I noticed myself feeling anxious when recalling someone’s name recently. And I became slightly flustered. Yet, on another occasion, I realized I actually knew the name of the person I worried I’d forgotten. As my friends will attest to, I have a pretty sharp memory. Where I may have temporary memory loss of your name I will, however, remember what you told me ten years ago about your Great Aunt Bebe. I will remember that you had pretty bad BO last time I saw you or that you were a bad tipper. I’ll certainly remember if I liked you. So what the heck?
What is this phobia I have about getting the name right? I suspect there’s a correlation between this and my nauseating fear of remembering passwords. Every time I go to type a password in, I am certain it will be wrong. And Mission Impossible style, it will self destruct in five seconds? My anticipation of getting flustered before I try naming you and correctly pass-wording makes me anxious and throws me off. It’s the old self-fulfilling prophecy, again.
I suspect the commonality of these two fears tie is a need for perfection. Perfect people don’t mess up. So recently, I tried to keep calm and say the person’s name out loud and often. I risked being wrong and ended up making points. From now on, I will give myself permission to ask you your name if I can’t remember it and I’ll loudly chalk my forgetfulness up to hormonal levels which I suspect sabotage me regularly. Happened to me when I was pregnant so why not cyclically too?
Sometimes just calling myself into awareness about a fear or anxiety can set it righter. And that auto remember thing on my computer for saving passwords has been a godsend. Too bad I can’t press my nose and remember your name.
In the grander scheme of things, names and passwords are just flim flam. We often focus on the small stuff while the larger stuff escapes us. I do not doubt however, the devil or deliverance, may be in the details. Do your best, let go of the rest.