When someone says “I don’t know,” there can be two completely different meanings.
There’s the “I don’t know” that accompanies the shrug of the shoulders, when faced with a tough question. It’s the phrase used to deflect responsibility or accountability. They’re words used to end the conversation.
Then there’s the “I don’t know” that comes from honesty and humility. Spoken by a person willing to risk embarrassment by admitting a lack of knowledge, while inviting additional discussion to fill those gaps.
The first type of “I don’t know” embodies a lack of courage. The second type demonstrates an abundance.
I admire people willing to be vulnerable by saying “I don’t know.” We need more of them.