Friday, October 4, 2013

"I Don't Know"

More and more, I find it repugnant when people say “I don’t know.” It feels like a fundamental repulsion. Every time I hear people say it, I get angry, my stomach tightens, and I kind of want to hit them.

The problem is, I don’t believe in something like “fundamental repulsion”. Everything has a reason. So when I analyze it, I realize what my issue really is.

If I ask somebody a question and they don’t know the answer, I never get upset when they simply tell me “I don’t know.”  However, if they give me an answer and then end it by saying “I don’t know”, then I get angry. It means they’ve wasted my time. It means they have presented themselves as knowledgeable, and then told me they were pulling it out of their ass the whole time.

This happens frequently when I get feedback on my writing. People will tell me that they don’t like some concept I came up with and proceed to tell me what I should do. I quietly listen to them and evaluate the merit of their suggestions, and then when they finally finish talking, they say “I don’t know.” Then I get pissed off. All I can think is, “if you don’t know, then why the hell are you telling me that I am wrong and what I should do to be right?”

People should not be afraid to admit when they don’t know something, nor should they be afraid to hypothesize answers to questions. However, people should not say that they have the answer, and then sabotage their credibility.

If you know, then answer. If you don’t know, then say so. Don’t misrepresent yourself; it only makes situations worse.

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