Life skills are behaviors used appropriately and responsibly in the management of personal affairs. They are a set of human skills acquired via teaching or direct experience that are used to handle problems and questions commonly encountered in daily human life. The subject varies greatly depending on social norms and community expectations.

The UNICEF Evaluation Office suggests that "there is no definitive list" of psychosocial skills;[1] nevertheless UNICEF enumerates many "psychosocial and interpersonal skills generally considered important".[citation needed] It asserts life skills are a synthesis: "many skills are used simultaneously in practice. For example, decision-making often involves critical thinking ("what are my options?") and values clarification ("what is important to me?"), (How do I FEEL about this?"). Ultimately, the interplay between the skills is what produces powerful behavioural outcomes, especially where this approach is supported by other strategies[2]

Life skills can vary from financial literacy,[3] through substance-abuse prevention, to therapeutic techniques to deal with disabilities such as autism.

Life skills curricula designed for K-12 often emphasize communications and practical skills needed for successful independent living for developmental-disabilities/special-education students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP).[4]