I’m Jennifer Peepas, a writer, filmmaker, and media educator based in Chicago.
I started this blog in 2011 to put my training as a screenwriter to work for people who wanted help finding the right words to have difficult conversations and express their true feelings.
Advice questions are stories. Good stories are full of conflict.
People who write to advice columnists are usually looking for help in having a difficult conversation. Most advice-column advice comes down to “Have you tried telling that person what you just told me?”
Movie characters are all direct and brave and articulate the way that we almost never get to be in real life. That’s not because screenwriters are life experts. We are not. You should probably not be taking life advice from a woman whose plan for paying back $100K in grad school debt is “start a blog.”
I can’t tell you what to do. You are always and forever the expert and the boss of your own life. But if you’re at a loss for words, I can try to tell you what to say, or at least lend you some courage in saying it.
If you have a question, submit it here. I will give you honest answers and try my best to make you sound awesome.
128 thoughts on “About”
I love this idea! I will be following.
And but so I do not even remember how I found your fine embloggenation because I have been too busy reading and enjoying it to give somebody credit, sorry, but thank you (and mystery source of finding your blog, whoever that may be)! Keep up the fantabulousness!
I had to share that reading your archives, including the amazing comments, has been the best way to spend two days home sick in bed. Your advice is thoughtful, sensible, truthful and respectful. I’m a 50 something woman, and I’m learning so much from you and your readers. This blog is a wonderful use of the Interwebs. Thank you!
….50+… I think I’m coming down with something– yay!!
i love this!
Kudos, props (mad ones, even), and all that.
(found my way here from a link in a comment on a thread at pandagon, if that’s interesting or useful to you)
SHOCKED to see an indication on this page suggesting (cannot really be right, can it?) that the site has, as yet, no “likes” on facebook. Briefly considered finally breaking down and joining fb just so I could confer one. Apologies — I can’t so quickly break my vow never to give in to that particular potential addiction.
But I wish you every success with this, and your other endeavors.
I was referred here by The Pervocracy. Awesomesauce.
We have a mutual admiration society.
Right. The two blogs I read 🙂
I don’t know which one I started reading first, or how I got here, but both the Capt’ and Cliff rock the awesomesauce.
Now that you have over 300 questions, it’s getting hard to find things. Would you consider making an index of posts? Just a simple list of titles would be a help, though title plus tags would be even awesomer.
I’ll be honest, I do not know when or if I will ever get around to this. Categories + archives + search bar are going to be it for a while, unless some volunteer wants to take this on or someone knows a WordPress widget that does this easily.
I think it’d be awesome, but I’m not sure why the task should be dumped on Captain Awkward (who seems to have an absurdly full plate herself), when “many hands make light work” and all that, and surely there are 21 of us in the Awkward community who would pitch in?
So anyway, I did January 2011 — grab a month!
Live Advice from a Screenwriter?
How to say STFU when the FU is silent
All that crying is killing my boner
Midwestern Manners: “I cannot eat the last cookie unless I offer it to you first.”
The power of vulnerability
First reader question: Friends with Money
This week’s Dear Prudence – “My boyfriend is pressuring me to have sex I don’t like.”
The State Religion is Constant Self-Improvement
#2: Asking for vacation time from the boss who won’t plan ahead
#3: A shy guy caught my eye
#4: My friend is dating someone terrible, or, Secrets of the Darth Vader Boyfriend
#5: How do I deal with a clingy friend who tries to make over my life? (The African Violet of Broken Friendship)
#6: I’m worried about my sister. She is still very close to our abusive parents.
#7: “Thanks for trying to build bridges for me where you work! I think I will set them on fire.”
#8, #9, #10, and #11: Short Answer Friday. (Includes Runaway Bride?, Strangely Avoidant Boss)
#12: How do I deal with my boyfriend’s ex-from-hell?
The King is Dead. Open Thread
#13: Don’t Stand So Close To Me
The Year of Living Awkwardly
#14: Spiritual abuse, maybe. How is a church like a high school Dungeons & Dragons game?
Thanks a million.
Here’s another: If someone wants to add tags, have at it.
Letters and Stuff
Today’s Dear Prudence: Your judgmental family needs to eat a bag of dicks
#25: Noisy Oxygen Tanks At The Opera
The Book of the Face
How do you balance your career with family life?
Sexy Typewriter: The Man Who Would Not Break Eye Contact
#16: TheGolden Retriever/Kwisatz Haderach of Love
Oh crap, Valentine’s Day
#18: I want to shake the dust of this godforsaken place from my feet, but I also want to keep my job. How do I tell my boss?
#19: How do I get my flatmates to do their fair share of the chores?
Blog Crush: Dear Sugar
#20: Captain Awkward’s Emporium of Cutting Remarks
#21: Why don’t my friends-with-benefits like being told that they are friends-with-benefits?
#22: I’m living out the European remake of 500 Days of Summer
#23: Libido, come home!
Had 5 more minutes while waiting for the furnace people to come. After this it’s up to the Community:
#24: I have a hard time accepting help from helpful people who just want to help me
#25: How can I keep my cool during my annual performance review at work?
Handling Performance Reviews When You Are The Boss
Marie Claire’s “Rich”: Good girls get to meet your mom. Bad girls are too confident and hard to control… like dirty snow.
Dear Abby: Elope so that your in-laws won’t dress like hookers to “ruin” your wedding. Captain Awkward: Learn the fine art of not giving a damn.
– Gone to Brainerd
#26: How do I bounce back after being fired?
The art of “no.”
The art of “no,” continued: Saying no when you’ve already said yes.
#27: The intern is pregnant and doesn’t want to tell the bosses, which would be cool, except we work with toxic stuff in a chemical research lab.
#28: New relationship angst!
#29: You smell.
#30: New town, old blues, and the case for therapy.
#31: Today on Entitled Asshole Theater: Professor Crybaby
Saying “No” At Work.
You are the BEST.
Here’s April 2011
#32: Saying “no” at work…to the parade of guys who stop by my desk all day.
#33: “Tone down the Devil’s orchestra!”
#34: My childcare provider just dumped me.
Story Time: Don’t Carry It All
Blanket Statement Monday: Is your relationship being ruined by a) your partner’s sexual history b) your partner’s porn stash c) your crushing insecurities?
#35: On bouncing back and finding community.
#36: The Roommate’s Girlfriend
Dude, you are so fucked.
#37: Overcoming lust and second thoughts to set boundaries with an ex.
What Captain Awkward is Reading, Watching, Eating, Listening To, and Over The Moon About
Blanket Statement Monday: You don’t have to be friends with your ex.
#38: Guest Post! How do I tell my conservative dad that my fiance is about to become my fiancee?
Happy Easter, Passover, and Return of Doctor Who.
#39: My girlfriend is moving away to go to school and be with her other boyfriend(s). Should I wait?
#40: How do I ask my boyfriend to take better care of me?
-Feedburner is broken?
-Feedburner is fixed!
#41: I’m sorry I keep touching that lady.
#42: I must chill. How do I chill?
#43: How do you take back flirting?
“My boyfriend breaks things when we don’t have sex.”
How awkward can you be in 140 characters or less?
#44: My roommate is moving out soon. Do I tell her her boyfriend stays over too much?
#45: How do I get someone who thinks we’re much closer friends than we are to stop touching me?
More depressing search terms.
#46: I have a great job and a great life, but I feel like I should be doing more to help others.
#47: Please solve all my relationship issues at once
#48: A cool, nice guy asked me to prom, but now our awkward silences are making me worry.
#49: How do you say “not interested” to dating site messagers?
#50: I’m a 27-year-old virgin and I’m mostly okay with that but sometimes I feel like a loser.
#51: I’m insecure about my girlfriend’s feelings for me.
#52: More Art of No
Get it while you can.
#53: Important Work Party Anxiety
Would you like to meet/stalk Captain Awkward?
Rich is back!
Who does Captain Awkward turn to for advice
The One Semester of Spanish Love Song
#54: Dating while feminist.
thank you alphakitty, for keeping me from getting anything done today 🙂
I have been inspired by alphakitty’s shining example to begin putting together an Awkward Lexicon. Suggestions on what to include would be most welcome. So far, in no particular order, I’ve got:
Ill-fitting pants/pants of joy
And I know I’m forgetting a kajillion things. What else do y’all think should go in there?
True — everyone knows they’re socially unacceptable, but not everyone realizes that they’re not really a price of admission.
I also thought I might throw in a few off-site things. Schrodinger’s Rapist and The Terrible Bargain were the two that came to mind.
Oops. You had that. How about FEELINGSmail, FEELINGSart, and now the wonderful FEELINGS-ectomy!
I was just thinking about FEELINGSPEE. It was recent so time will tell but I do think it (with or without the associated FEELINGSCOFFEE) will probably turn into a commonly-used expression.
#55: How do you correct another adult’s table manners without being a jerkass concern troll about it?
Awkward Book of the Month Club: Live Alone and Like It
#56: My new girlfriend is too busy to hang out with me.
#57: Friends, porn, and ethics.
#58: How do I get my long-distance crush to give us a real chance?
#59: Keeping in touch.
#60: My friend’s child is acting like a @#$%!, do I say something?
#61: My long distance girlfriend avoids me whenever I make it to town for a visit. Should I take this personally?
#62: Game of Thrones and Tits
#63: I feel like my best friend is cheating on me with a new friend.
#64: I have a hard time understanding accents.
#65: How do I ask out a friend of a friend who lives in another city?
#66: How do I tell my parents I’ve been laid off?
#67: My wonderful boyfriend has horrible hygiene and a disgusting house. How do I talk to him about it?
#68: Mama Bear vs. Wimpy Kid
(This is my way of saying thanks, Cap’n.)
#69: The guy who lives upstairs from me wants me to be his…”friend.”
#70: Stability (maybe) vs. Love (maybe)
Blanket Statement Monday: Stop Hitting On The Waitress.
#71: Should I patch things up with an old friend who hasn’t always treated me very well?
#72: A long and harrowing tale of dealing with emotional terrorists.
What’s more awkward than a pledge drive?
#73: I’m always the last to know about my friend’s love life.
Blanket Statement Monday: You don’t have to make it work out.
#74: Guest Post! Keeping it sexy in a long-term relationship.
It’s not the shyness or the niceness.
#75: Guest post! My “friend” is making me very uncomfortable with his touching and sexual comments.
#76: Variations on a theme: How can I get my “friends” to stop touching me?
#77: Vacation Damnation
Public Service Thursday! Birth Control: Let me explain it to you.
#78: Honor students can also be inappropriate assholes.
#79: I want to eat lunch by myself.
#80: The problem of the enthusiastic (but disabled) volunteer.
#81: Defusing a racist relative
#82: The violent roommate
I can’t figure out how to reply to the ‘I want to eat lunch by myself’ post itself (maybe you can’t after a certain amount of time has passed?) anyways reading that post reminded me of this comic I saw (the women in my ex’s family are absolutely convinced that Being An Introvert Is Wrong and Unhealthy and Rude, and back when I was with him at one point he sent me this link half in sympathy)
Comments are closed after 30 days, because there cannot be 440 active conversation threads at one time. Nice comic!
#83: Do we have to do everything with my boyfriend’s friend?
#84: Sailor with a Past
#85: You can just stop being friends with people who annoy the shit out of you. Seriously. Really. Truly.
#86: Tips for dating brilliant badass women?
#87: How do I talk about a molesting grandparent?
#88: Strategies for dealing with an unwanted houseguest.
#89: Jewishness and Language
#90: The Sexy Thesaurus
#91: Moving vs. Staying. Instructions for finding Your People and Your Place.
#92: I get sucked into conversations with men that I don’t want to talk to, and then give them fake numbers. How do I stop?
#93: I want to move away. My boyfriend is holding me back. What do I do?
#94: How do I get my ex-friend to get her #$%! stuff out of my house and out of my life?
#95: How do I get face-time with my boss so I can get the transfer and promotion I want?
#96: My boyfriend’s former crush is moving away, and he won’t shut up about it.
#97: Bizarre Love Polygon
#98 (Defining Feminism) + Guest-blogging at Feministe + Admin
#99: How do I stop letting my terrible self-esteem sabotage my relationships?
#100: The Case of the Mocked Meows
#101: Guest post: “My attractive married friend is unloading on me about the state of her troubled marriage. Maybe I will sleep with her?”
#102: Can I ask my horrible mean houseguest to GTFO already?”
#103: I have forbidden internet knowledge about my boyfriend’s past and what I think are his “real” feelings.
#104: His wife died. Does that mean I have to be his constant comforter?
#105: “I would like to be GGG for my new chap, but we’re taking it reallllllllllly slow.”
#106: How do I get rid of my terrible roommate without causing mutual-friend drama?
#107: Can friends-with-benefits work? (A qualified yes).
The Wardrobe: Two Festival Screenings in Chicago (and a Trailer)
#108: Jealousy and Law School
Marie Claire’s Rich tells you how to keep a guy’s attention.
#109: My parents prefer my sister. How do I talk to them about it?
#110: How do I claw my way out of this depressing living situation?
#111: What do I do about the woman who won’t leave my boyfriend alone?
#112: My mom wants to call herself my partners’ kid’s grandma.
#113: How do I make plans with flaky San Francisco people?
#114: How do I reconnect with my estranged brother and help him form a relationship with his niece?
#115: The Self-Centered Friend: Return of the Side-Eye
How to locate low-cost mental health care in the US and Canada (Guest Post!)
#116: How do I seduce women? (Yes, this was an actual question).
#117: How is this relationship like ill-fitting pants?
Short films in Chicago this Thursday
#118: How do I break up with someone?
Gone to Hell
#119: Dating While Feminist II: How do I ask out the feminist women at the feminist events where I’m feministing it up?
See, Penelope Trunk is awesome at helping you write resumes.
#120: Should I text that girl who (probably) blew me off?
Public service announcement re: closing your bank account
#121: How do I convince my partner that his daughter needs therapy?
#122: Should I move away from my abusive family?
#123: Quitting your job the classy way.
#124: Can I turn back the clock with Super-Intense Guy?
Short(er) Answer Monday
#127: “I had a drunken threesome with my roommates, and now it’s all weird.”
Aaaand had some more time today so: November 2011
#128: “I’m not being mean, I’m being safe!” or, A primer on shutting down awkward conversations with busybodies.
#129: “I am the Mayor of the Friend Zone.”
#130: “My partner is depressed and I am drowning.”
#131: “How do I break up with someone right after agreeing to go out with them?”
The problem of “It Just Happened” + other links.
#132: Should I make my film about being a virgin?
Lies we tell ourselves. (Choose your own adventure.)
#133: Is the boy who lives 2500 miles away FLIRTING-flirting with me or just flirting with me?
#134: How do my husband and I end this Sexican Standoff?
#135: How do I deflect the well-meaning people who ask me about my abusive dad?
People who like you will act like they like you.
#136: Job interview follow-ups
#137: I got promoted at work, and now supervising my old friends (and lovers) is awkward.
#138: How do I help my employee overcome his self-loathing?
#139: How do I deal with my “cheap, cowardly” friend?
#140: “I don’t have a Friend Zone.”
#141. Breakup second thoughts: Can these pants be fixed?
#142: Did I offend my date when I accepted his offer to get me drinks? (Drinks 101)
#143: I lent an ear to a friend, how do I get it back?
#144: I am tempted to get a makeover so I can ask out my crush.
Awesome! Nice having other people pitch in!
You guys are all awesome for doing this. Thank you!
#145: I can make a really good case that my friend should invite me to her party.
Derailing: How not to talk to people who are telling you something sad.
#146: Commander Logic tells you how to get unstuck.
Painfully Literal Dude asks for second date, and other links
#147: “I handle myself badly in large groups of new people.”
#148: My work performance suffers when I don’t feel confident, which makes me feel less confident. How can I break this loop?
#149: The Sad Cat Neighbor Feelings Situation
#150: My sister calls me names and pulls my hair. We’re in our 20s. How do I get her to stop?
#151: “If I come out to my family, will they stop making offensive jokes already?”
#152: Talking about diets: The “watching paint dry” of our times.
My Sneaky Jerkbrain
#153: How do I make and keep friends?
#154: I have extreme anxiety about being touched and hugged. How do I survive an upcoming funeral?
Surviving Holiday Visits
#155: “So, when are you going to finish that dissertation?” and other deeply personal questions.
#156: Maintaining boundaries when you have to ask for help.
#157: Can I make my dad and my sister stop yelling at each other?
Hey. Don’t kill yourself.
#159: Should I date the gentleman d’un certain age who asked me out?
#160: I can think of no snappy title for this question.
#161: “Please fix my life?”
Thanks so much.
You are the shiniest and loveliest star in the cosmos, missy. Here’s your hug by the way *hugs*
January 2012 :
#162: Bad teeth and other dating dealbreakers.
#163: My sister won’t stop “jokingly” calling me a slut.
#164: Redrawing boundaries with a possessive ex.
#165: How do I deal with my coworker and his toxic, jealous wife?
#166: My mom is being a jerk about what I name my baby.
#167: My mom disowned me on Christmas day.
#168: The Peaches/Fingers/Kitty/New Year’s/Gaming/Self-Harm Situation
#169: My dad hit me.
#170: Should I break up with my boyfriend?
#171: Guest Post! My sister-in-law is homeschooling her children….badly. Should I intervene?
#172: How do I break up with the mean guy who scares me?
#173: How do I help my friends through breakups?
#174: Dating secrets of THE TERRIFYINGLY AMAZING
#175: Torn between my job and my life
#176: The Perpetual Seething Mass of Resentment
O HAI WINTER (Open Thread)
#177: Fresh Meat Walking
#178: “I want someone to kiss and be kissed by.”
Rewriting Sex Scenes
#179: “I’m in love with someone who hates himself.”
#180: How do I stop being a cubicle zombie?
A Birthday Request
#181: “I’m afraid if I end my relationship I’ll lose all of my friends.”
Rape: Still Awkward, or, Dear Prudence: You Suck
February 2012 :
#182: The Three Sentence Rule, or, How do I get my partner to shut up about Karl Popper?
#183: Should I break up with my “over-sensitive” partner?
#184: Confusing dude is confusing. Should I reach out to him and tell him how I feel?
#185: My friend is obsessed with someone who barely knows she exists.
#186: The lie of “strength.”
#187: I want a divorce and don’t know how to tell anyone.
#188: Dealing with a coworker with a severe mental illness.
#189: My girlfriend moved here to live with me and now I feel trapped.
#190: The Sandwich Means “I Love You”: A Valentine.
#191: Annual reminder time: Get your teeth cleaned. Get your eyes/bits checked. And stop hanging out with crappy people.
#192: Should I apologize for being a NiceGuy(tm) in the past?
#193: “I used my words and told the Shy Guy how I felt…repeatedly. Now what?”
#194: “I am so socially awkward that my boyfriend won’t take me anywhere.”
#195, #196, and #197: Meet more people.
March 2012 :
#198: Hung up real bad.
#199: I have an embarrassing, unshakeable crush on my teacher.
#200: Surprise Lovebombing!
#201: Guest post: How can my girlfriend and I prevent body issues from derailing our awesome love story?
#202: My job is making me miserable, but I don’t know how to quit.
#203: Scripts for saying “It was nice to meet you! But not THAT nice.”
#204: Not everyone likes you.
#205: The case of the nosy roommate.
#206: Torn between dreams and love.
Friday Questions about Darth Vader & FEELINGS______.
#207: Why did this fictional story make me cry? Could it have something to do with these awful hints about my mother?
#208: My boyfriend doesn’t want me to masturbate.
#209: My mom is pressuring me to invite my molester to my wedding, and it sucks BIG TIME.
#210: I feel guilty because I don’t like my dad.
#211: If my friend has feelings for me, it is only logical that I return them.
#212: Bad connection. Try again later.
#213 : Am I weirding everyone out by not being gay?
#214: An object lesson in “overthinking it.”
#215: How do I help my friend realize she is lovely?
#216: I broke up with someone because she cheated on me. Was that sexist?
#217: The Almost-Doctor with the Almost-Boyfriend
#218: My anxiety is messing up my relationship.
July 2012 :
#283: “How do I tell my parents I’m not moving back home with them after graduation?”
#284: “My partner is controlling about my appearance.”
#285: Is it bad if my relationship has an expiration date?
Blanket Statement Monday: On Late Bloomers
The Gollum of Heartbreak, Or, How to Stop Worrying About Which Feelings to Feel
#286: I think the words you are looking for are “I am breaking up with you.”
#287: If you don’t want people to find out you are a ‘sex pest’, don’t pester them for sex.
#288: Guest Post: Advice from Sea Captain Awkward
#289 & #290 Friends with Significant Others
#291: How do I know if I’m trans*?
#292: Wealth (& massive insecurity) is messing up my love life.
#293: Love! Movies! Adventure!
Summer Pledge Drive: Give me a dollar and I’ll give you a movie.
#294: My daughter is in a dysfunctional relationship, how do I help her?
#295: When failure moves into your house to stay.
#296: How do I start to date? A counter-intuitive primer.
Captain Awkward’s Home for Wayward Really Insecure Dudes
#297: Help: My brother is a teenaged misogynist!
#298: I’m bisexual! Right? Maybe? Yes?
#299: My family likes to play a game where they competitively insult me until I cry. Is this a legitimate problem?
#300: My relationship is awesome y/n
#301: “Help me process my weird week of feelings.”
#302: The Marriage of Facepalm & WTF?
#303: “I was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s and I’m kind of freaking out about it.”
#304: Good problems!
#305: “Quit helping so much! I’m not going to fall in love with you.”
#306 Secrets, Lies, and Stephanie
#308: I feel like I don’t deserve my partner’s support of my artistic dreams.
#309 & #310: The Broken Record
#311: My wife freaks out whenever I’m away from her.
#313 & 314: Broken Friendships
#315: The boundary-crossing neighbor
#316: Reaching out to an ex
August 2012 :
#317: This crush is really distracting me from my sexless relationship.
#318: Death and people you don’t like.
#319: Captain Awkward Writes Your Casual Encounters Ad
Links of Friday Linkiness
#320: Dubious Breakup Methods
#321: Artistic Discouragement
#322 & #323 “My friend group has a case of the Creepy Dude. How do we clear that up?”
#324: “My friend, the rapist.”
#325: Reminder. Not everyone has to like you.
Good evening! It will be a good evening.
#326: Our relationship and communication skills are awesome… too awesome?
Updated Site Policies + Boston Area Meet-up
#327: My friend’s wife has forbidden us to communicate.
#328: When something’s none of your beeswax, make it none of your beeswax!
#329: My partner won’t set boundaries with his horrible family.
#330: Life blows. How can I be nice to myself again?
I wish my husband would spend less time gaming and more with his family
What do you do about chronic complaining?
#332: Wanting to make new friends and feeling like your filter is off-kilter.
#333 & #334: Friendships, breakups, poetry, and WTF?
#335: How do I set a boundary with my friend without hurting her feelings?
#336: Gracefully exiting from conversations.
#337: I want her. She wants me. What do I do?
#338: Keeping in touch with professors after graduation.
#339: My mom gives me the silent treatment.
Seattle Meetup: Thursday, September 20th
#340: How do you say “I don’t love you?”
Like the new look! May I suggest, when someone gets around to it, adding a Read Comments link to the end of a post, as well as at the top?
… and finally, October 2012 :
#365: Dating after death.
#366: Attention and jealousy and Skype.
#367 & #368 Am I too ugly to date?
Bristol, UK Meetup!
#369: Breaking off contact with an ex.
#370: Unmotivated to apply for jobs.
Sometimes Icky Ads
#371: “How do I end this misery?”
#372: How do I perform a FEELINGS-ectomy?
#373: Drifting apart from friends.
#374: Naked pictures run amok on the internet, again.
#375 & #376: Respect at Work
#377: Ask her out, already. You can do it.
#378: How do you get over someone?
London Meetup Oct. 23
#379 & #380: Sex Education for Teens
#381: How do I tell my sad friend I’m getting engaged?
#382: My sister probably isn’t coming home for Thanksgiving. How do I tell her how hurt I am?
#383 & #384: Ladyboners
#385: My ex-friend and his bullshit lies.
#386: Facing down a predator.
#387: The coffee made me do it.
#388: Please let me go.
Hiatus, Holiday Open Thread, & #389: Friendly Social Coercion is Still Coercion
Western Mass & Philly Meetups
Dear Captain Awkward, You are the most amazing writer and give REALLY great, thoughtful and DIFFERENT advise than the hum-drum, same old. I have a talent-crush on you and I am a straight woman! Please write a book. Write many!
You are so nice to say so! Thanks so much.
Now that it’s December, I present November 2012:
#390: How can I support my mom without getting swamped by her emotions?
#391: How To Train Your Rageasaurus
London Meetup #2!
#392: Overdue apologies.
#393: My friends keep inviting my abusive ex and me to the same parties, despite being asked directly not to.
#394: Discussing consent & rape with my mom is leaving us both shredded.
#395: Confronting offensive bosses and coworkers.
Journal Keepers, ahoj!
#396: How do I get my boyfriend to dump his Darth Vader BFF?
#397: Pretty should be optional.
#398: I’m tired of explaining my medical condition and food choices to “helpful” folks.
#399: “But you oooowe me!” — entitlement rears its head again
Seattle Meetup & WAM Auction
I want to make a clarification here. I was being cheeky about saying you were a troublemaker. You are a troublemaker in a good one. Anyone who makes people think, get out of their comfort zone and gives them food for thought is a good thing.
Here we have December 2012:
#400: Recognizing happiness.
#401: I can’t tell whether my girlfriend wants to have sex with me. (Spoiler: She doesn’t!)
#402: Do I have to sit through dinner with someone who was a big jerk to me?
#403: Fat rape survivor seeks the super handsome guy at work.
#404: My thief of a dad is going to be at my sister’s wedding.
#405: Navigating the FEELINGSTRIANGLE
#406: By staying with my first partner, am I missing out on the single life?
#407: Was I “leading this guy on” when I asked him if we could be friends and then he suddenly showed up where I live?
#408: Old internet postings from a new dating partner.
#409: Guess what? Not everyone’s family is awesome and not everyone loves “the holidays.”
#410: How do I tell old professional contacts about my recent name change now that I need a reference?
Tokyo Meetup, January 2
The Pie-For-Breakfast Boxing Day Open Thread
#411: Frozen out by a relative.
#412: One “Slow Fade” Textbook Example coming right up!
#413: How do I Relationship?
#414: What are the green flags for a good therapist?
Cool “2012 in review” widget.
#415: How do I give this person who wanted to be my friend “closure”?
#416: How do I get a Team You?
What is an “LW”?
So here we have January 2013 (hopefully without any unintentional coding mistakes – please feel free to correct things!):
#417: How do I let mutual friends know about my imminent breakup and move?
#418: My mom wants me to prioritize caring for my sister over caring for myself. What do I do?
#419: My friend’s jokes are The Worst. Also, why do we talk about ending friendships forever so much on this blog?
#420: Did that date go well? I can’t tell.
#421: If he wanted to be your boyfriend, he’d be your boyfriend.
#423 & #424: Relationships aren’t transitive.
#422: Setting expectations about frequency of communication.
Seattle & Toronto Awkward Meetups
#425: Baby, it’s freezing in here.
#426 & #427: E-blasts from the past.
#428: My crush told everyone about my crush.
#429 & #430: When depression is contagious.
Open Thread: Crushes
#431 : I want to have sex for all the wrong reasons.
#432: I’m pregnant, I hate small talk, UGH: A Compendium
#433: What if my past as a sex worker hurts my current employment chances?
#434: Just me and my shadow, trying to network.
London Meetup, Northwestern Talk, and Kink-Friendly Advice
#435: Getting the silent treatment for an honest mistake.
#436: What can I do to get to know my coworkers better?
#437: Out of the frying pan, into the adjacent teakettle of badness.
#437: Adulthood Is A Scary Horse
Can men and women be friends? An essay and a website launch.
#438: You get to choose your own happiness.
#439: The dynamic duo of mansplainers
You are so awesome for making it all linky, too! I’ve converted some of the old ones, and I mean to convert more, but it’s time-consuming and tedious, so it’ll be a while.
Oh man, they’re all done now! “a while” certainly wasn’t long. You’re also awesome!
I just wanted to say thank you. I’ve never written to you for advice but I read your blog regularly. Recently I needed to have a really difficult conversation with my ex – we had been living together before we broke up and had agreed that I would keep the place while he moved out, but he was taking his own sweet time about doing it.
I remembered all the advice you and the Awkward Army have given. I used my words. I set a deadline and told him what would happen if he broke it. He signed the lease on a new flat yesterday.
Thank you so much for all the awesome advice you’ve given. You help more people than you can possibly know.
Hiya, I have nominated you for an award. Hope that’s ok…Check it out here: http://wp.me/p2YLb2-fH
#440: “It’s time to get out of my abusive home, but I am afraid to accept help.”
#441: Feeling my way as live-in girlfriend to father of an 11-year-old girl
#442: Clearing the air (but only if you feel like it) + Pledge Drive Week (but only if you feel like it).
#443: Ending the reign of FEELINGSTERROR (slight edit)
#444: “Do we hug? Because my feeling is that no, we don’t.”
#445: My brother is marrying a stranger!
#446: The Territorial Friend and The Pollyanna Defense
More UK meetups: Bristol (March 9) and York (March 2).
#446 and #447: Aging, family, and boundaries
#448: How do I accept compliments?
#449: I hate my job, I’m broke, my commute sucks, and I maybe want to be a writer.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
#450: How to tighten up your game at work when you’re depressed.
Cohabitation Situations: Ambivalence Deliverance (#451) & Eviction Prescription (#452)
#453: Guest Post: How Do I Come Out to My Mom?
London Meetup, sneaking up on us
#454: Darth Vader is a tricksy hobbit.
NYC Meetup March 16
#455: Jealousy & Crushes in High School
Thank you so much!
Here I am again with March 2013:
Guest Post! What to expect when you call a helpline/hotline.
What is an introvert? #456 & #457: Communication Expectations
#458: Things are great, so we don’t have to ever talk about feelings, right?
#459: Do I have to destroy my health to be in grad school?
Non-therapy help for your brain + meet awkward people in New York City
#460: Boundaries are good, even if other people don’t enjoy it when you set them.
#461: My partner makes hurtful jokes about my health situation.
London Meetup + #462: When is it time to cut off communication with abusive family?
Asheville, North Carolina is Meeting Up April 30
#463: Help me stop being mean.
Thank you so much!
Dear Captain Awkward…
So I read the first letter you ever responded to, and you linked to this other blog you have, about food and soups. Being a bit of a collector of recipes (growing up in an Irish/Italian/Jewish household meant learning to cook/bake/fry/grill/mix/freeze/sautee/… was mandatory, and I have fun with it), I was very excited to find it.
Still am. Amazing stuff.
I was just wondering if you were gonna post there again in the future…
Thank you for sharing that Janelle Monae video – she rules the freaking world and I had no idea a new album was coming out.
So – for your bank of happy things to share with the Awkwardteers…and as always, thanks for your blog and all you do!
I just need to say thanks to the Captain and Commander and commenters and everyone else here. I had a really creepy experience this last weekend, and in the past I would have sat there and taken it (because maybe he doesn’t mean to be creepy! maybe I’m overreacting!) up to and beyond the point of danger. This time, I kept “no is a complete sentence” in my head, and got out as soon as I could. Yeah, I still second-guess myself (but maybe he reeeeeeeeeaaly didn’t mean it!), but not nearly as much as I would have a year ago. So thanks, everyone.
#464: My mom died and my dad started having sex with men. A LOT of men. Should I talk to him about it?
LA Times: “How not to say the wrong thing.”
#465: Life after Darth
#466: Possessive friend is weirding me out/A constructive conflict review.
London Meetup April 20
#467: How do I help my partner communicate better with his family?
#468 and #469: “Hey, knock it off”, or, Constructive Conflict, Continued.
#470, #471 and #472: Correcting Names
#473: A gentle breakup is still a breakup.
#474: How do I get my coworker to shut up?
#475: How do I help my lonely husband make some friends? and #476: Tired of the same old college scene
#477: I have anxiety that women will have anxiety about me approaching them.
#477 – Again (plus Letter Writer’s response).
Boston Smiling and Eye Contact Meetup
Bristol, Sheffield, & Asheville Meetups
By The Way, Meet Vera Stark in Chicago & Meetup in Boston
(Fingers crossed that I put in the correct HTML for hyperlinking …)
A fake holiday we can get behind
Open Thread: New parents, how’s it going?
#478: RSVP/Invitation Etiquette
#479: Trying to be more social when you have serious dietary restrictions
Friday Open Thread: Recipes and Books
Links and a rare promotion/giveaway
#480: Post-breakup friend custody with a gross congealed moldy side of stalking
#481: My parents acquired a friend for me (with a gross, moldy congealed side of stalking).
#482: Sexy drunk texts vs. sober rejection: I don’t know what to believe!
Meetups: Saturday in London, OccuPie in Chicago Tonight!
#483: Dealing with a friend’s caustic partner
Thanks so much for doing these!
#484: “How do I minimize embarrassment when telling a partner that I have a body and a past?”
IndieFlix Giveaway Winners
#485: Settling the Chaos Muppet within
#486: Feeling lonely in a relationship and worried about self-sabotage
#487: I use a wheelchair, and people are condescending as fuck.
#488: My friend’s new hobby is grossing everyone out, and, he likes it that way.
Search Terms Quickies
Bristol Meetup/Journalist Request/Reading in August
#489: A brief bullet-pointed tale of woe, or, the infernal temptation of “closure.”
#490: Should I tell my friend her boyfriend is cheating on her? She has a history of shooting the messenger.
#491: A dream job is taking me back to the city I left 10 years ago to escape my abusive family. How can I keep myself safe?
St. Louis Awkward Meetup
#492: I am so not into the whole dating thing. How do I talk about that with people who are?
Little things that people say that totally shift your perspective.
Anxiety Open Thread
The Monthly London Meetup is Almost Upon Us!
#493: I’m tired of being trans.
Breaking News: Tuesday Emergency Dance Party
Forecast: Sunny with a chance of pie
Chosen Family Open Thread
Job Search Red Flags & Due Diligence
#494: I want to try ALL THE THINGS with my new sex partner, but I’m worried my enthusiasm will make it weird.
Adding to what Bookslut said….
#495: Snarky Comebacks for Sexists in Academia
London Meeting Up This Weekend
Guest Post #496: I No Longer Have Pantsfeelings for the Only Partner I’ve Had (Dianna)
#497: On “keeping the peace” with an unlikeable mansplainer
Heartbreak Open Thread
#498: Transitive Opinions, Discretion, and Drama
Guest Post #499: Muddling Productively In Search of Romance (elodieunderglass)
#500: Online Dating for Scaredy-Cats, or, Why The “Overthinking It” Tag Was Created
#501 & #502: When directness > “nice” – fallout from missing a family wedding for a family funeral and a friend’s negativity about my own wedding
#503: Education, love, money, family, foreign adventures & THE ENTIRE FUTURE OF EVERYTHING (my mother hates my French boyfriend and will cut off financial support for my tuition if I live with him…)
#504: Replying to The Council of Unsolicited Advisors
#505: Star-crossed or just incompatible? + Summer Pledge Drive Begins
Open Thread: Long Distance Relationships (+ Pledge Drive Day 2)
#506 & #507: It is 2fucking0fucking1fucking3, so why is it so hard to divide up household chores?
Off-To-College Open Thread
#508 & #509: Friendship, Attachment Styles & Boundaries
Twin Cities Meetup 9/8
#510: Falling out of love with your creative work and losing momentum
#511: When you find out that someone you care about is mean.
#513: “Frenemy” is a ridiculous made-up word that is occasionally accurate, or, The Case of the Passive-Aggressive Co-worker
The Books You Always Find Yourself Recommending Open Thread (updated)
#512: Can I quit my unpaid internship?
Maybe not the place for this but I couldn’t find a link to send this by email. I was reading the post about Predator Prevention and this isn’t strictly on topic but might be of interest to people here.
Two women started the site linked below as a part of their women’s studies class because they didn’t feel safe taking public transit. They’re collecting stories of harassment on public transit (specifically sexual/gender based) and posting them in order to demonstrate publicly just how widespread the problem is in our city.
“Acknowledging the reality of the commuter gauntlet: A collection of experiences of sexual or gender-based harassment on TransLink transit vehicles/property in Greater Vancouver.”
Feel free to take this down/trash it if it’s completely inappropriate or in the wrong place but it seemed like the kind of project that those who read and write for this site would appreciate.
I wanted to give you a heads up that DatingAdvice.com has named you as one of the year’s “10 Best Blogs for Dating Questions.” The rankings were published this morning, and we’ll be promoting it on-site and through other social media channels over the coming days:
You have the bragging rights, so feel free to share the news on your blog and with your followers! Let me know if I can be of any help in promoting the news.
Have a great day,
Thanks for the nice compliment, Hayley.
Of course! Could you please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org? I’d love to talk to you about some guest blogging opportunities. Thanks!
We’ve been amazed at how the “10 Best Blogs for Dating Questions” article has taken off. I hope you’re seeing great response from it on your end.
We got a request to create “10 Best” badges for bloggers to display on their sites, so our design team came up with some great designs. If you’re interested, I can send them to you. Please email me if you’d like a badge.
I’m good, thanks Hayley.
Please email me at email@example.com we would like to invite you to submit your film The Wardrobe to our Children’s program. We will need to get your film ASAP for consideration so please email me as soon as possible.
Emailed you this morning from firstname.lastname@example.org account. Thanks so much!
Favorite Things, Late October Edition
Predator Prevention – Links
Meetups Galore + #515: Easygoing vs. Picky: How to fight with your friends.
Your friend isn’t “a batshit harpie,” she’s sad and handling it very badly.
Upcoming Chicago Readings
Like we’ve been saying…
#514: Justifying Your Deviance From Ordinary In A Work Setting
Twin Cities Meetup, 10/13
Impromptu Oxford, UK Meetup: THIS WEEKEND!
#524: How do I fight with my partner without ruining everything?
#523: Life with a no-good, very bad terrible driver
Seattle Meetup, December 4
#522: Dealing with chatty racist strangers
Twin Cities AND Baltimore MeetupS, November 24
#521: Awkward vs. Not Really Into You – how to tell?
#520: Getting your stuff back from a Darth Vader ex
#519: When your work friend becomes your work Nice Guy
#518: I broke up with my mean friend, so why do I still miss her?
#517: Closure, continued. Who owns the story after a breakup?
#516: Accepting a family member’s African Violet with grace
London. November. Origami. Awkwardness.
Just noticed my previous posts were in reverse order… oops!
#525: Discouraging The Too-Friendly Neighbor
#526: I’m worried that my long-distance fiance a) cheats on me b) is keeping me a secret.
December London Meetup
#527 Creepers d’Un Certain Age, Business Edition.
It Came From the Search Terms
#528 Reaching out (and coming out) to exes after a long time away.
#529: (un)Fun with tenses: You HAD an abuser. You HAVE a stalker.
#530: Annual Holiday Reminder: You Don’t Have to “Celebrate” With People Who Treat You Like Crap
#531: When a parent wants you to be their marriage counselor.
#532: Maybe throw a little money at this problem of holiday sleeping arrangements?
#533: Can I bar my son’s unlikeable girlfriend from family events?
January London Meetup
Thank you so much for this!
Ahoy captain! A few months ago, I started up my own blog (http://notacasualobserver.wordpress.com/), and there have already been a couple times I’ve thought about linking to you, but I wanted to check with you first to see if that would be ok!
Please do and good luck. The only place I really don’t like my work being used is The Good Men Project, so link away.
#536: My face is a blushing traitor, and creepy older dudes have definitely noticed.
#537: How Can I Suggest Ways for People to Actually Be Supportive?
#538: Forgiving a Friend’s Darth Vader
#539 “Old New Friends”
London Meetup, February First
#540: My sister is making my visits home a nightmare.
#541: What kind of financial “help” do I “owe” my uncle?
#542: The Butt Dial of Jealousy and Specious Accusations
Single, horny people looking to survive this freezing hellscape…
#543: I can’t sleep because my first prospect for a “real” relationship might secretly be a furry.
#545: My old friend was great when we lived close, but has gotten very mean from a distance.
#546: Counter-Intuitive Friendship Fixing Advice: The Be Nice To Yourself Project
#547: “Is it my anxiety or is my relationship dodgy?” Spoiler: Holy fuckshit, IT’S THE DODGIEST
PSA for the shy, sexually inexperienced, maybe-queer, maybe-bi, maybe-asexual ladies who send me letters about finding someone to snuggle and/or date:
Bristol, UK Meetup March 15
Twin Cities and Melbourne Meetups, February 16
#548: I met a cool person to flirt with and I’m scared of what to do next.
#549: I was promoted above my peers and now they are punishing me and #550: Do I need to tell my boss I’m looking around at other opportunities?
#551: What does it mean when a dating partner is “worried that they might be using me?”
March 1 London Meetup
#552: Crossing Paths with Darth-of-Old
#553 I’m following my heart, so why won’t my friends root for me?
#554: The Mirror of Confusion
It Came From The Search Terms: SMARCH
Victoria, BC Meetup March 22
#555: Carts, Horses, and the Order of Operations
## 556: What’s the difference between “can’t” and “I’m scared, don’t wanna?”
#557: That’s just one dude’s opinion/Annual reminder that “why did you break up with me?” is not a question you actually want answered.
#558: Help I’m boring
Oops missed a couple from the second page of various months… sorry!
January 2014, cont’d:
Happy Blogaversary and New Year!
#534: Cancer support or pity dating?
Chicago Meetup 1/19
It Came from the Search Terms, 14 for 2014
#535: Forgiveness, patience, and other traps.
Twin Cities Meetup, 1/19
February 2014, cont’d:
#544 My extroverted roommates come and “kidnap” me when I want to be alone.
York, UK Meetup, 2/15
I’d like to share a super-simple way to create an archives page in WordPress, should you ever want to have a dedicated one:
Create a new page, call it “archives”, and leave it blank except for the short code [archives] and publish it. That’s it, but there are ways to customize it here: http://en.support.wordpress.com/archives-shortcode/.
It’s amazing that everyone took the time to share the posts here, too!
Thank you gonna try right now
Hey Captain Awkward and/or fans! I just read this article about a thoroughly disgusting predator who is like the culmination of all the “Danger – Get out!” creeper behaviors I’ve read about here. The molester used isolation and boundary-pushing over time to victimize these girls.
And when they were testifying, the girls talked about feeling like they couldn’t say “Stop,” or do anything because they couldn’t objectively prove that what was going on was creepy. It made me think of all the great advice here about belonging to yourself and having every right to say “No,” without justifying it or worrying that the person wasn’t really being creepy and you’re going to insult them, etc. I wish for their sake someone had mentioned such things to these girls.
Here’s the link, which, be warned, includes nasty details about sexual assault and gross mind-fuck manipulation. http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/70575174/how-chad-curtis-went-from-hero-to-convict-for-sexual-misconduct?partnerId=as_mlb_20140403_21230434#!KdjDO
Just wanted to say, I really appreciate your awesome wisdom. It is nice to have it reinforced that it is not wrong to save/stand up for for yourself.
Dear Captain Awkward – I want to say thank you. Last weekend, I finally stood up to a Darth Vader friend. It was a thoroughly unhealthy situation that had been chipping away at my limited confidence for ages, but I was doing the classic “he’s a good person deep down, he’s just having a hard time” thing. Reading articles and advice on here made me realise that I didn’t deserve this but also I wasn’t being weak or stupid to be in the situation. At last, I have said all of the things to him that needed to be said. It was incredibly cathartic – like I didn’t even realise I was carrying some enormous weight around until I put it down. So many thanks to you and the commenters here. xx
I’ve nominated you for a very inspiring blogger award here: http://freestylerevolution.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/the-very-inspiring-blogger-award/
Thank you but no thank you!
No worries! I just wanted other people to know about your awesome blog! 😀
Hello dear Captain — I hope you are well! You and the Awkward community have covered so many helpful topics, and I am very grateful for that. I wonder if I could ask you to consider giving a little more attention to a topic that has concerned me lately, and which I don’t find discussed much here (relatively speaking)? I speak of elder care, this club into which I’ve been newly initiated. I’m surprised at the number of people I know who are dealing with this when I give them the news of my own caring situation. I wonder if you’ve received any questions on this issue, and if so, could you perhaps toss a few from your backlog out there for community consideration? What I’ve found so far here has been great (especially #416, “How Do I Get a Team You?”) and I’d be ever so grateful for more insight and sharing. Thanks for all that you do — I love this site so much! Very best regards to you, Captain!
Hi J., thanks for the nice note! This is a topic I would need to get guest posters to cover, but I know there are others dealing with this stuff in the community. I think your best bet for speedy discussions/community building is probably the forums at friendsofcaptainawkward.com.
Hi Jennifer — thank you for your kind reply! I may look into the forums, and I am certainly sourcing information elsewhere. Maybe sometime I can share some of that. I wish you, your guest posters, moderators, and the Awkward Community a brave and bright 2015. I especially wish you well this January, for all those self-care and creative projects in the works. Very best to you, Jennifer!
I hope all is well with you. Healthline just published an infographic detailing the effects of depression on the body. This is an interactive chart allowing the reader to pick the side effect they want to learn more about.
You can see the overview of the report here: http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/effects-on-body
Our users have found our guide very useful and I thought it would be a great resource for your page: https://captainawkward.com/2013/01/05/429-430-when-depression-is-contagious/
I would appreciate it if you could review our request and consider adding this visual representation of the effects of depression to your site or sharing it on your social media feeds.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
All the best,
Nicole Lascurain • Assistant Marketing Manager
p: 415-281-3100 | f: 415-281-3199
Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
http://www.healthline.com | @Healthline | @HealthlineCorp
About Us: corp.healthline.com
Hi Captain Awkward,
Considering I scrolled for 5 minutes to get to the bottom of your long fan list, I am not sure if you will ever get a chance to read this. If you are reading this, I just want to say I really enjoy your posts! You inspire us to write more and hopefully reach your level. We were recently nominated for the Inspirational Blogger Award. Part of this acceptance is nominating fellow bloggers you find inspiring, so naturally your name popped on our list. Don’t feel obligated to pass the torch but we just wanted you to know you’re pretty awesome!
Keep up the entertaining posts!
I didn’t know where I could say thank you for what you do, so I’m putting it here. Your blog and community was one of the first things I thought about the sleepless night of 11/8/16. I will be making things awkward all over the place to combat raising my son in a hateful world and family. Thank you, you are appreciated, and it is important for you to know how much.
Did you pay your debt back and/or manage to make a movie that earned money? If so, a hearty congratulations. If not, then I agree with your own words… i.e. that people shouldn’t be taking life advice from someone whose finances are out of whack and who have failed to perform well in their career. We should take advice from people we want to model…. not from people who have and have done things we should want to avoid. Just my .02.
You should definitely not take any advice from me! You should flee this site and find someone whose life you aspire to, most definitely! Goodbye forever, beautiful stranger!
Dear Captain- First let me thank you for everything you do… I’ve only read a few things but you seem very dedicated open minded and genuine. I have been thinking about sharing something for a while now and I need a platform to share, discuss, and help others. I am not a doctor, I am not an expert I am just a regular nobody living my life the best I can. So some information three piece that I wrote… It is three “rules“ to make any relationship work. I know that seems far-fetched and magnificent and also totally egotistical but hear me out! I would love to share my stuff with you if you have it please get in contact with me and we can go from there I’m not looking for acknowledgment but would love to be a part of the workings if it is presented on your site. Thank you so much in advance and I look forward to hearing from you
It sounds like your own blog is the perfect place for this!
I’m so happy to have stumbled across our blog! Can’t believe how long this thread is – go you! I love the fact that you have so many posts on different topics ❤️ I’m just starting up my blog but I hope that one day it will be as awesome as yours 😃
Your increasingly liberal bias needs to be tempered with at least a nod to the conservative side. For instance, in your latest post about COVID-19, provide the evidence that supports your arguments about how the Federal government is not responding to the pandemic. Provide counterarguments and evidence. Use your critical thinking skills (i.e., if you disagree with something, then provide and refute the things you disagree with).
a) If you’re wondering if I have a liberal bias, my politics are “tax the rich or eat them.”
b) If you want me to do homework, pay me.
c) I hope you enjoyed the one comment you will ever be allowed to make on CaptainAwkward.com.
I’m writing an article about people who make horrible comments online, and why we have to persevere in spite of them because their toxicity has everything to do with them and not much with us, and I stopped here today so I can link to you in the article, and found this!!! KISTMET!!!
Hi Marina aka GracefulZee aka Some Mean Lady Who Cannot Stop Reading Captain Awkward Dot Com
I’m so proud to be your favorite blog, the one you can’t stay away from.
I answered your insightful comment here, at length. https://www.patreon.com/posts/32958568 Enjoy!
I just noticed that the copyright line at the bottom of the page still says “Copyright © 2011 thru 2020 Jennifer Peepas, all rights reserved” instead of “thru 2021.”
Oh, good catch, thank you.