Ask For Someone's Opinion To Kickstart A Conversation

You don’t need “lines” and “rules” to strike up a conversation with someone — just a great way to help them open up and start talking. Ask them for a recommendation, like for a place in town to eat, favourite holiday spot, movie to see, or anything that asks for their opinion and helps them open up and start talking — and gives you something to engage with them about.

Create Better Ice Breakers By Knowing Your Audience And Objectives

When you are put in a group of strangers, ice breaker activities are a great way to start working together. Instead of just picking an activity at random, look at the goals of the group and design activities that focus on those.

Save Everyone From Awkward Silences With Good Go-To Stories

You probably know this moment well. Everyone has said what they wanted to say and an awkward silence fills the room. Well, don’t be afraid — and save the day with a few of your best stories worth telling.

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.