When You Don’t Know, Suspect - Grasshopper
“I suspect” is another version of “I’m guessing here.” It’s really the only answer available when you don’t know, which is almost always.
“Why did you get fired?” If you answer that question with a solid assertion, you, most likely, will be setting up for a spirited debate. “I got fired because they were jealous of my talent and threatened by it.” Chances are someone else is going to have a different, solid opinion as to why that happened.
When you suspect, you are basically saying, “I don’t know” and offering the best guess you can muster. Your position doesn’t appear so “matter of fact” and it opens up a discussion rather than prepare you for a duel.
“I suspect” is a soft piece of magic that softens your answer and doesn’t set up battle lines.
“Why didn’t your relationship work out?” is the type of question whose answer almost always is an opinion, not a set of facts.
I’m only guessing here but if you answer a “Why” question with “I suspect,” you’ll less often be “cruisin’ for a brusin.’”
All the best,
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