20 seconds? If you interrupt my thoughts, it takes about half a second. :-( :-(
I have to agree with kwxx here. If you give me a name, it’s gone before I can say, “A pleasure to meet you.”
That’s usually inattention: it never made it into short-term memory in the first place. Or it could be the thing I’ll be mentioning on the next page…
This is, incidentally, why it’s so vitally important to repeat any names you need to remember almost immediately after you hear them.
It doesn’t explain why you occasionally have a mental block on the name of one of your best friends, though.
I’m not talking about names, I’m talking about thinking about something, for several moments… and then someone says something to me, and poof, the thought is gone, can’t even remember the subject.
Jon, can’t help with name of best friend, but my trick for someone’s name is to ask for the last name (which I often need anyway), which will remind me of the first name. If you use that on your best friend, you can expect to be in trouble. :-)
To be completely frank, and to paraphrase Andy from Parks and Rec, “I don’t know the names of some of my friendliest and longest running coworkers, and at this point I’m too afraid to ask.”
Some people seem to have a different memory for different things. I’m terrible with names. I’m excellent at remembering addresses, however (works out well for my driving job)
I Find it easier to remember something when I can connect it to something else. A name is an arbitrary string, while an address usually fits on a map.
Yup! We’ll be getting to that in a couple of pages. Fair warning, though: it’s really fascinating stuff, and I’m going to criminally oversimplify it.