In both cases, we are fighting against cultural pressure to accommodate others. Women especially are expected to be “agreeable” and “helpful” and “nice” at all times. Admitting that you don’t know something feels like admitting to failure – you are stupid, incompetent, unqualified.
But what happens when you say “I don’t know” is that you become human. The person asking you the question feels a kinship with you – ah, neither of us knows! Let’s find out together. It is so refreshing when we realize this.
Try it! Say "I don't know" three times today. See what happens when you communicate with honesty. Lean into the unknowing.