Holiday gatherings are marathons. They are rooms full of people who you must talk to but aren’t necessarily equipped to talk to and maybe don’t even want to talk to. “How are you?” won’t get you far.
Awkwardness is a guarantee. And moving past it is going to require more than just warmth and cheer (and spiked punch). It’s going to require curiosity about whoever you encounter: your political opposite; the person four times your age; the painfully shy college student; that 7-year-old over there who has stared at you for easily 10 minutes straight. Easily.
Forge’s How to Talk to Anyone guide will tell you what to say to someone who’s dealing with a difficult life event, how to connect with the rando at the dinner table, and what to expect when you’re reuniting with someone after an estrangement. You’ll even learn how to talk to the teens. And your dad.
Read on, and remember: Whoever you’re talking to, get past those first five minutes, and things will get easier.