11 Surprising Things It Means If You Can’t Remember People’s Names

Hannah Burton/Bustle

Are you the type who blanks on a person's name, before you've even finished shaking their hand? Do you spot acquaintances in the grocery store, and run the other way because you can't quite remember who they are? If you have trouble remembering names, and have moments like these happen to you on the regular, join the club.

Name recall isn't a strong suit for everyone, and it can be kind of embarrassing when a familiar face approaches, and your brain lets you down. But don't feel bad. "Some people are very good at it, while others are more challenged by it," says Dr. Jared Brosch, a neurologist at IU Health tells Bustle. He says it's often just a matter of what your brain is good at, the same way some people are really great at remembering directions, while others get lost one street over from their apartment.

Everyone's brain has a shortcoming or two. There is good news though, because this whole name issue can be improved over time — if you're willing to try some tricks. "There are several mindfulness games you can play when trying to remember a name," Mike Dow, PsyD, PhD, author of Heal Your Drained Brain, tells Bustle. "Try to use their name in conversation. Make associations that are visual. If there's a Carol, see that person in your mind's eye with a Carol that you know. See them together." Little mind games like these can make their name stick.

That said, there are a few interesting reasons why you might not be able to remember names, apart from your brain's innate ability. Health issues, medications, and even how much the person means to you all play a role. Read on for more info below.