With Christmas approaching fast, finding an advent calendar was ‘challenge of the week.’ We soon discovered, under the conditions of a buy-two-get-one-free deal, that it’s almost impossible to impulse-eat an advent calendar. The doors take too long to open. In other news, I received a pension letter twice this week. After already opting out, at the age of 22 it seems they have decided to opt me right back in. Considering I am incapable of looking after a plant (genuinely) it is probably good that someone is looking out for me. Not that I want to start a pension. To counteract the pension problem, I went to see Santa. The idea that this was for research was irrelevant until he didn’t ask me what I wanted for Christmas. For the record, all I actually want is to go to the States and develop my writing.

A reflection on impulse-eating chocolate; if it’s not quick, you have time to reason not to eat it. People make choices based on impulse to avoid reasoning. Sometimes doing things without reason is important. Trying to find a reason to do everything will drive you crazy, and it is good to let go of the wheel once in a while. It is actually completely possible to rationalize everything away and result in eating chocolate due to the depression this causes. It is probably better to act on impulse with that one. This has made me wonder; when we act on impulse, are we essentially lying to ourselves?

 Denial, like it or lump it, we encounter it regularly. No, I know that he/she doesn’t have time for a relationship; that’s why it didn’t work out. In this sense, humans use denial to comfort themselves. It wasn’t my fault I got 55 on that essay, the tutor never turns up and has obviously under-marked me because they hate my guts. In this instance, denial is a function used to boost self-confidence and avoid the stress of acknowledging a weakness. How many times have you lied to yourself today? No, it was the bus that made me late.

 Is honesty the best policy? I’d like to distinguish here between keeping a secret and lying. People often put pressure on each other to share the gossip and open up a little. As I said last week, in our society over-sharing is in fashion. Sharing is not caring. Morally, if the secret you are keeping is somebody else’s business, then you probably should share it with them. Do this carefully. If it is your own however; let it be your own call. It’s always better to reason on your own terms than with the advice of too many others; this way you are being yourself. In making your own decisions and speaking your own mind, better friendships and relationships will develop. Next time you develop a response to a situation based on what your friends/mum/google have advised you; stop and think.

On the other hand, if your pants are on fire then I suggest you reason with yourself to understand why you have lied. There are many scenarios in life when lies are necessary, or even essential. Lies should not be told however, simply because it is appropriate. I have discovered that mostly, people lie out of fear. I have also discovered that humans fear a lack of control, and when a person lies to another they are taking the control. Are they then taking the control as they fear the truth? This takes us back to denial. Are liars lying to themselves?

Now that I have rationalized my advent-calendar binge, I’d like to leave you with a thought. Psychology Today tells us that people lie on average 1.65 times a day, and the Daily Mail report that men lie six times a day, and twice as much as women (obviously). Conflicting figures show lies can’t really be measured, but how many people do not consider that they are lying? Honestly…