Believe it or not, conversing is hard work. You never want to say the wrong thing, and you need to come across as confident without seeming too confident. For many, the idea of engaging in small talk is terrifying, but thanks to a thread on Reddit, users shared their best psychological tricks they use when having to engage in a conversation.

Here are five useful hacks:

1. If you want to accept an apology

“Don’t say, 'It's OK,' when someone apologises. Say something like, 'Thank you for apologising.'

“If someone needs to apologise to you, then it was for something that wasn't OK. My mom teaches this to her kindergarteners, and it really does make a difference. It opens the door for growth and conversation, too. 'Thank you for apologising, I don’t like it when you hit me.'”

– katiebugdisney

2. How to win any argument

“In an argument, find something to agree on then push your main point.”

 – bobvella

3. If you want to get the truth out

“Listening to someone without giving advice or pushing for more information typically gets me more information than being pushy for it.”

– Drewby5

4. The secret behind a successful marriage

“When I do something annoying or bothersome to my husband and he goes quiet, I wait a few minutes and then I ask him a seemingly innocent question, usually on the subject of how certain parts of a car works, or something mechanical. This gets him talking about the car thing and he rambles for like 5 minutes and then bam! He’s happy again and not quietly brooding.”

5. How to deal with a distressing situation

“If you need to deescalate someone and get them to communicate, try asking questions about numbers/personal information (I work in emergency services). If someone is totally distraught and shut down, asking their phone number/address/birthdate can pull them out of the emotional place and bring them back to a headspace where they can talk about what happened more easily. I often ask these questions even after I have the information, just to deescalate.”

Will you be using any of these conversation hacks? Or maybe you have some of your own? Let us know in the comments below.

This article was written in partnership with Over60.