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Life Skills - Things Everyone Should Know How To Do

Updated on July 6, 2013

One day, I came to a dreary conclusion: I had no skills. That realization led to the creation of this (super) useful and practical article. I felt that these were things that everyone should know how to do, or in my case, learn how to do. If you are in a similar situation that I found myself in, this article may help you out too.

1. How to tie a tie

For me, reading a step by step process was almost useless when it came to learning how to tie a tie. Some things are more easily learned if you can see it being done. The video shows how to tie a Four-in-hand knot, the Half Windsor knot, and the Full Windsor knot.

2. How to floss and brush your teeth correctly

Wet your soft bristle brush before you put a pea sized drop of toothpaste that contains floride on the brush. Brush in small, circular motions at about a 45 degree angle against your teeth. Brush the front, inside, and surface areas of your teeth and tongue for 2 minutes (you heard right... 120 seconds).

3. How to play card games

This little talent is not just for Vegas, folks. Card games are great because they are portable, can be played with different numbers of people, for hours on end. 

4. How to braid

Whether your a girl or guy, everyone should know how to braid. I learned how to braid using string, so we'll stick with that method for teaching purposes.

  1. Gather three pieces of string or ribbon and tie them together with one knot.
  2. Separate the three strands equally apart from each other.
  3. Starting with the right string, place it in the middle, in between the first two.
  4. Then take the left string, and place it in between the other two strands.
  5. Then repeat the process on the right side again, then the left, until you have a braid.

5. How to check your oil

  1. Pop the hood of your car and prop it up with the bar. The dip stick will look like a little colored cap attached to a foot long metal stick.
  2. Pull up on the colored cap, pulling out the dip stick from your car, and wipe it clean with a paper towel.
  3. Feed the dip stick back into the hole until it can't go further.
  4. Remove the stick again to see where the oil level comes to on the stick. There should be some indicator on the stick as to where the oil level should come to. The oil line should not be over the indicating mark on the stick.
  5. Replace the stick when finished.

6. How to give a compliment

  • Be sincere.
  • Be authentic.
  • Be specific.
  • Show your appreciation for that person.

8. How to read a face clock

This link below is fantastic. Even if you know darn well how to tell time, the link is worth a click anyway...

9. How to eat healthy

Eating healthy is mostly about eating enough of the right stuff, in the correct portion sizes. Too much of any one thing is never good (except if it's chocolate... just kidding). 

10. How to pump your own gas

In states like Oregon and New Jersey, you cannot pump your own gas. You're thinking, "awesome!" But even if you live in those states, you should still know how to do it yourself.

  1. Stop smoking, turn off your engine, and put away your cell phone. All these things have been know to cause fires at the pump.
  2. If you want to pay with a credit card, swipe away! The machine may ask for your zip code. If you're paying with cash, look at what number pump you are at, walk inside, and say you want X amount of money put down on pump # whatever. Pay up, and go back to the pump.
  3. Open up the door covering your gas cap, and unscrew the gas cap lid. There is usually a slot to put the gas cap on on the inside of the little door.
  4. Take the nozzle off the rack and put the it into the gas tank.
  5. Select the type of gas you want by pushing the button next to the type you want. Sometimes you may have to life a lever.
  6. Press the handle on the gass nozzle to start pumping. Most of the time, you can lift the small metal latch to keep the handle compressed, so you don't have to hold it the entire time.
  7. Once your tank is full, the handle will release, and the gas will stop pumping.
  8. Replace the gas pump back in its holder.
  9. Screw your gas cap back in place until you hear a click and close the door on the gas tank.
  10. Sometimes the machine will ask if you want a receipt, so select yes or no, and away you go!

13. How to Build a Fire

  1. For outdoor fires, sweep the area clear of any brush you don't want caught on fire.
  2. Gather DRY wood of various sizes.
  3. Lay 2 pieces of wood side by side, about a foot apart. Then stack 2 more pieces across the original 2, making a square. Continue till you have your desired height. Place smaller twigs, sticks, and newspaper in between the layers and in the center of the pile. Light the smaller pieces of wood and paper with a match.
  4. Another way would be to stand the pieces of chopped wood up on their ends, with the tops meeting in the middle of the bundle, tepee style. Place paper, twigs, and smaller sticks in the center, and light.
  5. Always have water or fire extinguisher close at hand to be safe.
  6. Break out those marshmallows.

15. How to Parallel Park

  1. Line up the tires of your car parallel with the tires of the car in front of the spot you want to pull into.
  2. Crank your wheel all the way to the right (or in the direction of the spot you want to pull into) and ease off your brake.
  3. Once your front wheels are parallel with the back wheels of the car in front of your spot, begin the turn your steering wheel the the left, to straighten out into your parking spot.
  4. Once you are safely in the parking spot, you may need to pull forward or back up, to get your car in the middle of the spot.

18. How to pick out fruit

The most important things to consider when picking out a good piece of fruit are

  • Smell: does the apple smell like an apple? If not, it may have too much wax covering and pesticides will cling to wax.
  • Feel: does the avacado feel like an avacado? It should not be firm like an apple, but fairly soft, although not squishy.
  • Look: do the strawberries look like strawberries? Are they bright red (best) or slightly lighter in color(will not have the best flavor)?

19. How to properly wash your hands

  1. Turn the water to the warmest temperature that's comfortable for you.
  2. Lather up your hands, washing the front and back, each finger, nail beds, and wrists. You should spend 20-30 seconds doing this, minimum.
  3. Grab a paper or clean cloth towel and dry your hands.
  4. Then, using the towel, turn off the water. Try to use the towel to grab the doorknob as well. Your shirt works too :)

21. How to make small talk

Everybody will have to do this at one point or another, but it doesn't have to be a grating experience. Here are some hints to make small talk actually enjoyable.

  1. Ask people about themselves. People love to talk about their own lives, so this is a great way to get the conversation flowing.
  2. Focus on topics that actually interest you or that you care about. No need to talk about something that has no meaning for you.
  3. Try to keep it fun, light, and interesting.
  4. Stay off serious topics like politics, religion, personal matters, or other divisive or intrusive topics.

24. How to use chopsticks

25. How to do a pony tail

28. How to Wrap A Gift

31. How to remove a stain

Check this handy dandy site to find out how to get rid of pesky stains...

How to tie your shoes really fast!

39. How to Treat Hypothermia


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    • profile image

      Anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm really happy now! I knew how to do 31 of these things and I've just turned 15! Obviously, I don't know how to drive, but even I know how to pump gas into a car. I don't know wether I can build a fire, use a compass or tie a tie, since I've never done it in real life and only know the theory. Living in the city, I haven't got a clue how to start a lawn-mower.

    • profile image

      eric186 5 years ago

      Life and everything in it is a gift from the infinite mind;

      and the only way that life can go wrong is by the limited finite mind

    • em_saenz profile image

      em_saenz 6 years ago from Europe

      Wowee. This is an awesome hub!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 6 years ago from The Caribbean

      So I still have some things to learn. Thanks for sharing with instructions. Very useful.

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 6 years ago from Southern Spain

      Lol, Great hub - we wore ties in high school so had to know that = So many need to be taught basic skills that their parents should have taught them . I changed my cars oil , checked tyres yet some guys had no idea how to !

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 6 years ago

      I'm sure everyone can relate this hub to the time when they first moved out of home. We often take some of the most basic life skills for granted, only to be stumped when we need them on an individual level. Awesome hub, I'm sharing it!


    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America

      Informative hub here...and I did not know how to tie a tie either~ Thanks for all your tips here!

    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 7 years ago from California

      Amazing HUB!! I have never known how to tie a tie!

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 7 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Fun hub. Enjoyed reading it

    • cjcarter profile image

      cjcarter 7 years ago

      Thanks Fullerman5000! Honestly, I didn't know how to do some of the things on this list until I researched them! But, shhhh, don't tell anyone :)

    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 7 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      Some of these things on the list i learned in Boy Scouts. Very useful tips. I bet most of these things on the list a lot of people don't know how to do. Great and fun hub.


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