Brain In 6 WordsMy Profile

  6. I think you must know you have a lot of company, my husband included, he is the WORST!!! I always say for such a brilliant businessman how can that be! I have suggested as I read in Forbes a while back to my husband to not only repeat their name a few times when they meet but in his head to make an association of an object, anything that can help trigger the name. I will not say this has improved 100% but at least 50% which is huge. Good luck!

    • I would happily take a 50% improvement! Maybe that is the trick: use multiple aids to remember the name within the first minute. Storm your brain with identity information!!
      Thanks for the tips!
      Mo Lux recently posted…My Brain In 6 WordsMy Profile

  7. I’ve gotten really bad at remembering names and find it frustrating – I used to be able to learn 100+ students names by the 2nd day of school. Sad how quickly memory slips!!!
    Kim recently posted…Sometimes a Race Ends up Not Being a RaceMy Profile

    • Hmmm, Kim, you might be on to something. Maybe the name game is a skill that takes lots of practice. So teachers, who must learn a whole slew of names very quickly year after year, are really good at it. Salespeople and others who constantly deal with the public, too. Maybe I just don’t meet new people often enough!
      Mo Lux recently posted…My Brain In 6 WordsMy Profile

  8. Hi, Mo!
    For me, it’s remembering names when i see people out of context. I was a school teacher for fifteen years and even though I knew kids and their parents by name and face, if I saw them somewhere out of context (the movies, drugstore, restaurant) I would often struggle to make the name and face match.
    Great post!
    Lisa recently posted…It’s 6 Words On Wednesday Time Over At Coach Daddy’sMy Profile

    • That is so frustrating, the feeling that “I know I know you but who the heck are you?”.
      And I totally agree with your response. I could have listed approximately two million things that I do with my brain shut off!
      Mo Lux recently posted…My Brain In 6 WordsMy Profile

  9. I wish I had a suggestion but I have the same exact problem! I have even tried repeating the name, but often times I have forgotten the name before I can do that. It’s terrible!
    Bev recently posted…A day in the life of a creative mompreneurMy Profile

  10. Yes, this happens to me, too – six words 🙂 I’m like you – I don’t know why I can’t remember from one minute to the next. It’s like a strange mind block. Once I do remember, though, I really do remember – including unusual spellings.

  11. I am a HUGE name tag fan as well. If I can see it spelled and hear it, I have a shot. Without both types of reference, I’m not going to remember it. Maybe after a half dozen visits, maybe, on a good day.

    • Me too, but those half dozen visits need to be right in a row. I’m sunk if I have to remember names from a group that meets, say, once a month. Way too much time to forget in between meetings!
      Mo Lux recently posted…My Brain In 6 WordsMy Profile

  12. This me, totally! I’m terrible with names. Just awful. So you’re not alone 🙂

    And I think if I had to sum up my own brain in 6 words it would be… “Entered room, why am I here?” Daily. Multiple times. I have no hope!
    Trish recently posted…Overnight Chocolate Chip Oat MuffinsMy Profile

  13. Oh my goodness – I have the SAME problem! I am so sad I missed you in Boston and will miss you again in SD…I guess I just have to come to Chicago (which I do a couple of times a year!) Have a great weekend! xoxo

    • I can’t believe how quickly my time in Boston went! Of course the first month or so, we were under piles of crippling snow and couldn’t do anything even if we had time!! Glad that spring is here!!
      Mo Lux recently posted…My Brain In 6 WordsMy Profile

  14. I think you nailed it when you said you are a visual learner Mo. And no, it doesn’t help when someone writes their name in a way that isn’t readable. I think your best bet is to say “Hello. Lovely to meet you and please know that I will forget your name in a trice. No reflection on you, just my sieve of a brain.” That way, on the rare occasion that you do remember their name they will be ever so impressed.
    Kelly McKenzie recently posted…Lessons Learned Shoe ShoppingMy Profile

  15. I’m horrible with names too. Btw, this is DANA.

    Sometimes I get the wrong name stuck in my head. I have a neighbor named Cecile, and for some reason I always want to call her Celeste. Ugh!
    Dana recently posted…A name tag and a uniformMy Profile

  16. I could almost have written this post, as I identify with nearly every word you wrote! Sadly, not only do I have trouble with names, but also with faces. I’ve finally learned to say “It’s nice to see you – instead of meet you, as frequently the person I am speaking to I have already met!
    I found your blog via Just Typikel. Very glad that I did!
    Susan – ofeverymoment recently posted…Healthy Homemade Kale ChipsMy Profile

    • I’m definitely going to use that line. It is the perfect solution to the “I may have met you already but I have absolutely no recollection” situation. I’m so glad that the fabulous Kelly brought us together!
      Mo Lux recently posted…The Move Countdown Has BegunMy Profile

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