No, when I say “that’s a deep and complex question” it does not mean I don’t know, it means I don’t have an answer off the top of my head because the question you just shot at me is a deep and complex one and it requires thought. Deep thought. Which takes time. Which is what you are unwilling to give me – you prefer to keep shooting questions at me in quick succession, not allowing me time to pause and ponder, to weigh up different aspects, to think of various angles, to ask myself what I know about this issue, to try and recall stuff I’ve read or heard or thought about it… When I say “that’s a deep and complex question” I mean exactly that.
And to me, a deep and complex question is no bad thing. I like thinking about deep and complex questions. I just like doing that quietly, when I have the time and space to really think – not when there’s someone shooting more and more questions at me as if I’m a politician on a Jeremy Paxman show. And definitely not when there’s a whole load of other conversations going on around me. Noise is not conducive to deep thinking – at least not for introverts. (Do extroverts do deep thinking at all? I’m not trying to be rude, just asking a sincere question. I just really don’t know.)
In some situations I could say “let me get back to you on this”, but sometimes that’s not appropriate, because the extrovert posing the question isn’t really seriously that interested in the answer – they’re just filling up time, making conversation. So I think I need to find a way of saying: can we talk about something else?
just thinking aloud.