Learn to say “I don’t know”

04 Jun

Teach yourself these three words: “I”, “don’t”, “know”. And repeat after me, “I don’t know”.

Ever notice how, when you ask a friend or colleague, a question regarding something you think they know, their answers, when they don’t REALLY know the answer, are long ramblings of possible logic to suggest a correct answer followed by “…but I don’t really know.” Fucking annoying. If you don’t know, just say you “don’t know”. Going the rambling route not only forces people to listen to you talk for so long, it makes you sound like you are talking out of your ass so you can hear your own voice and sound smart (wow you know logic!), and it makes you appear self-centered.

Example conversation:

  • Me: “Hey Dave, do you know the window of time with which I can cancel an Amtrak ticket?”
  • Dave: “Well, I have never done it before, but I would guess you have to do it before hand, before the train leaves, and I’m guessing that you can’t do it so long after a train leaves. I’m sure you can do it online. But, I don’t know.”

Thanks, I just wasted 30 seconds, time that I could have been spent trying to figure it out myself.


  • Me: “Hey Dave, do you know the window of time with which I can cancel an Amtrak ticket?”
  • Dave: “I don’t know, to be honest.”

No one will think of less of you for not knowing things that they don’t know. Sure, if you DO know it the person might have a higher regard for you in the future, but all that goes away when you fail to answer their next question – this is a “what have you done for me lately” type world. Honestly, think back of all the times you have asked someone something to which they provided an instant answer to your satisfaction. Can’t remember, can you? I can’t either, I’m so smart I never ask anyone anything…I kid, I kid.

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Posted by on June 4, 2015 in Uncategorized


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