And how many of them do you remember? Not just a blurry image of a barely-remembered face, but truly remember at least some details of their unique life and the impression they made on yours?
It’s easy to become just another random face in the parade of life. But if you want to succeed, you need to stand out from the crowd. You need to leave a lasting impression. You need to become… Unforgettable.
Is it a super-power—The ability to turn invisible, but in reverse?
And not just for a moment, but to remain vibrant in someone’s memory even when you’re no longer in close proximity, either in time or space.
The good news is, you don’t need to be bombarded with radiation or travel to a mystical dimension to gain this amazing ability. The secrets to attaining unforgettability are actually quite simple. Here are just a few.
It’s not rocket science—people like people who are interested in them. We’re all the star of our own story (be it a soap opera or sit-com), but what’s the point if no one tunes in? Well, if you show a genuine interest in someone else’s saga, they will definitely remember you.
How do you do this? Well, I just did it. Ask them a question. Not about the weather or for directions. Ask them questions about themselves—their interests, their history, their opinions. When you do, you’ll inevitably find some common ground—a shared hobby, favorite sporting team, tv show you love, or mutual friend.
The key is sincerity.
Everybody is fascinating once you get to know them, but you have to cultivate a genuine curiosity about other people at the outset or they’ll quickly sense that your interest is feigned and superficial. And if they remember you after that, it will not be favorably.
No matter how good an impression you may have initially made, inevitably you two will have to part ways. Otherwise, it just gets weird. But once you’re no longer in their sight-line, how do you remain in their memory? Easy…
Stay in touch.
A quick email or text once in a while goes a long way, even if it’s just to say hello. In the Olden Days, sending a note of appreciation was called “manners.” In today’s world, when simple courtesy is a forgotten art, a follow-up message will single you out as that rare individual who still cares enough to reach out and communicate in writing.
It’s important to show interest in the other person. That simple act alone will separate you from the crowd.
Then, if you want to be truly unforgettable, you need to be interesting yourself. And that’s where passion comes in. If you’re not excited about something in your own life, how can you expect someone else to become invested in your story?
Maybe it’s a hobby, or a cause, or a sports team. The other person doesn’t necessarily have to share your passion (although that certainly helps). Even if they don’t, your passions help to define you.
Don’t downplay or hide the very thing that makes you unforgettably you. Passion is contagious. And trust me, if you get someone infected with your enthusiasm, it would be hard for them to forget you.
There’s only one you, so don’t waste time and energy trying to be someone else.
You don’t have to be Superman or Wonder Woman to be memorable. What people do appreciate, what they remember, is someone with whom they can relate and connect.
That entails being not only honest with them, but vulnerable too. Having the strength and courage to admit to another person that you have struggles and shortcomings of your own, or what emotions you have experienced or are experiencing, will make more of a lasting impression on them than only sharing what you’ve achieved.
Okay, the first steps were easy. Now things get more challenging. Most people have difficulty remembering names. Heck, even Superman occasionally slips and calls Hawkman “Hawkeye” (which is really starting to get annoying. Seriously, it’s just like “Superman,” only with a Hawk).
You get the point. The most personal thing someone possesses is their name, and if you make the effort to learn and remember it, they will notice. They may not remember your name instantly (not everyone has your gift), but they will remember you and eventually get your name right.
So, how do you do it? Especially when you’re meeting a whole host of new people, each with their own unique name? Here are a few tricks to help you remember.
Again, these are all tricks. They’ll work, but only if you actually do them. And that takes effort and commitment.
But that’s what makes the act of remembering another person’s name so powerful. Everyone can relate to forgetting names; so, when you do remember theirs, they know you actually had to go to some trouble and effort on their behalf. And that’s definitely unforgettable.
The point of cultivating an unforgettable persona is not to polish your own image or ensure your lasting legacy. It’s to make real and meaningful connections with other people.
Some of these people may be able to help you out in the future; others may not. Doesn’t matter. You should become unforgettable so that when those people are in need themselves, or have exciting news, or a new opportunity to share, they’ll remember and reach out to you.
Plus, how would it feel if… you get people to remember you, and fondly enough, to always take your call or open your email when you reach out (whether that be for business or personal reasons)?
Whatever you are trying to accomplish—connecting others to each other, moving your business forward, reaching out for advice, inviting them to an event, offering your help in some way, or anything else—the power is in earning their choice to give you a few of their precious minutes. After all, time is the resource we all have the same amount of, can’t get back (no do-overs), and can’t buy more of. If they give some of theirs to you, it must have been well-earned.
In other words, you will truly have earned the title of unforgettable.
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Written and edited by Kinn Melby and Amiee Mueller
Image by Michael Dziedzic