The value of saying “I don’t know”

Gratuitous photo of Squirrel.

Gratuitous photo of Squirrel.

Not exactly the same as telling the truth.  Sometimes honesty is NOT the best policy.  For instance, when I see someone on the street and they are obviously having a bad day, I will compliment something — their shirt, hat, whatever — and their day and outlook and outlook brighten a little. I may not mean it but I don’t think being that makes this a bad practice.

Saying “I don’t know” is a totally different thing.  It’s liberating for me and does person who asks more good than making something up.  I once asked someone if they knew if there was a metro near by and they responded by telling me “The official state bird of Maryland is the Oriole.”  Yes, that is true but didn’t really answer my question.

In Washington, DC people frequently are intimidated by “I don’t know.”  Everyone thinks they need to know everything, all the time.  No one can live to that standard.  I like admitting it.  You are more credible when you admit this — then when you actually know what you are talking about, people will take you more seriously.  And there’s all that pressure to know everything about everything, all the time!

Embrace “I don’t know.”  Embrace it!

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