Four lessons I have learnt about answering questions in a conversation.

1. ” I don’t know” is a refreshingly valid and perfectly acceptable answer to any question for which you don’t know it’s answer. If you don’t know, don’t make things up.

2. Do not readily assume you know the motive behind a question. That’s what the fish on your plate did with the hook and the bait.

3. Don’t lie, but always remember that people don’t always want to, or have the ability to handle the truth. The opposite of ‘truth’ is not always falsehood, sometimes it is (timed) ‘silence’.

4. A long uncomfortable silence before a thoughtful answer is better than a swift but careless response. Nobody remembers how long it took to say something thoughtful but a stupid comment can live forever.

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