It’s hard to go anywhere today and not hear the soulful voice of pop singer Adele. Her song “Someone Like You” has seemed to filter its way onto every radio station, MP3 and CD player (if they still make those) in the country. Yesterday, I was in an examination room at the doctor’s office and heard the song. Then one of the nurses joined in singing like she was having her own private concert. Midway through, she stops and proclaims: “I just love this song!” which made me laugh.
I too enjoy the song, but as I listen to it there is one phrase that stands out for me. “Don’t forget me…” It’s a simple line, but one that made me stop and think the first time I heard it. The sentiment don’t forget me, or don’t forget about me, has been used in countless forms of media for many, many years. Obviously you can find it in music, but also literature, television, and movies. Who could forget the song “Don’t You” that was made famous in the John Hughes movie “The Breakfast Club”? It’s everywhere and hearing it made me wonder why it was such a popular phrase.
To me it seems like human beings have an internal need to be remembered by others. Not just their family and friends, but also the everyday people they encounter. If other people remember us, then we mattered to them. I think it might be why the phrase is used so often in regards to romantic relationships. You simply want to matter to the person that you loved so much, so like Adele, you ask, beg, and plead for them not to forget you.
The same idea can be applied in a consumer environment. If you walk into a store, bar, or restaurant, how do you feel if the employee behind the counter remembers your name? A complete stranger remembers who you are and it makes you feel welcome in that establishment. Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, right? I call a particular agency on a regular basis and the (very nice and sweet) lady answering the phone recognizes my voice and calls me by name every single time. It makes me feel good and I never hesitate to call. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that they probably treat their customers the same way and that is what you call good service!
I guess it’s just something to think about when you go out into the world. Regardless of where you are, or what line of business you are in, remembering someone’s name, voice, or face can really brighten their day. I’m not a psych major, so feel free to disagree with me on this. But if you do feel the same way, maybe share a story of how you were remembered and how it made you feel at the time.