Are you the one who always answer a question, whether or not you know the answer?
If your answer to above question is yes, then please read further. If you think that you are helping people by satisfying their every question then here is the reality check the only need you are satisfying is your own. The need to collect brownie points by imposing yourself as encyclopedia. The fault is not all yours. Everybody have acquaintances who are quite popular in their peer group due to knowledge spectrum they have, and willingly or unwillingly you take the same road despite having a lesser bright spectrum. Who is to blame if envy is your capital vice.
Reading habit, a decent memory, and most importantly ability to cook up a story on the fly helps a lot in making a heap of brownies in your backyard. Years pass without your ignorance to any question asked or not asked from you. It is a feel good factor having a small yet faithful “You Know All” fan club. One day comes when the wall whose every brick symbolize someone’s trust in you, will start having cracks in it. More importantly it happens to be the wall which can’t be rebuild once it collapses. This is how the cracks can come…
“Answer all” habit is quite addictive. You don’t realize that their is stranger in the usual crowd today, and he may know the actual factual answer. As some query arises you start cooking the solution and delivering it fresh from the barbeque. The stranger observes that deliverable is pork yet watches you delivering beef. At first he remains astonished and silent, later he digests your pork and then tell all other customers that actually beef was on the menu today. No point arguing because being a fast operator and smooth talker does not make you pragmatically correct. So cook tastes embarrassment, moreover the shield of faith in him gets a dent.
Like above a catalyst is not always needed to hinder a cyclic chemical reaction, sometimes one of the chemical decides to explore further. This scenario is far more worse than the one mentioned above. You told a story, afterwards one of your faithful recipient just got to know about a thing named google. Being a blind follower of your revelations he knew that google will tell the same he already knows; the knowledge that you imparted. He matches your facts with the ones he got from a search engine and here comes a small earthquake of 4 on Richter scale. At first your flock member will despise himself upon having a doubt on you, but further exploration on different topics and with different people the situation aggravates. The earthquake causes a Tsunami which washes away the castles of the trust which was put upon you. Probable exploration by some chemical may lead to explosion, so be cautious.
Before the trust word completely vanishes from your world start saying I don’t know at least when you actually don’t know. There is no harm in saying it even if you know. At last you knowledge is your property. Potential benefits of saying I don’t know:
- People consider you a normal human being who has a trait of being little bit ignorant. They be more nice with you, it is the best benefit of being normal. After all no one hates a normal i.e. simple guy/girl.
- Your mind finds peace which was long overdue.
- You can actually give more focus to the areas in which you actually want to be knowledgeable.
- If you answer less, then you get more answers. Remember in the class if nobody used to answer a particular question, then teacher used to provide a detailed illustrated solution to it. Akin to that in this tradeoff by not lying and keeping mum you are getting truth.
- I don’t know is the best answer you can give to people with whom you don’t want to interact. Use IDK for every query they fire on you, soon they will realize your intentions. You didn’t fire a bullet and you killed the fly.
If you also suffer from the disease of “Answer em All”, and agree with what I have written above. Then start practicing I don’t know.
Do not be confident unless you are competent.