There was a time I thought I was bad at names.
Then, I learned it was a skill, and I was just being lazy: to commit a name to memory, repeat it out loud in a sentence after hearing it at least once, and also think it several time inside your head. Then remember to think about it again a minute later, and five minutes later. Then you got it!
There came a time I thought I got good at the skill – learning thousands of names at tango festivals, and remembering the name of every Lyft driver at the end of a ride after conversation. One culmination of the art of remembering names was after a day of interviews at a company with 5 different people, followed up with an hour-long demo of the product, in the debrief with the HR – I told him about my experience interviewing using the names of all the 5 people who had interviewed me.
And then, I went to physical therapy, and met my therapists: Sarah Plumer-Holzman for the shoulder, and Sarah Edery-Atlas for my hip. Good luck! I truly felt like a basic noob at names all over again.
From Zen Buddhism: “Before I sought enlightenment, the mountains were mountains and the rivers were rivers. While I sought enlightenment, the mountains were not mountains and the rivers were not rivers. After I reached satori, the mountains were mountains and the rivers were rivers” – Dōgen