I can never remember people's names. Help! -Alexa, Boston, MA
Not to worry: This is one of the most common memory complaints people have, says psychiatry professor Gary W. Small, M.D., director of the UCLA Longevity Center and author of The Alzheimer's Prevention Program.
When you meet someone, there's a lot going on: You're taking in their appearance and body-language cues, shaking hands, introducing yourself. So it's pretty easy not to actively listen.
That said, there are some simple tricks that can help make a name stick. "Our brains are hardwired to associate names with images," says Small, so look for physical details to attach to the person's name (is Jennifer wearing fur? is Tim tall?), or picture them hanging out with one of your similarly named friends (or even a celebrity). And after the intros are over, repeat the person's name during your convoÃ¢â‚¬”rehashing information helps put it into memory too.