Most People Are Terrified To Admit They Don't Know Something And It’s Hilarious
Disclaimer: I'm guilty of doing all the crap I complain about below.
What’s something that’s obvious but nobody talks about?
It is obvious that most of us are terrified to admit when we don't know something. We can't handle the discomfort of acknowledging our own ignorance so we reflexively manufacture opinions on just about everything.
And I mean everything. I bet if I asked my Comcast guy what the U.S. should do in Syria, he’d have an answer. If I asked his boss, I bet the answer would be even longer.
We think we’ll look stupid if we admit we don’t know something so we conjure up uninformed opinions instead, which has the effect of actually making us stupid.
I don't think most of us are even conscious that this is happening. We deceive ourselves into thinking we know something first, then we attempt to deceive others.
Somebody asks us what we think about the trade war with China and, without realizing what we're doing, we convince ourselves that we know enough to offer an informed opinion. I'm continually amazed by how many people I follow on Twitter appear to be foreign policy experts despite having never tweeted or shared opinions on the topic before.
We can't handle the fact that we might not know something and the symptoms are everywhere.
When was the last time you heard somebody say “I don’t know”? Was it last week? The week before? Last year? Have you ever heard somebody say they don’t know something? A complete understanding of reality is so far beyond our grasp that our impulse to confidently proclaim what is true about the last thing we’re asked is self-evidently absurd.
A friend put it bluntly in a text the other week: “…we’re all idiots walking around in bubbles of complete delusion.”
For the love of God, people. Life is hard enough. Let’s all admit to each other every once in a while when we don't know something.
Pictured: What we think we look like when we posture and confidently proclaim our uninformed opinions (above) versus what we actually look like (below).