Name Dropper Syndrome

I used to have NDS–Name Dropper Syndrome. The superficial use of other people's names to impress and where the user does not know the named person well at all. I am a recovering name dropper. I  went through Name Dropper rehab. 12 steps to cure my addiction. But it takes vigilance and the support of others to manage my temptations. I want to Name Drop all of the time. I have urges to tell people who I met or who I "know". But I realized after a long time of name dropping and hearing others do it–we do it because of our own insecurity ( I know Duh!) But like many bad habits, no one told me. My mentors never counseled me. No one ever said, "Hey stop using other people's names to make yourself look good." It was through my own self awareness that I got on the path to addressing my problem.
Name dropper

We all know NDS sufferers. People who have a Tourette's like ability to cough out names to impress you. I now play a game with these people. People I interview or I meet that clearly have NDS– I count the names. I have always counted ums, ers, uhs. I know this is weird, but you know me. 🙂 I counted these interrupting and distracting sounds when I became aware of my own usage. I went through trainings where others counted my ums or rang a bell! I do the same with names dropped. It is like a fantastic video game in my mind. The bigger the names the louder the whizz bang sound in my mind. The name dropper mentions someone I know–small splash sound. They mention a celebrity –Kapow! They mention a world leader, Bill Gates etc–fireworks!

The other day I met one of the world record holders for my game. He was a machine gun of name dropping. Hard to keep up with him. My mind was awash in explosions and bright lights and whatever he was trying to tell me was lost. I know I may need a different kind of rehab!

Don't confuse NDS with being referred by someone you know!

Be aware of yourself. Never show up and throw up. Think before you talk. Self edit. And Get feedback.

Name dropping done in excess and done recklessly hurts your brand. Can make you look superficial and egotistical. 

If someone you know has NDS–help them . Friends don't let friends name drop. Now that is mentoring I could have used. 

Thanks for reading. John

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3 thoughts on “Name Dropper Syndrome”

  1. NDS could be a form of OSN (Open Source Networking)…??
    Basically when you drop names you are informing the listener of where and from whom you have obtained whatever is your talking about giving substance to your thoughts? You could then google these people, become FB friends with them and join instagram… boom!!! Pretty soon your in the zone with all those great people too. Networking via diarrhea of the mouth…perfect use of NDS.
    Thanks John always love your articles they are inspiring and your golf game is even better!!!


    Thanks for this one, Mr. Kobara! I too count ums, ers and uhs, yet ‘Name Dropping’ simply drives me up a wall, and I find I do not work with those who name drop.
    I had NDS in my 20’s when I was living in a new town and spreading my wings after college. I realize now I was very insecure and rather sophomoric at that time. I think this negatively affected my potential for career advancement, and for meeting true decision-makers and actionable mentors.
    These days I am looking for partners in business. So I ask people who they know. I would say I grew from “Who I Know that makes me look better” to “Who I Know that I can help, or who can be a partner in meeting the same goals”.
    Lastly, now in my 30’s I have a great feeling of personal strength and potential knowing my habit of NDS is broken, and that I believe in myself.

  3. Felicia
    Yes NDS is the province of the immature, regardless of age. We grow up and are less impressed with others and more focused on who we are are. Thanks for reading. John

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