Communication

Answering unanswerable questions

I avoid saying “I don’t know,” because this sounds like admitting defeat. I don’t want to fake my expertise though. I still want to be honest about my lack of knowledge about a subject. So, I like to emulate my supervisor’s response:

“That’s an interesting question!”

This positive reply, delivered without sarcasm, doesn’t feel like the dead end that “I don’t know” evokes. An unanswerable question is an interesting one because finding the answer becomes a game.

Of course, I assure my inquirer that I’ll actively search for the answer. No matter how unanswerable the problem is, it ultimately needs to be solved.