After nearly three hours at this friend’s place over lunch, his wife asked me “BTW, what’s your name?”
Eek! I felt so undermined at that moment. The lady had played a great host that noon with her terrific culinary skills, I must admit. But that one question at the end…made me feel so small.
"So, who was I to her all this while? Some nameless creature who came and ate? When do we not care to know of the person’s name when offering food?"
I couldn't stop these questions from popping up in my mind.
Turning the scenario, the other way around, I am sure I would have felt very happy accepting her subsequent dinner-invite had she remembered my name and used it now and then during our conversations.
Names are very special to each of us. People feel good when their names are used during interactions. Especially, when getting introduced for the first time, repeat their name once, look up at them, and smile. That strikes an instant chord of respect and trust. Just try it out with a cab-driver next time you travel and see how responsive he gets!