Not a stupid question
By Lydia Beers, Staff Writer
This week, my thoughts for this column were inspired by a comment I heard someone make: “This might be a stupid question, but…”
I am a firm believer in the saying that there are no stupid questions. If you don’t know something and you need to ask about it, that doesn’t make you stupid. I would argue that it actually makes you smart.
It’s sometimes embarrassing to realize that you should know more about a situation than you do. But there’s nothing wrong with asking for more information, or for clarification. If you are speaking with a person who is well versed in the subject you need help with, I can tell you that they will be more than happy to answer any and every question you might have. Even if perhaps you should have known whatever information you are seeking, most people won’t notice. If they do, they will probably respect you for wanting to clarify. Those few people that rudely respond to a honest question probably have something else bothering them that has nothing to do with you.
Whatever you do, don’t pretend that you know something when in fact you have no idea what’s going on. You may trick people into thinking that you are on the right page, but this can fall through later. In my job, I have to ask a lot of questions. The fun part about this is that I learn an “overview” on many subjects without having to spend hours on any one topic. There are a lot of things that I’ve written about that I previously had no knowledge of. Sometimes, you just have to admit you don’t know with no shame. Nobody knows everything.
One area that I am sadly lacking knowledge in is directions. East, west, north, south — don’t try to tell me how to get somewhere using those terms because I will probably never arrive at my destination. I can turn left, or right, at an intersection but I don’t know how to turn toward the east. This problem sparked an interesting conversation between myself and my coworker earlier this week, as she tried to explain to me what part of town, exactly, could be considered east of Dairy Queen. It took me a while to get it.
This week, when you find yourself feeling shy, go ahead and ask that question. You’ll feel better if you do, and no one will think any less of you for doing it. Let me know how it went at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lydia Beers is a Staff Writer for the Pilot News.