Ask LH: How Can I Converse With My In-Laws?

Hi Lifehacker, I get invited to my partner’s family dinners a few times a year, and I really struggle to find common ground. They are into travelling overseas and playing golf, while my interests are mostly gaming-related. I feel like I have nothing to contribute — I’ve even tried researching things to talk about. What can I do to contribute more to the conversation?

Always Know What To Say With The 'History/Philosophy/Metaphor' Rule

Nothing makes a conversation more awkward than silence. Improv comedy rules can be used to help improve your life in a lot of ways, and social encounters are no exception. Conversations are really just an improv scene anyway.

Generate Better Small Talk By Asking About Challenges

Small talk is hard. If you’re trying to really get someone to like you, FBI behavioural expert Robin Dreeke suggests that the best question to ask someone is about the challenges the faced over the week.

Get Better Advice By Being Clear With Your Priorities

Asking someone for advice is always a little tough. Often when you do, you’ll get information you don’t need, or someone will think you want them to make a decision for you. Writer Josh Kaufman suggests that you be clear with your priorities to get better advice.

Make Better Small Talk By Aiming For Nice, Not Brilliant

Not everyone is good at making small talk, and approaches like the five-stage outline can make things easier. Another key strategy? Aim for niceness rather than dazzle.

Have A 'Conversation Exit Strategy' To Keep It From Lasting Too Long

Christmas season means parties, and that means party etiquette. Getting through those conversations is often tough, but ending those conversations can be just as difficult. Designer Jessica Hische suggests you walk into those conversations with an exit strategy ready to go.

Ask LH: How Can I Disagree With Conspiracy Theories Without Starting A Fight?

Dear Lifehacker, I have several close friends who are intelligent, worldly and opened minded. I respect their opinions generally and we can comfortably debate where there is disagreement. However there is one big exception: conspiracy theories.

Ask LH: How Can I Have Interesting Conversations With My Boss?

Dear Lifehacker, Every week after work we have informal drinks with the boss. I am the resident nerd and I want to find what topics of conversation are appropriate without pretending to like things that I don’t like or having to be false. I do have a decent sense of humor and can crack the boys up now and then, but I need more than that. I need to be interesting and respectful without acting like a fool or being a suck-up. What topics of conversation can I use that I am actually interested in that will engage and interest the boss and his cronies? Thanks, Conversation Starter

Ask LH: How Can I Improve My Conversation Skills?

Hey Lifehacker, I seem to have trouble with speaking to other people (even though I levelled up to 100 in Skyrim). No matter how I talk or who I talk to, they don’t seem to “get me”. I’m often talking to a friend, colleague, client or family member, thinking I’m acting normally, only to be told told I’m “forceful” or condescending. Often another person says the exact same words I said and they don’t get called out. What am I missing to make people react to me normally? What could I do to communicate better with others? Thanks, Lost For Words

How To Handle Life's Most Uncomfortable People

Life is full of awkward moments. We meet people who share intimate details about their personal lives after shaking our hands, others who barely have the capacity to talk, and find ourselves in delicate situations with our friends and family. In trying to relieve our discomfort, we often make matters worse, but that doesn’t have to happen. You can survive any awkward situation with the right mindset.