Thanksgiving is great for so many reasons, like food, turkey, mashed potatoes, and…uh…food. But on this holiday, you’ll have to deal with (cue ominous music) the family.

Here is a guide to help you navigate the conversational waters of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner and hopefully help you avoid awkwardness and palm sweat.

1. What Are You Thankful For? Before dinner, you may have to answer this question. So you’re not stuck blabbering about how you’re thankful that your dog has stopped peeing on your bed or that you grew an inch, prepare something beforehand. Keep it family friendly – the gift-giving holidays are around the corner.

2. YOU’RE STILL SINGLE? For the inevitable, “Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?” question, it’s best to smile and say, “Nope, I have three.” Depending on your relative’s temperament, they’ll either pat you on the back and say “’atta boy” or lecture you on the merits of fidelity. Either way, no one will want to bring it up again until after New Years. Safe!

3. KNOW YOUR SPORTS: Or at least know enough to ask a relevant question to one of your relatives glued to the Thanksgiving game. Because if one thing is certain, it’s that every avid fan thinks he or she knows the most about their team. One question can fuel a 30-minute heated discussion, so nobody will notice as you sneak off to munch on some appetizers in a corner.

4. GET THE BEST SPOT: Sit next to the most interesting person at the table. If your cousin just got back from a backpacking trip across Europe, sit next to him. Your family will probably question that person and you’ll be out of the spotlight. If you’re the one who is ‘interesting’, there’s nothing I can do. Get ready to share!

5. EAT A LOT: Make sure your mouth is full so if someone asks you about your major, you’ll murmur out something unintelligible, with gravy dripping and stuffing oozing from your mouth. That’s pretty unattractive, so the conversation’s probably over.

6. SIT AT THE KIDDIE TABLE: If all else fails and your family won’t stop until you feel as uncomfortable as a cat in a harness, sit at the kiddie table. Plus the most thought-provoking topic you’ll discuss is what toys they (and you) want for Christmas. Actually, this shouldn’t be a last resort. Toys are awesome. Sit at the kiddie table. Period.

So if you are faced with relatives who find it entertaining to see you squirming in mental discomfort, follow this advice and you should be in the clear. But try to enjoy your families and eat up! Thanksgiving only comes around once a year.