I admit that I have a rather normal, bland name along with my wife and kids. Yet, living in a rather diverse community the names of most of my friends both young and old are unusual. One of my new grandma’s name is Geneva and she is so friendly and outgoing! I confess to the fact that a lot of the kids and teens I’ve been walking with over the last decade plus have names that can be very difficult to pronounce and forget attempting to spell them. So, there are many nicknames like, Fatboy, Wu Wu, K-Girl, Ary or T or P or Lil.
What impressed me and touched my heart is a new friend who has been volunteering for the last 6 months. He showed me a list of names on his iPhone. It was like WOW! You actually care enough to ask how to spell and listen enough to be able to say it and connect. The ultimate compliment for my friend is when a group of kids and teens do selfies with him. We recently did a painting blitz where helped out with one of the houses and the awesome evidence was seeing a series of pictures with all of the kids and teens who helped hanging out with him!
I know that most today choose a name based upon the sound, it’s ranking with the top ten for today’s setting or some famous celeb or athlete. It wasn’t too long ago that a name represented a legacy or provided a platform for a life to follow and reflect integrity, character and real life. So, yes, a name does matter. It’s always impressive when I’m at Starbucks and someone who I’ve talked to a few times actually knows my name. I’m then somewhat embarrassed when I honestly don’t know the person’s name and then face the dilemma of whether I’m bold enough to ask the obvious.
I understand the importance of establishing genuine relationships with new friends. I see the importance of listening, understanding a person’s history and then passions! So, knowing their name is such an integral part of getting to know them and include them intentionally in your circle.
I also admit that as we age, remembering a name isn’t always easy nor automatic. So, I think it’s ok to ask for help when you’re stumped. My mom was always funny when it came to whether my name is Dave or David. She would go out of her way to remind me that I’m DAVID!
It’s so important to catch the importance of introducing yourself, having great eye contact and then remembering a few things about your new friend that are special to them.
Yes, name tags do help out! It also helps out to repeat a person’s name at least three times to have it cemented into your brain!