Of all the ideas derived from psychoanalysis, the notion of someone being "in denial" is perhaps the one that's wormed its way the deepest into popular culture. (I won't probe too deeply into why I chose the word "wormed" in that previous sentence. Or why I chose probe for the subsequent one.)
Anyway, there's no one better at denial than estate agents. A recent door-drop at Woodford Towers from a local property pusher refers to the 'many hungry buyers' who are 'on the hunt' for cottages in our south-west London enclave.
I'm like yyrw. Which is like yeah yeah right whateva for those of you who aren't up with the lingo.
We're then encouraged to call their "busy" office where a lady called Ann will pick up the phone. Unless, of course, she's just too snowed under. If it rings and rings, it would probably be that she's dealing with a flood of hungry buyers who've decided to besiege her desk. It absolutely wouldn't be that Ann had chosen to go out for an extended lunch break between 11 and 3.
All this kind of stuff reminds me of the Japanese salarymen who lose their jobs but continue going to work regardless. They dress up in a suit, collect their neatly packed sushi from the Mrs and head off to the local park, where they sit until it's time to head home.
"How many properties did you sell today, love?"
"Oh, I lost count. And we had some great new instructions. Potential for loft conversion (STPP) and gardens being laid to lawn and... and... I'm sorry, darling... I just... I just can't keep up the pretence any more. Please forgive me. I've been lying to you ever since the spring of 2008."
It's a weird old psychology. If I were a shrink, I'd look at these super egos and consider their brains very worthy of study. Internal viewing highly recommended.