“What’s your favorite color?”

“My favorite color is yellow”. I replied to a friend recently.

“Is yellow still my favorite color?” I wondered right off the bat.

It’s quite common for us to answer things on autopilot without realizing whether the answer is still accurate because it seems that these “pre-made” answers are inherently in our brains. After all, we’ve been answering that since the old days.

My favorite color might not be yellow anymore, even though I’m still fond of this color for being energetic, vibrant, warm, and cheerful. Thinking hard, my current favorite color might be blue because I’ve been picking up many stuff in blue like paperwalls for my phone, a case for my Kindle and phone, and some pieces of clothes to wear. I didn’t choose blue willingly. It simply happened. In the future, my favorite color might be green, pink, or purple. Who knows?

It doesn’t matter if my favorite color is yellow or blue, pink or purple, what matters is that such kinds of things aren’t set in stone. At some point in our lives that color, movie, brand, singer, music, and whatnot made sense to us and was our favorite. Today, it might be another kettle of fish, depending on our environment and the relationships we are inserted into.

The point is, before answering such a generic question we should answer that based on our current moment rather than what we used to say.

Preferences change over time

It made me reflect on how many of our habits, lifestyles, and preferences change over time without us even noticing them. Paying close attention to it, I noticed some nuances in my preferences and habits. For instance, I used to like drinking cold water, but now I prefer natural water; I used to exercise early in the morning, but now I work out at dusk. I also catch some thorough changes, like not drinking soda anymore, and dismiss spending time aimlessly on social media.

The beauty of all of this is that it might change again in the future, not only these preceding preferences but also other ones.

A friend of mine asked why I haven’t posted photos on social media of my last trip to a fancy and worldwide tourist place. I told her that I don’t feel like posting photos for the sake of it, for following what many other people do. I’d post my photos when I make time to write about places I visited and sightseeing I did. I thought to myself, some years ago I liked posting photos on social media and receiving friends’ likes and comments. Today, I can’t see the point of only posting things without adding value to it. I might change my mind down the road. The answer will only be known with time.

Preferences depend on the context

Another interesting point about preferences to highlight is that we might be for one thing and not for another.

You already know that I love yellow, but not for every object or knit-knacks around me. For example, I love yellow for walls in buildings and houses, but not for mugs and sandals. I enjoy blue in wallpapers and cases, but not for walls in buildings and houses.

I think we can’t simply say “My favorite X thing, is Y” because it will depend on the context.

Others might tailor your preferences

Others might even embed your inherent preferences.

At some point in my life, I stated that my favorite color was yellow since then people gave me presents in yellow because they knew it was my favorite color.

So even when such general questions pop up, I might answer yellow out of the blue based on friends’ experiences towards me, not necessarily what represents me today. Has this ever happened to you too?

I’m curious to know about you. Please leave me a comment below, expressing your thoughts on this matter. What are your preferences that have changed over time?


Shirley is an avid learner, interested in self-development, healthcare, and mindfulness. As an English learner, she spreads the word about her process of learning English, that it might help someone in their process.

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