Previous: Secrets for Self-Confidence, Friendship, Homesickness, & OTPs: Q&A #3!
Next: THAT'S IT, I QUIT: How to Quit Your Job!



View count:35,375
Last sync:2024-02-18 07:15
How to answers questions from your Great Uncle Bobo about your career, dating life, and when ya gonna have a baaaby!

Support How to Adult on Patreon at

HOW TO ADULT Posters Now Available from DFTBA Records!

Merchandise from Mike (including posters about books and "Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost"):

"How to Adult" is a "life skills" edutainment channel brought to you by Executive Producers Hank Green and John Green. Subscribe for new videos every week!


Created, Written, and Hosted by:
Emma Mills & Mike Martin
Mike is also a Young Adult novelist. His book, THE END GAMES, is available at all online booksellers, including
Indiebound ( ) and Amazon: (

Directed and Edited by:
T. Michael (Mike) Martin

Executive Producers:
Hank & John Green
[How To Adult opening theme]

Emma and Mike: Hey!

Emma: So, recently, we've received some inquiries about dealing with questions about your romantic and/or job prospects when you're visiting home.

Mike: Let's keep it really real. Sometimes, turkey time can feel like jerk-y time, so let's talk about some ways to survive awkward family convos.

[camera noise]

Emma: Number one: Keep it really real. Surveys suggest that 75% of people have at least one family member who seriously gets on their nerves, so go in with realistic expectations, and don't feel like you're doing it wrong if you have an imperfect holiday.

Mike: Number two: Stockpile peaceful topics in advance in your head. It can help to have inoffensive, boring topics like weather or how freaking excited you are about Marvel: Infinity War ready. You don't want to start conversations unnecessarily, but in case it does happen, you'll have something to fill the empty air.

Emma: Number three: Similarly, to quote Martha Stewart Magazine, come armed, but don't come in shooting! Have some ready-made answers to the tougher questions but keep in mind that sometimes less is more. A few examples via Time Magazine:

Emma: When are you having a baaaby?
Mike: I don't know. Right now we're just busy practicing.
God I'm so embarrassed by this.

Mike: You dating anybody?
Emma: Nobody special right now.

Emma: When are you gonna get a reeeeal job?
Mike: I have a real job. Or, if you'd like to be less curt: Well, you know, I'm doing what I love and you know what they say, when you do what you love the money will follow.

Emma: Number four: Decide in advance what you DO want to share. This can by anything like funny stories about your life, or something coming up that you're excited about - anything that will engage the other person in conversation, but keep it away from your very personal files.

Mike: Number five: Prepare back-up. Maybe you've got some people there who can help you out if you dad starts needling you about your vegetarian lifestyle.
Emma: Tell this helper in advance, agree on a signal, and when things heat up, shoot your rescue flare off and let them help you, either by changing the subject, agreeing with you, or whisking you off to urgent matters in elsewhere.

Mike: Number six: Easy tip for the day of - come late, leave early.

Emma: Number seven - it someone's being a worm, don't take the bait. Let's say for example you have a really real problem with your cousin Bartholomew. This is not the time nor place for the conversation about that to be had, when there's lots of people and sharp objects nearby. Instead, deflect old Barty's cutting comments as best you can and don't take the bait.

(2:33) Mike: Number eight - Now, however well prepared, there may be some people that just aren't that into politeness and keep steering the conversation to the danger zone. In that case, a couple tips:
Emma: A. Pretend like you really have to get some more food or go to the bathroom. And then get some more food or go to the bathroom.
Mike: B. If people are being unreasonable in conversation, make a non-committal sound, like, whew.
Emma: Whew.
Mike: Wheeeew.
Emma: Whew.
Emma: C. If all else fails, a couple of mental tricks: visualize a force field around your self, like a bubble that ridiculousness just pings off of. Or pretend that the other person is hypnotized. This will help you disengage from the anger weasels in your brain.

Mike: Number nine - speed dial is your friend. Have someone that you can call or text for a quick pick-me-up if things get really bad. This can help you just get outside that world for a moment, even if you just leave a quick message, saying:
Emma: Hi, I'm with my family right now. Can you think of any redeeming qualities that I have that I've forgotten about?

Emma: And finally, number 10, worst-case scenario - consider it an opportunity for personal growth. Here's an adulthood secret: even if you manage to avoid food fights, life can be a messy business.

Mike: There will always be moments when you want to flip the table over and shout "No fool, the world will not end in 2012!" but we recommend choosing your battles by weighing the pros and cons. Will this change the person's mind? Will it promote world peace? Will it make the cranberry sauce cranberry - er?

Emma: It's true that some people just like to pick scabs, but most people are just like you, a well-meaning little bumper boat awkwardly trying to navigate to True North in these uncertain seas. So just nod and wave to the passing ship, practice patience and acceptance and rest for a moment on a sliver of common ground.

Mike: And if that doesn't work, well, sometimes in life you just gotta go "Whooo!"

(How to Adult music plays)