Here’s a list of the posts that got the most comments this year. Interestingly, the post that got the most traffic is did not make the list. That post is: What it’s like to have sex with someone who has Asperger’s.

Thank you for a fun year. I feel so grateful to have my blog. Being able to write for this community and read the consistently insightful comments has made the year so much better.

Jan. How to make yourself more likable (208 comments)

Jan. 8 Tips for anger management (234 comments)

Jan. Do you overemphasize happiness? (249 comments)

Jan. Racism is alive and kicking. Hello, McDonald’s. (415 comments)

Jan. How to manage a college education (185 comments)

Jan. Being an expert takes time, not talent (183 comments)

Feb. Test: Is your life happy or interesting? (246 comments)

Mar. List of things I hate (183 comments)

Apr. Turning point (294 comments)

Aug. When you’re feeling lost, don’t hide (162 comments)

Nov. Veterans Day should be cancelled (335 comments)

Nov. 5 Reasons to stop trying to be happy (152 comments)

Tim Ferriss diet

The most common criticism of my blog (which has 60,000 subscribers) is that I write controversial headlines just to get traffic. I usually ignore this criticism because it’s so ignorant. But today I’m going to tell you why writing controversial headlines just to be controversial is totally stupid.

There is no formula for a wildly popular post.

Look, if I knew how to write a controversial headline that would get a ton of traffic then I’d be writing them every day. But really I’d be retired, living in Bermuda, not even writing headlines.

The most successful posts are posts that people email to their friends. Every day, whatever number of subscribers a blog has, that’s how many people read the blog post. The only way you get more readers is if people start telling their friends about the post. Read more

It’s true that I am publishing my gift suggestions too late for the biggest gift-giving season of the year. But I think it’s okay, because the gifts are totally impractical.

In fact, I think this is actually my wish list—stuff I wish I had been given over the years to keep my career on track.

1. A hall monitor for emails.

Email provides a chance to sidestep the problems of reading facial cues, which is what people with Asperger’s want. And email provides a chance for introverts to collect their thoughts before they talk to extroverts, which is what introverts want.

The problem with email is that the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology says that emails are misinterpreted fifty percent of the time. Read more

My new thing is self-discipline. I am going to get better at it. I am nervous writing this, because I don't want to fail.

So this is the first thing I know: If you are really serious about doing something, it's painful to tell people, because fear of failure is so high. Once you decide that you really want something enough to shift your life to get it — at that point you want it so much that you will feel like your life is somehow incomplete if you don't get it. So it is scary just to talk about it.

This is how I'm feeling about sugar and bread. I think it only leads to bad things. I think it makes me crazy and I have googled a thousand different sites about addiction to sugar and bread, and I think it's true. Here's what I think: Read more

It's the time of year when there are a bazillion articles about what gift you should give your boss. The implication is that of course you'll give a gift. But I think you're better off skipping it. Here's why:

1. Gift recommendations are not really recommendations.
When a journalist or blogger (is there a difference?) writes about gift items, they get to review the gift items. Which means each gift was already a gift to the writer. I know about this because I'm terrible at it. For example, I would like Bose noise canceling headphones. They are too extravagant for me to buy for myself, so I should ask Bose for a trial pair and then tell you to buy them for your boss.

2. Christmas at work is bad for your boss. Really.
First of all, it's bad for your company to have everyone give end-of-the-year gifts, or holiday gifts, or whatever companies are calling Christmas gifts lately. It's bad because Christmas in the office is bad for diversity. I write about this every year, and every year it is the most controversial post. So you don't need to write to me about how I am a Grinch and a cultural moron and Jews should move back to Israel, okay? Because I get those comments—about 300 of them—each year. So all I'm going to tell you now is that you are not helping your boss reach his or her performance goals for your team by undermining diversity by celebrating Christmas at work. Read more

The farmer bought me a camera. It’s a big deal for us because the farmer agreed to date me only if his photo would never show up on my blog. It means a lot to me that he’s buying me a camera which, invariably, will mean more photos of him on the blog.

But also, owning a camera allows me to make photos a big part of my blog; until now, I have only published photos here that other people took. I am excited to see where this leads, but first, I am excited to get better at taking photos and creatively organizing them into photo books. 

My first picture was the morning view from my favorite window in the house.

Read more

This is a guest post from Fabian Kruse. His blog is The Friendly Anarchist.

May you live in interesting times,” a Chinese curse goes. It’s true: “Interestingness” is a dangerously broad term. Having a chronic illness can be interesting but it sucks. Wars can be interesting — but they suck even more. And maybe you too have used the classical “It tastes interesting”-excuse when your dinner host didn’t really have a clue about cooking. Not as bad as wars and chronic illnesses, but still kind of sucky.

But interestingness in general is a lot more positive. Interestingness is finding the experiences that shape us as human beings, and enjoying them to the max. What we really don’t want is the bullshit part of life.

As far as I can see it, most of us want to live our lives something like this:

Guest post: How to make life more interesting

Sure, a bit more interestingness would be nice, but let’s be realistic, right? At least we’ll avoid the bullshit. Read more

I want to finally end the bullshit of dividing women into categories of stay-at-home mom or working mom.

This is not just semantics: we are all working. It’s more than that. Here’s why.

Before I had my first child, in 2002, I had been bouncing between corporate jobs and fast-paced startups ten years, and I was earning a solid, six-figure salary. But I didn’t go back because I didn’t want to miss time with my son. By the time I had the baby we had used up all our savings (my husband, also, was not working), but I still didn’t go back to an office job because I wanted to stay home with my son.

But we needed money. So I wrote columns from our kitchen counter (I didn’t have a desk) when my son was sleeping. Sometimes I wrote columns while he was breastfeeding. I was deliriously tired, but I had to earn money. Read more

It’s my birthday. So I get to write about anything. I get to indulge. The first thing is that I want to republish a poem that I published a long time ago, when I thought maybe I could get away with publishing poems on my blog. Now I know that for sure, poetry kills traffic.

But I like this poem so much:


by Beverly Rollwagen

She just wants to be employed

for eight hours a day. She is not

interested in a career; she wants a job

with a paycheck and free parking. She

does not want to carry a briefcase filled with important papers to read

after dinner; she does not want to return phone calls. When she gets home,

she wants to kick off her shoes and waltz around her kitchen singing, “I am

a piece of work.”

I like it maybe because it’s me. Sometimes I get tired of having to earn money. I have so many things I want to do, and it’s so distracting to have to earn money. I could have married someone with a lot of money and then I wouldn’t have to worry about earning money, but I didn’t choose that.

For the record, those dates went terribly. Read more

Sixty-five percent of people in the white-collar world have workplace spouses. Jacqueline Olds, professor of psychiatry at Harvard, explains that because we spend so much time in the office, “these relationships can be critical to succeeding in today’s work environment.” CNN published a piece singing the praises of the workplace spouse, as “a wonderful support system among co-workers and makes a more productive worker.”

Like all other life-saving, confidence-bolstering types of relationships, workplace spouse relationships are more common among the more highly paid. This is why I should have a workplace spouse.

Plus, I'm lonely on the farm. The problem with being lonely on the farm is not that I can't find someone to cheat with. I'm a resourceful girl. The problem is that I wouldn't cheat because I'd end up trying to keep it a secret and then I'd tell the farmer and then he'd hate me even more than he probably hates me right now.

It's not that he hates me, actually. It's that he's sick of talking to me. He would like me to be more low maintenance. He does not want to talk and for sure is sick of me crying. So I am trying to stay away from him now. Read more