People Ask For Our Feelings On Their "Am I The Jerk?" Stories

Feelings are intricate, fragile things. Some people are more sensitive than the average person, while others like to keep their emotions hidden most of the time. So, when it comes to a situation where a jerk is involved, it's important to not judge by the person's feelings, but by the person's actions. That will tell you who the real jerk is! That being said, read on and let us know your own thoughts on who you think the jerk may be. AITJ = Am I the jerk? NTJ = Not the jerk YTJ = You're the jerk WIBTJ = Would I be the jerk? EHS = Everyone here sucks

12. AITJ For Wanting To Confront My Former Roommate?


“During my first year at university, I was assigned a random roommate. Our personalities did not click, and we had a few minor squabbles over things like when the lights should be off. However, I felt that all of our problems were manageable and had not gone in expecting us to be friends, so I didn’t care that she had a completely different personality and interests.

About a month in, she told me that she could not stand living with me anymore because I “had been mean since day one.” When asked, in mediation, for examples of my “meanness” she said that I only gave brief answers when she asked me questions, didn’t initiate conversations, and didn’t talk with her and her friends when we’d eat meals together.

She also mentioned an instance in which her mom had said something to me and didn’t think I responded (I did – I am just very quiet and didn’t answer until a few seconds later than I should have). She hadn’t brought this to my attention previously.

I am a very reticent person, have social anxiety, and am just generally awkward in social situations.

I explained that I was shy and awkward before we moved in (we were given each other’s contact information by the school), although I did not mention that I had social anxiety. Admittedly, I could have been clearer about my difficulties reading social cues. However, after she told me she was frustrated with how I was interacting with her, I told her I had anxiety as well.

Her immediate reaction was to tell me that I was making excuses, that “no one” wanted to be around me, and that everyone on our floor was talking about how “weird” I was.

She then said that she felt like I was sabotaging her chance of making friends because she was afraid that people would think she was “like me” just because we lived together, and because I wasn’t comfortable with large groups of people in the room.

I hadn’t disliked her until she said this. I had just confessed something deeply personal and instead of showing any sympathy or acknowledging that I did not have negative intentions, she used that information to hurt me.

I soon switched rooms because she made me so uncomfortable, and made my own group of friends.

Initially, I didn’t tell any of them what had happened between us because I knew how much it hurt when she brought up other people’s opinions of me. However, a semester later, I heard her talking crap about me with her friends (one of them lived in the room next to me — the walls were very thin, and she used my name, which is unique).

Because of this, I shared what had happened with my closest friend, as it had brought up a ton of old insecurities that I had been working through for years in addition to the new ones our experience had caused. This was several months after I had moved out.

A few weeks ago, over a year after this happened, she posted about me on our school’s yik yak (social media app) page.

She identified the dorm we lived in and used details (such as when I moved out, our year, etc.) that would immediately identify me to anyone who lived on our floor. She said that, when we were living together, I spread rumors about her and watched her while she got dressed and slept.

I did not talk about her to any of the people I associated with – I didn’t even have friends at school at the time.

The people I later became friends with might have seemed “mean” to her because they are also very reserved people, but I had nothing to do with how they treated her.

I didn’t watch her while she got dressed, although I can recall one instance in which I was zoning out while she was changing, and she asked me to turn away. I didn’t even know she was changing at the time, immediately complied, and made an effort never to look at her side of the room when I zoned out again.

Similarly, I never watched her sleep, and have no idea why she thought that. I am considering responding to her, although not via yik yak, to clarify that I didn’t go out of my way to hurt her.

Was I the jerk in our rooming situation? Would I be a jerk if I confronted her privately about what she said about me? Or, I guess, should I respond?”

Another User Comments:

“You were not a jerk in that situation.

It sounds like the two of you had different expectations of a roommate and were a bad match.

You should not respond or confront her. Honestly, what good would you see coming out of that? She has her version of events, you have your version, and the truth is probably somewhere in-between.

As you move forward in your life, this situation is going to have no impact on you whatsoever.

Unless you continue to dwell on it.” sandra_nz

Another User Comments:

“First, you were most definitely not a jerk in this situation. Your roommate, on the other hand, seems to be a giant jerk.

Second, I would personally not contact her, because then you wouldn’t be giving her any more fuel for her hate crusade against you.

However, if you did feel the need to talk to her, I would just send her a private message saying that you know that she is talking crap about you, and ask her to please stop. But again, my advice is to just not talk to her at all.” fifthpilgrim

Another User Comments:

“As others have said, you aren’t the jerk for wanting to have the last word – especially because you haven’t actually reacted publicly yet.

Here’s the unfortunate truth: the damage to your reputation has already been done. Many studies have shown that an article that posts misleading information, when redacted, still provides a strong negative bias to its readers.

In other words, the people that read her nonsensical post have already formed their opinions. It is unlikely that any public response from you will change that fact.

The best way to react would be to continue the path you’re on.

Ignore it completely, as most will forget about it in time, and only address it when people confront you about it.

When you do address it, something as simple as “I’m not going to dignify that tripe with a response; suffice it to say that I strongly disagree with her sentiments and don’t appreciate her misleading others. But again, it isn’t worth a reply from me. Fact is, I’d rather just live my life and let her live hers.”

Inner strength is far more valuable and long-lasting than perceived strength.” stillyoinkgasp

4 points (4 votes)

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Mistweave 1 month ago
NTJ, and I would have pressed charges against her if I had been in that position.
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11. AITJ For Ruining A Friendship Of Twelve Years?


“Growing up I had a friend, let’s call him “Jack”, and we were pretty close. Throughout the years we naturally drifted away as we became part of different friend groups. Going into High School our friends were split up because we took different classes based on our educational goals. My friend “Jack” and I had a couple of classes together as well as with some of our mutual friends.

I saw him every day so naturally, we started to talk casually. Throughout the years he introduced me to two of his friends, let’s call them “Will and Paul”.

Will, Paul, Jack, and I became pretty close friends often taking art classes together and sitting together at lunch. As high school came to an end Jack become more aggressively romantic.

He would become extremely jealous if I sat next to my other guy friends and even became aggravated at the thought of me hanging out with my partner. He never directly spoke to me about his feelings, but I heard about it through mutual friends. Unfortunately, I eventually broke up with my partner and Jack took this opportunity to ask me to prom.

I of course said yes but I specified that it would be as just friends. He agreed and promised to not make any moves on me.

As a final hoorah, my friends Will, Paul, and “Cole” decided to arrange a trip to a cabin Cole’s family owned and it would be a weeklong trip with myself, Paul, Jack, Will, and Cole and his partner in a cabin located eight hours out-of-state.

As prom came closer, Jack began to talk about possibly telling me about his feelings for me publically at prom. Some friends decided to give me a heads up, as I am a very shy individual when it comes to that stuff. The awkwardness that came from knowing about his feelings made me change the way I acted around him.

I was not aware that his feelings for me were romantic and it became hard to act normal around him.

We eventually decided to cancel the cabin trip, which angered Jack. I decided to still go to prom with him as I had already accepted, but I was not going to be alone with him if at all possible.

Jack found out that I knew about his feelings for me and became enraged at Paul and Will for not letting him know that I knew. Two months went by and the awkwardness between Jack and me was so intense that we couldn’t even talk to each other alone. High school ended and we all graduated and went our separate ways for six months.

I got a social media message from Paul telling me that they were all hanging out at Will’s house and wanted me to come along.

I knew talking to Jack after not seeing him for six months would be awkward but I missed my friends. We began to hang out regularly but it became obvious that Jack was not over being rejected. Paul, Will, and I became closer but Jack became more volatile and began to call me names to whoever would listen.

He eventually ticked off Will and he ended up kicking him out of our group.

Hanging out without Jack was way more comfortable and relaxing. It worried me that I could toss aside such a long-term friend without really feeling bad. It has been nine months since we kicked him out and he clearly is still not over being rejected as he often drops by to brag about what he’s up to and who he’s with.

Am I the jerk for kicking him out?”

Another User Comments:

“Seriously? Do you really think you could be considered the jerk here? Or is this more of a ‘did I do the right thing’ question?

Honestly, you’ve been a bit naive in the whole situation. A male friend who gets jealous when you spend time with other male friends and when you spend time with your partner…

those are VERY obvious signs that this guy has romantic feelings towards you.

I suspect you kinda knew that but didn’t want to deal with it, rather than being completely unaware.

I know it’s difficult when you’re a naturally shy person, but it’s really important to be open and honest with people in these situations.

Personally, I wouldn’t have accepted his invitation to the prom. I think in doing that, you made him think he had a chance, even though you said you would go “as friends”. What you should have said was something like, ‘You’re a great guy but I have no interest in anything more than friendship.

If you have feelings for me, then I don’t think it’s appropriate for us to go to the prom together.'” sandra_nz

Another User Comments:

“I did not go to high school (I was homeschooled), but I have learned some lessons as an adult. Of all the ppl you grow up with, some you outgrow.

This is not meant as a negative perspective on someone like Jack, but more an opportunity for you to help him mature. You can’t make him grow up and mature, but if you are friends and maybe “outgrowing” him, maybe you can help him get over the rejection and be honest with him.

Sometimes a little distance can be all that’s needed to mature, room to grow and such, but I hope somehow you can circle back and help him understand he’s being a jerk.” FrozenLizards

Another User Comments:

“Not the jerk. He’s kind of a jerk. While it’s okay to feel hurt for being rejected like that, he took it to a vindictive place, which is not okay.

That said, you guys are in high school. That’s kind of par for the course when you’re that age. Most grow out of it, but some don’t. We can only hope that he’s one of the ones that do.” Yohfay

2 points (2 votes)

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TeaLikeTheDrink 2 months ago
Dude, you got lucky you had good friends who had your back. Good riddance to rotten meat. You shouldn't have even had to ask. NTJ
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10. AITJ For Refusing To Talk To My Roommate?


“So, I live in a foster family together with another girl. We are both 17 and live upstairs, fairly secluded from the rest of the family, so it’s pretty similar to a normal apartment since we do all the work upstairs ourselves. I’ve lived here for about 6 months and she (let’s call her Kate) has lived here for a year and 2 months, so I’m the newcomer, I guess.

I’m relatively inept with women (have lived a very isolated life, because of problems I won’t get into here) but I initiated a conversation with Kate after the first week or so since I didn’t wanna live next to someone and never talk to them. We got along really well and ended up spending lots of time and doing practically everything together.

Most people who saw us probably assumed we were a couple because of the way we interacted, like filling our texts to each other with hearts and kissy faces. We were really close and talked about literally everything.

So naturally, I got a bit of a crush on her (no need to tell me getting into relationships with roommates, and especially someone in your foster family, is bad) and forever alone me decided to summon the courage to ask her out.

I did, and while I was kind of disappointed by the rejection, I was expecting this (in my opinion she’s way out of my league) and completely understood. I have not brought it up since, out of respect.

One day I went to pick Kate up from school, and she made me wait around 20 minutes before finally coming over.

Turns out she was talking to this guy (let’s call him Tom) and they’re alright friends but no one she’d actually hang out with (according to her), just someone who’s somewhat alright to pass the time in school. I did ask Kate if she had any interest in him, to which she plainly said no and that she’s not attracted to people like him.

After this I meet Tom a few times when picking Kate up and figure that to potentially make me less jealous (because I really don’t want to be, I know I’m not entitled to be and it makes me feel really bad) I should talk to him a bit and get to know him.

I find out Tom’s a recent immigrant from some middle-eastern country and has only been here for just over a year, but can already speak our language well enough to be understood, which is pretty cool. I don’t get super friendly with him but I can tell he’s a good guy.

Kate occasionally tells me stories of her hanging out with Tom, some include: Once he brought her with him to where he lived, which was some shelter-esque arrangement with other immigrants living in rooms nearby.

Tom hadn’t prepared her for this at all and it frankly scared her when they were watching TV and suddenly around 10 immigrants appear in the doorway. Kate told me she never wanted to go with him again.

Another time, according to Kate, our foster parents brought Tom to our house (almost) against her wishes.

Kate didn’t say anything as she has a hard time standing up for herself, and had to endure the day together with him. After Tom left, she told me she never wanted him at our house again.

Now that the backstory’s over and done with, let’s get to the main incident…

Just a few days ago, I went to the mall to buy winter clothes for a vacation I was leaving for the next day.

I had to get up at 6:30 the next day (which will be important later), and I’m very much not a morning person. When I came back, I expected it to be just me and Kate but apparently, she had brought Tom home. I obviously remembered what she’d said about never bringing him home and how she doesn’t really wanna be friends with him, but I held my tongue and figured whatever, she can do what she likes.

I went upstairs and did some stuff on my computer while hearing them downstairs clearly having a good time.

Tom was still around when it started getting pretty dark, so I texted Kate to ask if he was sleeping over. She said no. She also texted me asking “what are you up to?” to which I replied, “not much, you?” No reply.

This happened a few times during the evening.

Around 8:30, they went up to her room and just a short while later, I hear noises that sound distinctly like hooking up. I listen for a few minutes to really make sure that’s what I’m hearing. They were only like 10 feet and a door away from me, and she made quite the piercing noises.

I put my headphones on and play loud music to try and block it out as it’s making me feel sick.

After a little while, Tom exits the room, comes up to me, and says “I’m leaving, see ya” like normal. I say goodbye to him and go back to my computer.

Maybe 15 minutes later Kate also leaves the room and comes up to me and asks me why I’m not sleeping. The conversation went something like this:

Kate: Hey, why aren’t you sleeping? Don’t you have to get up early tomorrow?

Me: Yeah, but I can’t sleep.

Kate: Oh, why not?

Me: Well, you were making quite the noise in there.

Kate: Did you try to sleep?

Me: No, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t sleep to that noise.

Kate: What noises?

Me: I’m pretty sure you know.

Kate: We haven’t really made noises.

Besides, you kept me up until 5 AM yesterday when you were at the computer.

Me: I’m sorry, but you didn’t tell me or complain yesterday.

Kate: Well, you didn’t complain either.

At this point, I’m just baffled and shake my head and turn back to the computer. She leaves and doesn’t talk to me for the rest of the evening.

Now, a few days later, I’m on said vacation.

I felt really crappy that whole night and couldn’t sleep for crap, so I didn’t feel well in the morning either. Since then, Kate has texted me once, late on the day I left, asking how I was doing and if I had done any skiing, complete with kissy faces and hearts and everything, seemingly pretending yesterday didn’t happen.

That was two days ago now and I have not replied. She’s also sent me two snaps on Snapchat, which I have not viewed.

This is the longest time we’ve gone without talking since we met. I feel really hurt by her actions and any romantic feelings I may have had for her died the same moment I heard them fool around in her room.

I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do now. Part of me wants to never talk to her ever again, but I’m still going to be living with her, and I don’t want to make a nightmare for myself. I know I haven’t given her a chance to explain anything but seeing as she hasn’t acknowledged anything even happened, I haven’t really wanted to hear her side.

I’ve decided to not do anything rash until I get my mind together.

What I want to know though, roughly summarized, is this:

Am I the jerk for not talking to her at all because I feel hurt and betrayed about this whole situation? Or am I just too entitled and overly jealous about someone else getting with her and should chill out?”

Another User Comments:

“You both are the jerks.

Kate doesn’t owe you anything, as people have said… EXCEPT the common courtesy that should be afforded to people who live together. Loud hooking up is generally crappy to do when someone is in the next room over. Not being respectful of others’ schedules is also not great.

But you, guy. You’re way overreacting, especially after she did something people don’t normally do.

Be straight with you. She told you to your face that things weren’t gonna happen. You said, “Sure, I get it.” But did you? Did you really?

The sounds “made you feel sick”. Angry, I get it. A headache, I get. Stomach pains? That’s the sort of thing people have going on when they’re feeling pretty sorry for themselves.

Your description of events makes you both sound wicked childish.

I get that you’re 17, but it’s hard to muster sympathy when she’s talking crap about someone’s home life, and you’re sitting there waiting for when it’s finally your turn.

One last thing. If any romantic feelings were dead, you wouldn’t be so broken up about the whole thing. The day you wake up and feel nothing? That’s the day it’s over.” robotronica

Another User Comments:


You are the jerk here. It is never easy when you have feelings for someone and they don’t return the feelings, but that is just how it is. She isn’t obligated to return your feelings. It seems your head understands this, but your heart doesn’t. You are clearly very jealous of her and Tom.

You said you thought she was trying to make you jealous. Frankly, it most likely has nothing to do with you at all. She had feelings for Tom. She is allowed to. It isn’t your business what they do together. You are bitter about it because you are jealous.

You need to find a better way to handle this rejection.

She turned you down. It isn’t going to happen. You need to make your peace with it. Maybe you can take it to the school counselor or someone you trust. Hanging on to all this is only going to cause bad blood between you. It’s okay to be hurt. You can’t help that, but you can adjust your attitude.” Viperbunny

Another User Comments:

“I mean…

I see what other people are saying, but she’s the jerk more than you are here. I mean, definitely drop the jealousy stuff. Start talking to her again, just make sure she knows that you have no feelings for her and that she should stop sending kissy faces and hearts. I, personally, see that as more of a taunting thing.

Like she’s getting back at you for something. Regardless, you’ve been a bit of a jerk, but she’s the main issue.” LoganS_

Another User Comments:

“You are the jerk.

I have been in a similar situation, it’s difficult to let someone down and then remain friends with them. You are acting like a jealous partner who caught their partner being unfaithful. This is not the case.

She is most likely trying to shield you from her interest I imagine you make clear with the probing questions that you are trying to find out if she is romantic with other people.” KettleLogic

2 points (2 votes)

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Foofer 2 months ago
Shoulda "snapped" her. A video, her making noise in background....
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9. AITJ For Ending My Relationship At A Bad Time?


“This has been on my mind for a long time ever since I did the deed so to speak. Over the summer I ended a relationship with my long-term SO. I know for a fact that it wasn’t a very good breakup for her at all.

Background: She (19F) and I (19M) had known each other since the beginning of high school.

We went out on and off. 1st time was sophomore year and it ended badly. Went out every weekend, and did typical partner stuff, but she didn’t want to advertise it at school. That’s fine whatever. After 6 months my friend said he saw her with another guy at lunch. I confronted her about it and she said she didn’t know she and I were in a relationship.

Whatever. I moved on.

Several months passed and we got together again. I made it “official” or whatever (relationships are confusing) and we were fine. I get a text randomly out of the blue one day saying she wants to end it, but won’t give me a reason. She had a 4th of July party the next night that I was still invited to, so I went.

Saw her there with her new guy. Confronted her again and she said that he was her 1st love and wanted to see if he changed (irony is a witch), but didn’t want to be unfaithful to me. Needless to say, I was angry and we never spoke for 2 years I think?

Fast forward to junior year.

I left halfway through the year to become home-schooled. Got an email from her randomly apologizing for everything she’s done to me, and wanting to reconnect. My thought process was “she’s matured a lot, I’d be fine to give it another chance, but no plans on being together.” Well, one thing led to another and we ended up back in the saddle together.

College: 2.5 years was our last stretch. We went to the same college and lived together after our 1st year in the dorms. We fought here and there while at the dorms, a lot of which was her not being able to communicate with me at all. She couldn’t tell me if something was wrong, what her opinions were on certain things, or make decisions on absolutely anything.

Every argument I defused the best I could. We never had weeks of no talking or stupid passive-aggressive crap, just arguments that resulted in her crying a lot for fear she would lose me. I did always communicate if there was something wrong between us. Mainly her inability to communicate, how she didn’t seem to care about money, and she seemed to put herself first.

I had to help her with everything regardless of what I was doing. I had to help her pack, get on her butt about getting ready to go, and had to help her study, but with very little reciprocation from her.

Most things were defused but then we moved in together. Now she had brought one of her horses to college with her.

I was against this from the start, but I never argued with her about it. Her animals are her responsibility, and I understand it’s emotional. I was annoyed when she said she couldn’t give up her horse because it means too much to her. I had quite a few pets but I found them all homes because I know college is a large financial and time burden.

It was hard but I did it.

Moving in: When it came time to move in together I let her really find a place. She had to look for a place to house the horse on the property, because she just COULD NOT drive to her horse, and she would not budge on that fact.

I helped with a large list of places, that did horse boarding, but not knowing what was needed she had free rein. We ended up moving into some duplexes on the same boarding facility as her horses (she had brought down another one of hers and her mini-horse). That was a nightmare.

I found out she had no plans to get a job before moving there and only got one out of luck at the boarding facility on site. She said she didn’t have time, while I was working 2 jobs and other EC activities. We had to share a bedroom, and I was not happy.

She had to have her massive waterbed (9ft by 4 ft) in a 10 ft by 10 ft room. She could have her things, but I was limited in what things I could bring. I was technically not a resident there, the landlord was cool with us, but I was told if the city inspects it then I am not there.

And on top of that, we were 30 minutes away from the campus, with 1 vehicle (mine), and then she brought her dog with her that during the school year we would have to come back and check on her twice a day. Our gas bill, with me driving to work alone was $300 monthly.

So stuff got bad and we argued about the same stuff. She couldn’t talk to me about anything, her still being absurdly dependent on me for everything and just general day-to-day bull crap. This was not 1 way either. I was told that I get frustrated easily and curse a lot when I am mad.

So I watched my words when I was upset, and tried not to be frustrated, but honestly, it was just her bull crap that was making me mad. So it progressed and these fights kept progressing. Nothing breakup worthy by themselves, but altogether it was a mess.

The Trip: Then the catalyst.

I took a trip to big bend for 2 weeks at the end of summer. I actually convinced her not to go, because I knew she couldn’t handle the hikes, I didn’t want to hear the complaining, and I know she was going to be worried about the animals. I admit it was a slimeball thing to do, but I was thinking for myself.

I didn’t tell her those reasons but she agreed to it. Definitely a jerk for that. but I digress. Got into a huge fight the day before. I was still planning, packing, etc. and we had to go home (3 hrs away) for a few days leading up to the trip.

She HAD to see her family and whatnot.

So I did what I could do and told her that we will just have to leave early on Sunday (the trip left Monday at 6 AM). Then it came. On Saturday she had a fit at me because she NEVER gets to see her family and I wanted to go see my grandparents.

We went home at least once a month and we both slept at her family’s house. I would see my family for 2-3 hours tops at a time. Then Sunday came around, and she was upset because I wanted to leave at 10 AM to pack and get things ready, plus go to the stores.

That was too early, we fought and ended up leaving at 5 PM.

It was Sunday evening in the bible belt. Nothing was open when we rolled back into town after fighting for almost 3 hours. I just let it go not wanting to be mad at her before leaving on a trip.

The next day we ride over there so she can drop me off. There were around a dozen other people there for the trip. She starts going off on the people I’m going to hate on this trip. Rude, and wrong. I ended up becoming really good friends with the ones she pointed out.

On the trip, I did a lot of thinking. Only got 4 hours of sleep a night from this.

Talked to a few unbiased patrons and came to the conclusion that I should end it before it hits a breaking point. Didn’t want to end it on too bad terms. And she really was a good friend.

Get back from the trip and that just escalates quickly. She pulled up and was angry because I didn’t run down and lift her up out of the truck and swing her around or something (her words not mine). I just got off of a 10-hour van ride and pulled my shoulder on the trail.

I explained but she was still angry. She then got more ticked off that I was waiting on someone. One of my new friends on the trip had forgotten her stuff, so I was waiting for her to come back. She did, I brought it to her and hugged her goodbye.

My SO believed that I was acting tired around her just so I wouldn’t have to do anything, and I was suddenly energetic around my friend. We argued until 4 AM. The next day I went out and found an apartment, and ended it with her that night. Had my bags packed up and I told her I wanted to end it before I end up hating her.

1st words out of her darn mouth were “I don’t know what I’m going to do.” She cried and whatnot and then came all the bull crap.

I was told I was emotionally manipulative and unreasonable. I did this 5 days before school started again and that was apparently too much crap for her.

I was told that I should have done this during school when classes had settled or during the winter break. I merely contested that I could not lie to someone for months about how I felt especially in a relationship that was failing. I also contested that there is no good time for a breakup.

I didn’t mull around. I did what I thought was right.

A few weeks ago we met up for coffee so I could get a few things I left. I apologized for how things ended and how I didn’t want to fight as much. We had a lot of history together, which I don’t think was wasted.

She kept throwing in there the guys she was hanging around and how she kissed the bassist of LA GUNS. I don’t know if I am overanalyzing or if she’s trying to make me jealous. I’m not a jealous type at all. Now, this is a me rant, but she really did love me.

She did everything in her power to make me happy, and she still is, in some weirdly disconnected way my best friend. I had a lot of fun with her in between the fights and I do miss a lot of things. Things were not 24/7 bad between us, it’s just I saw where it was going and didn’t want to end up enemies.

I just want to know am I the jerk here for crushing her heart and doing so right before school started?”

Another User Comments:

“It’s not a jerk move to break up at any point in time.

As you pointed out, there’s no “perfect” timing for a breakup. Even if the relationship was at a good/stable point, the “coming out of nowhere” of a breakup would still be devastating and bring about the same thoughts/feelings as the relationship at a low point.

At a low point, you would just have a catalyst, and it would be harder to explain the bigger picture and bring the other person to understand it wasn’t just the catalyst event alone as the cause of the breakup.

Sounds like you did yourself a favor, and avoided putting yourself through more unnecessary misery.

While each argument may not have been enough to end the relationship on its own, what you’ve pointed out are red flags; lack of/inability to communicate, unwillingness to negotiate, etc.

So, while each instance wouldn’t merit termination, the underlying cause of the argument would be.

By telling you about other guys, does seem like she’s trying to make you jealous, unless you had asked her if she was seeing anyone else, or it came up as part of the conversation. If she’s just randomly volunteering the information, most likely she is trying to get a rise out of you.

Doesn’t matter if you’re a jealous type or not, or if she knows that about you or not.” wolfie084

Another User Comments:

“I mean, you’re not a jerk, but you also could have handled it better if you have the fortitude to do it. I’ve had to do it before because of really bad timing, as in tech week and finals at the same time bad timing and I was glad I did it.

There would be the moment, like your 4 am moment, where I would realize that the relationship was over, and then just stay at a low neutral level of affection, like just enough that it isn’t stressing them out, until you’re in a less crappy time for a breakup.” paulacaley

Another User Comments:

“Ahh, the amazing young years relationship.

Ya, it was awesome but that’s only because you haven’t met another girl who really meshes with who you are. She did the typical young girl thing of manipulating your emotions through all the fighting and whatnot. She tried to make you jealous by talking about her making out with some musician. It’s all a smoke show bro. You made the right choice so just move on, get a gym membership and pick yourself up. Definitely not the jerk.” radseven89

2 points (2 votes)

User Image
TeaLikeTheDrink 2 months ago
NTJ. No good time to end things and it seriously sounds like a super toxic and manipulative relationship on her part. Using you for everything, not communicating, gaslighting...yeah...she's toxic.
3 Reply

8. AITJ For Leaving A Friend In Debt?


“A little background: My husband and I started a business a few years ago, a café open during the summer and an internet store, and after a few months, a guy with interest in the niche we were in (name here: Peter) started to work for us and we became fast friends.

Peter was a nice man but very depressed.

Because we were just starting up we couldn’t pay him a lot (14 USD/hour) so we made a deal, but a very vague one. Peter was going to work for us and work hard and we would give him a piece of our business.

After a year or so we were tired of him not really doing his share (normal working hours) and we had a talk. Peter said he had stopped doing his share because he knew he wasn’t going to get a piece of the business and we all agreed that we all had communicated really badly.

Because the summer season was coming, we said “all right, let’s put this discussion on hold for now and talk about it after the summer.”

As if we had learned nothing at all from communicating badly, we both drew our own conclusions from the meeting: we thought Peter should keep on being just an employee because he was kind of ineffective but that we’d talk about it after the summer, whereas Peter thought he was going to work his butt off to prove he was worthy of being a part of the company.

And so he did. He worked hard during the summer and we didn’t pay attention.

Come winter, he’s been sacking off for a while and I talk to him again. Peter gets really angry and we all agree that we’ve been bad at communicating (again). However, this time he wants to quit, we want to fire him but he also wants compensation for his overtime.

This is fair (even though he was super inefficient for a long time after the summer). But Peter wants five months’ pay! That’s 830 hours of overtime and he’s only worked with us for about a year and a half. When he says this, it’s in an email, he says we should never pay people under the table (which we had done in the beginning) and that he cares about us and would not want to see us locked up in jail.

It’s not the disguised threat that makes us agree, it’s some kind of state of total forgiveness and spiritual surrender.

So we paid him and stopped talking.

During the several months we didn’t talk, Peter started his own business, in the same niche, importing a brand that we already had started selling, and became their head distributor in Sweden. So we had to go through him to buy their products all of the sudden.

This ticked us off a while because we had talked to them about distribution first but we quickly forgot about it.

After almost a year, Peter wrote to me and said he missed me (we had been closer friends than he and my husband) and asked if we could see each other again.

I was a bit hesitant but after a while, we did start to hang out.

As I previously stated Peter suffers from depression and I quickly started caring a lot for him again, mothering instincts maybe. He was alone and had no children and he wanted a family so sometimes we wondered if he liked hanging around with us and our four kids or if it also made him sad.

Anyhow, I crocheted a doll for him while he was really down, drove by, and knocked on his door when nobody could get hold of him and we had long phone conversations.

At the same time, we bought Peter’s merchandise and he worked for our café a little bit, as a chef (he’s slow but makes great food) during the summer.

That’s the background.

Now for the current state of affairs:

Our business hadn’t been going too well for quite some time. When Peter invoiced us for his merchandise, I had so many other invoices to pay and I paid the people that were most vocal about it first. That meant that I was late paying him and apparently (we didn’t know this) he lost his bank credit because of our late payments.

And then he stopped invoicing us, yet continued to provide us with his merchandise. He invoiced us really, really slowly but I thought he did that with everyone (now I think he was slow with everyone but even more with us).

In the spring of last year, I started telling Peter he had to start invoicing us.

I was scared of him doing it all at once as we did owe him quite a bit of money. So maybe I acted that way when I told him to send us invoices. Maybe I said, “Oh, we’re happy if you don’t but please do.”

Come summer and our internet business is doing really badly now so we decide we won’t have time for the café this year, we need to put all our focus on the internet part.

We offer Peter to take care of the café. He gets all the revenues and pays all costs BUT we pay the rent. He says yes and my father, who’s been working with him in the kitchen before, goes along with it. All costs for the café are invoiced to us and then we invoice him (but not the rent).

Also, he buys merchandise from us now, to sell in the café. I give him good prices and tell him he doesn’t have to hurry in paying.

I start telling Peter more often to invoice us now, because our accountant is mad about him not paying his invoices to us and I tell her, well that’s because we owe him a lot of money, but there are no traces of us owing him money (equals no invoices).

During fall it becomes obvious we have to do something; our business is going down.

We ask Peter if he wants to take over the café and we all agree that he will start paying the rent by himself in September and that we will get the rental contract over to him as soon as we can. Which we do later in that fall but his contract starts in February.

I tell him more and more often he should write invoices to us as we don’t know where our company is going.

But I also expressed optimism about the company because we thought we had found a way out.

We had a supplier (Bopp) who was very interested in our company and offered to buy it. Bopp was going to buy it by talking to everyone that we owed money to and making them lower their debts.

Then they would pay off our debts. They said it was important NOT to put the business into business failure because of legal aspects.

BUT all of the sudden, after talking to some lawyers, Bopp decided they were going to buy our brand, our internet store, and our stock but ask us to put the actual company into business failure.

We didn’t really have a choice, we couldn’t save the company anyway, but it was also a relief.

I told Peter a week or so later, after the fact (it took less than a week for us between knowing and actually handling the paperwork), and cried a little and he gave me a hug.

I tried to reach Peter after that but wasn’t succeeding (very common for him, being depressed and all) so I drove to his house a few weeks later, asked him how he was doing, and asked him how our situation had affected him.

As one might imagine, when going out of business there are millions of thoughts, fears, and concerns and yes, this was the first time I thought of Peter. He said it had hit him hard and that he had sent his invoices to the lawyers handling our case. I said I was sorry, I said I didn’t want any of this to affect our friendship and I cried because I realized what we had done to him.

I said that we’d do anything we could to help him and we hugged. He said he appreciated what I had said. I left and it felt like we still were friends and would work it out.

Then, Peter completely blocked me out of his life. Didn’t answer his phone or messages on social media.

After Christmas I wrote him a message on social media saying all right, what can we do about what we owe you (about 10.000 dollars)? You owe us 4000 in invoices and 3000 in rent, there’s inventory in the café for about 1000 (actually worth much more, see below). Can we pay my father’s salary for the remaining 2000?

No answer.

Phone, no answer. Finally went to his house this weekend and knocked, no answer. I heard music and opened the door, it was open so I yelled “Hello” and “Peter”. No answer. I went to talk to the neighbor for a few minutes and then went back. I saw his partner in the window, smiled and waved at her.

She stared at me as you would when seeing your beloved’s worst enemy. I knocked again, and she turned away and called on him. Nobody let me in.

I wrote to her that night on social media. Said I didn’t want to try and make her change sides or anything but we’ve been trying hard to find a solution with him…

She didn’t answer but Peter finally did.

His letter was drenched in contempt. His points were that he was trying to help us and be nice when he didn’t invoice us and never thought we would “give him the finger”. He said we could’ve written over all the inventory on him before going out of business and we’d be even but we didn’t have the decency to even contact him beforehand.

He said we had clumsily lost all of his remaining money and now he had to take an expensive loan that he’d have to pay interest on for seven years to even be able to run the café until the season starts and that he wasn’t going to owe us anything for rent because the deal that he would pay the rent went out the window the moment we told him to screw himself.

The inventory left in the café is worth about 6000-7000 USD.

Of course, I have written and tried to convince him that he’s wrong but that’s not important. I have now sent a message saying “we were going to leave you the inventory at the café and we still are. Here’s a list of what it is and how much it’s worth.

But. You need to admit this inventory and the café is actually worth something. If you don’t do that, we’ll come and get it this weekend. And we will pay you the remaining 2000 USD when we can.”

Are we the jerks considering the following:

I don’t think his pride will allow him to reply.

If we get the remaining inventory he won’t have a base to start running the café even if we do pay him cash eventually. He will probably fail due to this. He will be in debt for a long time with a worthless café, a long rental contract, and no inventory to sell.

And considering his depressed state he will have a hard time getting a job.”

Another User Comments:

“I don’t think you’re a jerk for selling off a business that you clearly didn’t know how to run, but I do think you’re a jerk for knowingly not paying your employees, and then not paying your supplier.

Yes, same person, but seriously.

Let’s assume for a minute that you weren’t friends. If you ordered stock and didn’t receive an invoice from a company you weren’t familiar with, you’d hound them to pay your debt. He worked with a company you used to be in good standing with. You knew you owed him money, but you said, it’s OK we’re inexplicably friends even though I completely screwed him over once before.

I’ll just assume we don’t have to pay him for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON.

You made promises over and over to this poor guy, for years, with no intention of following through.

Like, oh my god, how do you not realize you’re awful??

You expect us to believe that you had a conversation with this guy where you decided to keep him on as a crappy employee and not make good on the promise to let him in on the company.

And then when he came away from that conversation with the expectation that he be allowed to prove himself by working hard, you didn’t bother to correct him. You just mistreated his good work ethic for the second time, with no intention of making good on your deal.

How did you even own a business?! If I were him, I’d have sued you into the dirt, over and over.

He should never have continued doing business with you, and in the end, he got completely screwed over. You were finally going to give him what you owed, and promised him repeatedly, only to sell out from under him, and not pay him off, in the final hours.


You are unbelievable and I hope for his sake he meets some better friends and coworkers.” BranWendy

Another User Comments:

“I don’t think you’re a jerk.

You asked him a few times to invoice you, and if he had then he wouldn’t have been hit so hard by this. Any effect this has on him is a result of his own bad business practices, not yours. It sucks that you were friends and this has gotten in the way of that, but that’s often the way that friendship works when money is involved.

You may never be friends again, and that’s a shame. But if you were in the wrong then he’d have options for legal recourse.” modernbenoni

Another User Comments:

“Ok, am I misreading this?

I don’t think OP is a jerk for this other guy Peter’s personal and commercial problems. It sounds to me like Peter doesn’t understand how to manage cash flow, and was totally cool with essentially giving away thousands of dollars of inventory without so much as a scrap of paper to prove it.

The OP can’t pay an invoice she doesn’t have, and it sounds like she made a few good-faith efforts to obtain said invoices. I really don’t understand all the jerk responses here, unless, as I’ve said, I’m missing something.” SpoopsThePalindrome

2 points (2 votes)

7. AITJ For Being Unhappy With My Friend?


“So, I don’t think I am the jerk in this situation for my actions, I’m just curious if I’m a jerk for getting upset about something dumb, or if this is a legitimate reason to be ticked off at someone. I have some mental illness and as a result, I have a bit of a victim complex.

I hashed this out with my fiancé many times, at first, he said it’s no big deal, but now after hearing the same story many times he says he sees why I’m upset. But I’d like some fresh perspective.

So there’s this girl I work with, let’s call her Sue. Sue is a friend of mine, we actually hang out outside of work, and we talk at great lengths about personal matters.

I’ve known her for years. She has been with her partner for 6-7 years, they lived together at Sue’s parents up until about a year ago when they got a place of their own. For a great deal of their relationship, he did not work, just generally a deadbeat.

I have been with my partner relatively shorter, we have been together for around 2 and a half years.

Our relationship was rocky at the start and had quite a few on-and-off hiccups (again – mental illness). I got the help I needed and completed therapy, he worked through his issues, and things were good for a while, so this past summer we moved in together. In December he proposed.


Now, as excited as I was that he got down on one knee and gave me jewelry, it wasn’t really a “surprise.” We had been talking about marriage for the last year, and around the time we moved in together, we began making plans. We wanted something small – either just going away and eloping, or a courthouse ceremony with our family.

We (well, I) decided it would be nice to have more family there, so we wanted to put the wedding on the back burner until we have the funds, and I told him I might like a ring. And he got me a ring!

Now Sue was very unsupportive of the “eloping” idea.

She kept insisting it was too soon, and we needed to wait to get to know each other better. And I could see where she was coming from, as at the start of our relationship, I vented to her a great deal about what a jerk he was. But that was years ago, and I think friends should let you vent about being frustrated at your partner and then still be happy for you when you say you’re getting married! But I can see where she was coming from, I guess.

My family was much more excited about the proposal than they were when I told them “we’re probably going to have a courthouse wedding in a few months.” I think it felt more “real” to them.

And to be honest, it did to me too, for silly reasons I guess, but it did. Sue was not excited for me at all and this is the part that upset me. The day after he proposed, I came into work and was showing off my ring, everyone was doing the obligatory “oo-ing” and “ah-ing” and “OMG it’s so sparkly!” And I joked that I was nervous to wear it to work because it might snag on something (we work with our hands a lot).

Which is when Sue launched into great detail about how when she has a ring, she’s going to wear it to work for the first week, and then maybe wear it on days we do certain activities at work, and not others, etc.

It kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I get that she was trying to stay relevant to the conversation, but for once in my life, the conversation was just about me. I’m not the kind of person who likes the spotlight, I didn’t even tell half of the people I work with that I got engaged – I just waited for them to find out.

But this really was a big exciting moment for me, and I just wanted my friends to be happy for me, not start talking about them.

She asked me literally nothing about wedding plans (she’s like Pinterest obsessed, into that kind of crap), still hasn’t to this day, and honestly, it hurt because she is my friend and she just didn’t give a crap.

Later that same night, she brought up how she was going to a wedding the upcoming weekend and it was a private ceremony, and I asked what that was all about (never heard of that) and she gave me details of who the people were, and what she was wearing, and how the ceremony and reception were set up.

I said “that sounds really cool.. (partner) and I could do something like that. We don’t want everyone there for the ceremony, that’s not the fun part” and she just disregarded everything I said, and said “yeah I don’t know what my partner and I are going to do yet…. I have so many ideas” and then went on to tell me all her ideas.

Now I’m not saying nobody but me can talk about weddings because I’M THE BRIDE.

I get that she’s very bitter that they’ve been together so long and he still hasn’t proposed (she is constantly talking about how “she better have a ring on her finger by spring” and “it’s been 7 years I am planning a wedding as soon as I get that ring on my finger”- in response to me waiting until my partner is finished school).

But I feel like it’s really crappy that she couldn’t put her bitterness aside for ONE DAY, honestly the day I told everyone at work my happy news, the day I was trying to share MY news and MY plans with my friends, she couldn’t not talk about herself and make it all about her.

Am I the (overly sensitive) jerk here?”

Another User Comments:

“I can sympathize with your feelings here, and I don’t think you’re wrong or a jerk, but I do think you’re spending a lot more energy on this than is called for.

Some people are just really self-focused. It’s not fun when these people trample you, but rather than taking it personally, I suggest you take it as a reason not to expect two-way conversations with this friend of yours. It doesn’t sound like you like her very much anyway. I’d say be comfortable knowing that she’s kind of sassy, and let it go.

You have many more exciting things to think about. Congratulations on your engagement!” Iavasloke

Another User Comments:

“There’s nothing like desperation to turn someone into a jerk. She’s angry that she’s invested so much time in a relationship that isn’t checking a very important box for her. Instead of having a proper conversation with her man (and ending the relationship if she’s unhappy), she’s taking her frustration out on you. Because you’ve found the happiness that she’s trying to force.

You’re not a jerk for realizing that your ‘friend’ is obsessed with her situation and can’t just straightforwardly tell you how your good news makes her feel.” geekwonk

2 points (2 votes)

6. AITJ For Expecting My Friend To Accept Me?


“My bestie (call her May) and I met when we were young (she was 16, I was 20). We’ve been friends ever since, staying close (pre-internet!) even when we lived far apart. For the last decade, we have lived in the same town and been very close. We’d usually see each other a couple of times a week, and we have a group of friends that get together at least once a month.

But May has been my best friend my whole adult life.

In the past decade, we have both had ups and downs, because stuff happens. She went through five years of progressively worse pain that resulted in a hysterectomy. She always wanted babies (we met and bonded when she was babysitting a mutual friend’s daughter) and she was obviously crushed by knowing she’d never have her own.

Through all of those years of pain and depression, I was always there for her, as a shoulder to cry on, for distraction when she wanted, or just to listen when she had to explode. Once I stayed with her for two days when her husband feared she might self-harm. In the last year, her life has come together nicely; she and her husband bought a house and a new car and they are preparing to adopt a child.

I’ve seen a lot less of her since they bought the house but it’s out in the country (I can’t drive) so I expected that and haven’t complained.

Meanwhile, my life has fallen apart. I was diagnosed with a chronic, disabling neurological disease, my marriage disintegrated, I can’t work in my field anymore because of my diagnosis, and other life crap.

Through all of it, I have relied on May; she’s the only friend I’ve felt comfortable being totally honest with (besides my therapist), not having to wear a social mask and pretend things are better than they really are. I’m not generally a negative person; even with my life getting harder, I still look forward to every day, and I still expect that things will turn around eventually.

Last night, May came over for a “quick visit.” She told me that she has been coming over less because she can’t handle being my friend while I am “so negative” about life, always focused on what’s going wrong.

She said that she doesn’t have the energy to be there for me when I don’t recognize the good things in life and refuse to “look on the bright side.”

This was completely out of left field. I had no idea that sharing my honest feelings and experiences translated to me being “hopeless” and “negative.” So I asked for an example.

She referred to a conversation we had about whether I should look for a new medical specialist, in which I listed my problems with the current one and asked her advice. When we initially had the conversation she agreed with me that I should look for a new one. Last night she said that instead of focusing on “all those problems” I should just be thankful that I have insurance and can get help, instead of griping about how my specialist isn’t good enough.

Now I feel like I have to sugarcoat every conversation I have with everyone.

I’m also a little bit angry that she’s not willing to be there for me in the same way I was for her. I’ll get over the anger, I know it’s a temporary emotion and I’m never one to hold a grudge. I can’t help feeling disappointed in her though, because I thought she was a good friend and I already miss having someone I can just be myself around, without having to wear a fake “social smile.” Am I the jerk for wanting my friend to accept me for me, even though my life is crappy right now?”

Another User Comments:

“She’s a bit of a jerk here, but there are mitigating factors.

I’ve been on both sides of this coin myself, and to sum it all up: Being around depressed people is hard. Really hard. It can be really emotionally taxing. Some people have a better ability to deal with it than others. Even when you’ve been through it yourself, once you’re through it, it’s really hard to remember what it was like when you were depressed, which limits your ability to empathize with those who do.

The only thing that has stopped me from doing this with some of my depressed friends is the infinite patience they showed me when I was depressed.

So, on the one hand, it is the duty of the friend to have a reciprocal relationship where you give as much as you take.

Particularly when you consider how much you did for her, it isn’t unfair for you to expect the same. On the other hand, I kinda get where she’s coming from. She may not have the reserves of inner strength that it takes to be able to deal with the situation well.” Yohfay

Another User Comments:

“Here’s the thing about depression: It often doesn’t matter that “things look up” for you.

The house, the car, the husband, the adoption… None of those things actually stop a person from being depressed. I don’t know her, or her situation well enough to know anything, but if she really suffers from depression, rather than her just being upset by bad news (which is not the same thing), then she very probably still is suffering.

People who are suffering silently often don’t have time, energy, or patience for other people’s problems, and can often project onto others what they are dissatisfied with themselves.

No, you are not being a jerk.

But I don’t know enough about your friend’s situation to say that she IS being a jerk.

If she’s not actually dealing with something like depression privately, though, then she’s TOTALLY being a jerk, because that’s a crappy thing to do to a friend without a darn good reason.” Vinnie_Vegas

Another User Comments:

“You are certainly not the jerk here.

Sometimes the people we think are friends are actually incredibly selfish when it comes to emotion.

I have a friend who I was always there to help when things blew up in his face, or when he got screwed around with. I figured he’d be there for me, but he wasn’t. In fact, when I got ghosted by my ex, he remained in full contact with her.

He has never apologized, nor has he apologized for the other times he has been a piece of crap to me. I’ve reached the point now where I just can’t trust him anymore, and I actively try to avoid him when I go back to visit the town we went to university in.

I think you need to raise the issue calmly with the friend, and if they continue to be flippant and completely oblivious to YOUR needs, it’s time to take a break from them. You don’t need those kinds of people in your life. They shouldn’t expect you to be there for them if they aren’t there for you.” Penultomato

2 points (2 votes)

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NeidaRatz 1 month ago
Some people have struggles in their life and it makes them more empathetic to others. Other people allow the struggles to define them, their identity becomes the victim who always needs support and attention. They start feeling entitled to the focus always being on them and don't even see their own narcissism. Your "friend" is clearly in the 2nd group. She can't handle not being the focus of attention. She sees you as someone who is there solely to support her and she doesn't care enough about you, or probably anyone else so don't take it personally, to break out of her self centered mindset. Clearly it's a very one sided relationship. Drop her. You aren't the jerk, she very much is.
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5. AITJ For Calling Out My Partner's Speeding?


“My partner (m/21) ‘Allan’ and I (m/27) have been in a relationship for the better part of two years now. He’s recently (in the past year) gotten his license, and is now on his Green Provisional (where we live you have a Learner license, Red Provisional, and Green Provisional, and then your full license).

Previously, I’ve called him out for creeping up over the speed limit when I’m in the car, to which he responds by slowing down, but protests or attempts to excuse it, each time. I used to think that was just his insecurities about someone chastising his actions (he’s got middle child syndrome bad, and it’s exacerbated by the fact that his family doesn’t actually relate to him except to tell him when he’s done something ‘wrong’), and we’re working on that.

He’s also admitted to speeding (‘But not by much!’) when he is driving late at night.

We’ve argued about this previously, and he knows I am very wary of bad driving habits (the city we live in has demonstrably the worst drivers in the country, with a young adult motor vehicle mortality rate that is nauseatingly high – one of our local politicians actually likened it to a meatgrinder).

Every time, I’ve gotten so angry with his casual attitude and responses that I’ve had to tell him to drop the subject.

And so, today has been… Challenging. Our university is doing a cross-discipline theory unit, our lecturer doesn’t know the material, so he and I are both frustrated by that. Furthermore, we have to do a group project which essentially doubles both of our study workloads.

On top of that, Allan has been stressing over his personal assignment for this trimester and is in a position of not really having any inspiration/a nonworkable concept that he’s struggling to turn into a viable project. He’s been sleeping badly, and has contacted his lecturers and tutors but then failed to follow up with a meeting or communicate effectively with them about his problems.

So he’s irritable and anxious, which he then inflicts on me, to which I respond by calling out his behavior. I apologize for snapping at him, he apologizes and acknowledges his behavior, and we move on. But today has been one incident after another, which has left both of us rather irritated.

When I returned home, he’d messaged me to tell me he’d gotten a speeding fine for being 7km/h over the speed limit (want to mention, being under/over the speed limit by 5 km/h here is an offense).

It’s dated from Valentine’s Day, near my suburb, where he’d gone from work to a local supermarket to pick up dessert, and then sped to my house. He has no points left on his Provisional license, and it’s a $100 fine. I’m happy to help him pay it off, but it’s just the perfect end to an overly crappy day.

I said I’d help him pay off the fine, and his response seemed to lack any sort of acknowledgment of the fact that he’d done something wrong.

So I did something very stupid. I asked him to be more mindful of his speed. I really shouldn’t have done that. I just hoped he’d change his attitude or behavior now that he had actually been fined for it. I worried because it seemed completely bizarre to me that there was no contrition or recognition of his error.

And usually, he’s VERY good at acknowledging when he’s been at fault. Immediately, he made the excuse of ‘I’m 7 km/h over’. I nearly lost my mind, but told him I wouldn’t argue about it with him, that even from a monetary perspective, he shouldn’t be doing it, and that we should drop the subject.

His response was ‘Forgive me for not sitting perfectly on the speed limit at 9 PM on an empty street on a Sunday that’s also Valentine’s Day.’ I told him ‘It could be my birthday, my funeral, don’t care.’ I then told him I loved him and that he should go rest – he hadn’t slept more than three hours, and I just needed to leave the conversation because I was furious.

After all this, he literally has tangible evidence of the repercussions of his behavior – which has potentially more dire consequences than a fine and a slap on the wrist – and he’s trying to justify his actions by making it my fault.

Now I just feel kind of hollow and disappointed with his reaction, and I totally admit I shouldn’t have taken the bait, I shouldn’t have started an argument with him about this crap.

I’m hoping it was the crappy day, the aggravation, exhaustion and stress, and getting this crap news on top of all of this, and that he’s just operating from a crappy headspace.

So I know I am the jerk, but I just want to know if I’m the only jerk in this situation.”

Another User Comments:

“Don’t pay the fine.

Certain areas are more intense about speeding than others. I live in the US and the area around one of the universities is really strict, but in more rural areas or different parts of the city, it’s not as big a deal. Partner needs to learn what areas are more “accepting” of higher speeds.

Things may be just stricter overall where you live. I don’t know. In my opinion, he should also respect your wishes when you are driving together.

I think your “jerkness” is coming from a good place because you’re worried about him and see this as a serious threat. But you can’t make him change his mind.

He may have to pay a few more fines.

Maybe put this argument aside until the crappy times are over. Try to relax and deal with more pressing issues right now and get some sleep. And do not help pay the fine.” 5edgy

Another User Comments:

“Wow, I completely disagree with the other comments here.

I find your actions very controlling and condescending, and jerkish.

You are not his parent. Why do you think you get to decide how he drives, or what speed he drives at?

You may not take it as a valid argument, given how strident and sensitive you are to this issue, but he does in fact have a point.

Often, police won’t even bother to stop drivers going less than 10 mph (17km/h) over here in the US, because it’s not really unsafe. Speed limits are to reinforce safe driving. It’s not like 100km/h is perfectly safe but 101 km/h you are suddenly dangerously out of control.

Perhaps the reason you think he’s making excuses is that you refuse to accept a valid argument.

But that’s not the worst of it.

You are his partner, not his parent. Get off his darn back. He’s an adult; treat him like one. Your post makes you sound like a nitpicking, hypercritical parent.

You don’t get to decide or tell him how to drive. Period. You don’t get to scold him. If you don’t want to pay his traffic fines, don’t.

Let him learn HIS lessons, don’t berate him with the ones YOU want him to learn.

You being overly sensitive about speeding is YOUR issue to deal with. Don’t project that onto him. You may be worried about him, but it’s not a reasonable worry (given what you’ve described). That, again, makes it YOUR problem.

If I were him, I would have told you to screw off a long time ago.

You’re lucky he hasn’t.” ShadowMe2

Another User Comments:

“I don’t think you’re a jerk, but I don’t think this is a particularly good way of handling this situation. He can speed if he wants to, and he’s not likely to stop until he grows out of it, or speeding becomes more of a hindrance to him than it’s worth.

Paying his bills is helping to assuage that hindrance, so why do it?

A 21-year-old is probably not going to be convinced to stop speeding by being told it isn’t smart. That’s still an age where you need to see the repercussions of your actions firsthand to really have it sink in.

If you’re worried about his or your safety, phrase it as such. It’ll be harder for him to shrug it off if you make it clear speeding is emotionally traumatizing for you.

But stop paying his tickets, and make it clear you’re not driving him to work/school/etc. if he loses his license due to speeding tickets. It sounds like losing personal freedoms (money, license, etc.) might be the only way he’s going to get that it’s not worth speeding to get to your destination a couple of minutes earlier.” affixqc

2 points (2 votes)

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ankn 1 month ago
Do NOT pay his fine. If YOU pay it, he has no reason not to speed.
2 Reply

4. AITJ For Saying The Truth?


“I am currently in this group project with a couple of people and today, we were deciding on who is going to get how much credit for their work. This is when things start to get heated.

While we all agreed that the team leader and his brother should get the most and least amount of credit respectively for the project thus far, we are having a disagreement on the amount of credit for my work in the project, and this other guy’s credit (Let’s call him Francis).

From the very beginning, Francis latched onto the team out of nowhere when we were assigned to a group for our class but we decided to be nice and let him stay on our team.

Soon after, we saw that he was incompetent in writing and didn’t have the skills that we need for the project but we still decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, seeing how it was only at the beginning and he might need some time to improve.

However, as time went on, we saw that he repeatedly slacked off whenever we meet up to work on our project. We all knew this but nobody wanted to tell him that he’s been burdening us with “babysitting” him and making sure that he does his portion of the project.

And so today, after seeing how he was on his phone again and not paying attention while we were racking our brains on this hard assignment, I decided that it was the last straw for me and called him out on it.

I listed out all the things that he has been doing such as the lack of focus, the lack of quality contributions, and so on (all of which we know are true). But of course, he felt shocked and was genuinely surprised by why I am “low-balling” his contributions when in fact, us remaining three made up most of the contributions in the team.

Apparently, I upset and offended him by telling him something that was all on our minds, even though we should have told him from the very beginning.

To his credit, he did contribute a tiny amount of effort to the team since the team leader assigned him a couple of tasks that he completed.

However, they are completely trivial tasks that any one of us could have done but we wanted to keep him busy (again..BABYSITTING!!). We are all excited about this project and he is the only one who does not have the same drive as well as talents and dedication as the rest of us.

Sure, he is enthusiastic about what we do but when he can’t even pull his own weight – you start to wonder what exactly is he good for and why should we give him this much credit when we have to do the majority of things ourselves? All he had to back up his case were empty promises of getting better and improving when all we have seen so far has been disappointing at best.

How could you trust anyone to improve and get better when they don’t even put the effort into learning new things? For goodness sake, he doesn’t even want to learn the thing that he claimed he was good at when it was in front of him… I rest my case.

I honestly think that my teammates are being too nice to him.

They still believe that he can improve even though he has not done a single thing to prove his worth. This is going to affect our productivity in the future if this keeps going. As far as I’m concerned, we are over-crediting him if he keeps being this way and the project is soon to be finalized.


with all that said, am I the jerk for addressing the elephant in the room and speaking the truth?”

Another User Comments:

“Well, people can’t know what they don’t know. If he completed all of the tasks that you gave him, and you never told him that he wasn’t meeting expectations, then what was he supposed to do? Read your mind?

I think it’s fine that you told him he wasn’t producing as he should be.

More than okay…there’s no other way for him to know. Now that he knows, he should be held to the same standard as everyone else.

You said that he’s enthusiastic, but you wind up babysitting him. Perhaps this is a chance to evaluate your own leadership skills. Every team needs one. Have you adequately explained the project and expectations to every team member? Does each person understand their role and what that entails? Instead of just assigning tasks to him to keep him busy, maybe explain to him how he can learn more on his own to help contribute to the team.

Not every person on every team will have the same set of skills and the same knowledge base as every other person.

I’m not saying you’re a jerk. I’m just saying try to imagine how you would feel if you were part of a team and were lost (maybe not as bright as the other team members) and no one was explaining anything to you, but you did what they asked and one day somebody flips crap because you’re not the strongest member.” hallowbirthweenday

Another User Comments:

“You’re not the jerk for being honest.

Perhaps your group is more of the “jerk” in this situation due to them not backing up your claims properly. If you all expressed your worry maybe he would realize he needed to contribute more and step up the game.

I’d also like to suggest that you give him another “chance” by letting him proofread/edit the body of work so far for general errors. Perhaps he can spot a few errors and up your grade. If he can’t contribute to the editing, especially of the end product (that you all worked hard on), I feel that he shouldn’t get any credit at all.” sevenstorms

2 points (2 votes)

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TeaLikeTheDrink 2 months ago
NTJ...unfortunately, there is always *that* person in a group project. Thus tye reason I regularly worked on 'group' projects by myself. It was easier than having to hold someone's hand or fight over what topics were okay or not.
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3. AITJ For Getting A Classmate In Trouble And Preventing Them From Walking At Graduation?


“I’m a Senior in college, set on graduating this coming spring. This incident took place in the fall semester (which just ended).

One of the final courses I had to take for my minor was Argumentation and Debate—a topic which I both enjoy studying and practicing. The final was a tournament-style debate that awarded the victor and runner-up a grade of 100%, with lower grades given to people who were knocked out quickly.

Needless to say, there was an incentive to be the best.

One of the choices that needed to be made prior to the final was whether or not to disclose your topic to your competition, the benefit being that your opponent could study your topic and come up with some apt retorts.

Now, the majority of my classmates chose one topic to study for the length of the class, as that’s easier than having to study a new topic every time we held a mock debate. Knowing this, I used the same topic for every mock debate except the final, thinking it would give me an edge.

I showed up for the exam period well prepared, having thoroughly researched the topics I thought my opponents were going to have.

The woman who sits next to me, Aastha, greeted me as I walked into the classroom.

(Some quick background on Aastha: she was also a senior, had the same minor as me, and constantly spoke of how she had “stopped caring” about everything college-related because she was close to graduation.)

As I got situated, Aastha asked if I had received the email that she sent out to those who were debating that day.

‘What email?’ I inquired. Apparently, she had sent an email out to make sure that everyone was going to debate topics they had been practicing the entire semester.

Now, I have a VERY common name, John Smith, and there are countless people who share a similar email to mine in my school’s directory.

I asked which email she sent it to, and—surprise, surprise—it was the wrong one. Happens all the time.

I said it wasn’t a big deal, I already knew most of the topics. She agreed, then followed up by saying she researched the topic I had been debating all semester and was “ready for the battle.” Then I told her I changed my topic.

This visibly upset her (which does make me feel a bit crappy). She demanded to know the new topic so that she could start researching it ASAP. I told her that I wasn’t going to disclose it. She responded by shouting, “THIS ISN’T A COMPETITION,” to which I replied, if you think that’s true, then you won’t have a problem with me keeping my topic to myself.

At this point, I walked out of the room.

I didn’t feel like debating over the ethics of my choice, and I wasn’t about to stand there and let her yell at me till class started.

As I left, I saw my professor (Prof. Hemingway) down the hall. He’s a good guy. He and I have been friends since my freshman year.

We chatted a bit, then headed inside the classroom.

As we walked through the door, I looked over to my seat (toward the front) and saw Aastha pulling stuff out of my backpack, looking through my papers.

Aastha is not my friend. I did not give her permission to go through my things.

This ticked me off.

And in a strange coincidence, it ticked off my professor, too. He stopped her, asked her if she knew what she was doing, and she kind of smirked, put down my stuff, and sat back in her seat. Prof. Hemingway gave me a ‘huh’ look, I returned it, shrugged, then sat down.

We went through the debates, and it was fine, I was runner-up. Aastha got knocked out immediately (not by me).

Following the class, my professor pulled me aside to get the scope of what happened. I told him the exact story above, and he said that he was going to see what he could do.

I figured he was going to bump ten points off her score or something. Then, the following day, I got an email saying that I was urgently needed at Dean Black’s office, who runs the College of Arts and Science at my university.

When I got there he and Prof. Hemingway had laid out several forms and looked as though they had been discussing the topic for hours.

Then they laid out their opinion.

You see, my school is progressive in terms of the protection of property and privacy, and Aastha had made a big mistake.

Long story short, they considered what she did not only a violation of privacy, but because I had chosen not to disclose my topic, they also considered her actions attempts at both plagiarism and harassing another student with the intention of aiding them in plagiarizing.

Over winter break, they took her to academic court on my behalf.

Things did not turn out well for Aastha. I was forwarded the decision that the court came to. She was given a zero on the exam (but didn’t fail the class), and she was stripped of the right to walk at graduation.

And that’s where my story ends. I have a lot of friends in the communication department.

All of them know her. The group is split on whether or not I did the right thing in requesting that she be taken to academic court. The ones who think I overreacted now avoid me, which I get.

I have mixed feelings as well. There are days when I know I did the right thing—usually followed by days racked with guilt over the situation I caused.

Please tell me, am I the jerk?”

Another User Comments:

“Hmm, during most of your narrative, you use a pretty passive voice with regards to the actions of the prof and the Dean, so I had the impression that all of the negative consequences your classmate experienced were out of your hands.

But then right at the end, your wording indicates that you requested the academic court. I’m curious, which is it?

You didn’t tattle on her – the issue was witnessed by the prof, and you answered direct questions regarding the background.

Long story short, you’re not the jerk overall. I guess it would be fair to consider you a little bit of a jerk for treating the assignment that competitively, but the rules were clear, and you were ethical.

If you did go out of your way to request punishment, then again, you’re a bit of a jerk.

But she and her friends shouldn’t hold you responsible for her bad behavior.” smnytx

Another User Comments:

“You’re both jerks.

She’s a jerk for violating your privacy and attempting to be fraudulent.

You’re a jerk because the students clearly had an understanding that they would use the same topics to give everybody a fair chance.

You may have not gotten the email, but you knew. Of course you did. That’s how kids in college classes operate. You knowingly went outside of that to give yourself an advantage.

Furthermore, you say you enjoy debate, but you picked a topic for which you knew your opponent wouldn’t be prepared.

If you really enjoyed debate, you would want a challenging opponent that had the opportunity to prepare.

Did you break the rules? No, but you are a jerk.” OhMyTruth

Another User Comments:

“I mean, I think it’s crappy that you didn’t want to share your debate topic for whatever selfish reason. Yeah, you didn’t have to tell her what it was but you could have.

If I knew at the last minute that someone was withholding information that was detrimental to my grades I would be pretty ticked off too.

Not justifying that she went through your things, however, but it just seemed selfish and a bit immature in my opinion. Could have avoided the whole thing if you would’ve just lightened up about it.” dougiemeowserMD

Another User Comments:

“If you didn’t have a choice as to whether they would ‘press charges’ then I think you’re not the jerk. You set out with what might be considered a little bit of a jerk strategy, but not one that someone couldn’t have anticipated, nor one that was against the rules.” the-incredible-ape

1 points (1 votes)

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TeaLikeTheDrink 2 months ago
NTJ...A.) college in general tends to be a competition, and when grades are on the line as incentive, yes, it's 100% a competition. B.) You did not have to disclose your topic and did not receive the email and thusly prepared a new topic to give yourself a better chance. Nothing wrong with that. C.) You weren't the one who originally started the process of making a case for the academic court. That was your professor and Dean. All you did was sign papers because she violated your privacy. Your school has rules about that and clearly would have given her consequences no matter what you did. She's still graduating. I don't see why walking down an aisle is such a big deal. I fell asleep during my own graduation ceremony and wish I would have just gotten my degree and for-went the ceremony all together...
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2. AITJ For Causing Someone To Crash Their Car?


“So this happened about three years ago now and every so often I remember about it and still don’t know if I’m the jerk or not.

I was driving to work around 5 one morning and noticed somebody driving behind me a fair way back changing lanes back and forth and tailgating people.

I think to myself “what a jerk” and start paying attention to the road in front of me again. I was driving in the left lane to make a left-hand turn at the next set of lights and after turning this other driver has made his way through the traffic and is now tailgating me.

I decide to change lanes to let him pass and the moment he does, I change lanes back and pull right up his behind (I don’t make the best decisions at 5 am). He speeds up to pull away and I just keep up with him right behind, we carry on like this for about a minute getting up to double the speed limit.

Now I’ve traveled this road daily for 9 years so know it very well, I know we are coming up to a bend that has a really big pothole on the left in the lane we are driving in.

Right before we get there I brake hard and he actually accelerates into the bend, hits the pothole which is hard to negotiate at the speed limit and his car gets a little bit of air and bounces but because we are in the bend he is now heading into the other lane so tries to correct it but over steers and sends the car sideways before the rear hits the concrete barrier in the middle of the road, bounces off that and the front hits the metal barrier on the edge of the road and bounces off that and goes sideways back into the concrete barrier.

I think he spun around three to four times and comes to rest across both lanes blocking all traffic.

We (there was a co-worker in the car with me, we have never spoken about it since) stop and check if the guy is alright, his airbag went off, bits of his car are scattered all over the place and smoke is pouring out of his car, not just from under the hood but it’s inside the car coming out from under the dash and around the gear stick.

He was dazed and looked a little roughed up but not seriously injured. We pulled him out and sat him on the sidewalk, by this time about ten cars are stopped behind us, mostly people he has been tailgating, a small group of us push his car around the corner off the main road and nobody has a problem with driving off and leaving old mate sitting on the sidewalk and his car messed up around the corner.

Am I a jerk or the people’s champion?

Edit: I just want to clarify a few things after reading some of the comments.

Firstly the guy was fine, I am aware you shouldn’t move accident victims as you can do further damage, he got out of the car himself but was just staring at the road muttering to himself, we just moved him to the sidewalk as he was dazed, and secondly, I didn’t plan for him to hit the pothole, I’m not a psychopath it only occurred to me to avoid driving over the pothole at that speed as we approached.”

Another User Comments:

“You were definitely a jerk in this situation.

First of all, that guy could have had a legitimate reason for speeding, they could have just been in a bad mood, or they could just be a jerk all the time. It doesn’t give you an excuse to ramp up the levels of being a jerk by tailgating him at double the speed limit with a corner coming up.

You are directly responsible for his accident.

Second point you shouldn’t move people after they’ve been in an accident. That can cause serious damage if they’ve suffered injuries in the wrong places (i.e. their spine or neck) which may not be noticeable.” The_R4ke

Another User Comments:

“OK, there are two big clues in this story that you know you were being a jerk.

That you say “you don’t make the best decisions at 5 AM” and that you and your co-worker in the car have never spoken of this incident. Just because another person is driving like a jerk doesn’t mean you should be tailgating him at double the speed limit, which is extremely dangerous.

In fact, what you were doing was actively trying to cause him to get into an accident and you got your wish. If the guy had died you could have been found guilty of manslaughter. Yes that guy was being a jerk but you topped the jerk meter in the red by your actions and honestly I don’t know how you don’t see that.” radseven89

Another User Comments:


What you did was reckless and dangerous and you could have killed the guy. All over a stupid incident of road rage. Your coworker isn’t going to say a thing because it was an uncomfortable situation and you don’t seem the kind of person to handle your temper. It doesn’t matter that it was early in the morning.

If you have bad enough impulse control that you are willing to place a person who mildly inconvenienced you in danger than you might want to consider getting help with that temper of yours.” Viperbunny

Another User Comments:

“ESH. You’re both equally jerks, you for retaliating and emulating his jerk driving style. But you seem to be asking if you caused the accident or should feel guilty about it, and I don’t think you did or should.

As you well know, being tailgated doesn’t encourage you to drive twice the speed limit. Maybe speed up a bit to get out of the way; or, as likely, slow down slightly because screw that guy. So without other evidence, I’m inclined to say he’d have hit that pothole at or around the same speed with or without you on his behind. Guilt-wise, you’re in the clear.” NatanGold

1 points (1 votes)

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ankn 1 month ago
YTJ. You should never tailgate, and you REALLY shouldn't tailgate at way over the speed limit. You are partly responsible for the wreck of the other guy's car, and you're thingy lucky you don't have his death on your conscience. Take a chill pill, and don't ever do that again.
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1. AITJ For Smoking In My Room?


“For introductions, I live with two other roommates who we’ll call John and Sam for easy reference. John smokes with me very rarely (maybe like 2-3 times a month) and Sam doesn’t smoke at all. He doesn’t like it, but that stems more from him not liking the stereotype of people who smoke (I think, but this is the info I’ve heard secondhand from John).

Anyways, normally I smoke outside to keep any smell from smoking out of the house. I bought a vaporizer to use inside sometimes since that only smells like burnt popcorn, but apparently, Sam has said some things to John about it smelling a little bit sometimes, so I basically stopped using that altogether.

However, it is now getting to the point where it’s 20 degrees or so outside at night and that is the only time I smoke. I like to get all my work and stuff done during the day and then relax at night and watch a movie or something.

Recently, I started closing myself in my room, putting a towel underneath the door, and then closing myself in the bathroom in my room and also putting a towel underneath that door.

I light a candle and/or incense in my room, have the fan going in both my room and in the bathroom, and breathe all the smoke out of the window in my bathroom. I also Febreze the bathroom after smoking. I feel like I’m doing about as much as I possibly can to keep the smell at an absolute minimum.

Now Sam has never said anything about it to me in the past and we’ve lived together for 2 years now.

Apparently, Sam has been sending some passive-aggressive type texts to John saying that it smells and this is ticking him off. John and I both haven’t really talked/hung out with Sam in well over 4/5 months. He’ll either hang out with just his partner or just stay in his room. Sam seems to be ticked off at me for something and I’m finding it hard to believe it is just the smell because we have been best friends since 7th grade.

John says that he can sometimes smell the tiniest hint of it, but nothing particularly noticeable or offensive (his room is right next to Sam’s room).

Now I’m left trying to figure out what to do. I’m pretty disappointed that this is a point of conflict, especially considering the lengths I’m going to keep Sam happy. I’m not smoking in the living room or breathing smoke on every inch of the house, nor am I doing it all day.

I pay more in rent than both my roommates, I pay all the utilities, and I handle all communications with our landlords. I feel like there needs to be some compromise other than sending me out into 20-degree weather just because Sam doesn’t like the smell.

Am I being a jerk for having this position on the matter? The most frustrating part is that Sam won’t say anything about it to me or communicate any grievances with me, he tends to be a very quiet person.

Anyways, I appreciate anything you all have to say and if I am the jerk in this situation, I’d be happy to know so I can better correct how I handle this.

Thank you.”

Another User Comments:

“There are too many variables in the story to really say why he’s getting ticked off about the smell. It could be the way the air flows through your building and takes the smell into his room, it could be the wind blowing, it could be whatever. Smoking stuff does have a very potent and strong scent even when it’s just sitting out.

I personally do not like smoking at all. I don’t like the taste, I don’t like the feeling, and I really don’t like the smell. I’ve tried it a few times, but you’re the smoker, it falls on you to take it outside if it’s bugging someone else. That’s just the way it is.

Maybe first talk to him about it saying something like “Hey, John told me you were upset about something,” and see what he says from there. I don’t really think anyone is a jerk in this scenario, just differing opinions.

Unfortunately, it does fall on smokers to do it responsibly and make sure we’re not stepping on anyone’s toes.

YTJ.” UlfarrOT

Another User Comments:

“Here’s some unsolicited advice for the future: Do not ever have roommates that aren’t smoking-friendly. What you’re dealing with is something a good friend of mine just dealt with. Three people lived in the house and one was against smoking stuff. The other two took the jerk route and totally disrespected the third roommate’s wishes.

I told my friend she was totally being a jerk to her roommate, I believe the two were in the wrong because nothing was discussed before moving in together. She knew the other two smoked, but the one nonsmoker probably didn’t realize how much the smell would end up bothering her until they lived together.

The situation ended with the nonsmoker hating the other two and doing all kinds of passive-aggressive things. All three were miserable. Your roommate should confront you about this instead of texting the other guy. How are you supposed to know you’re upsetting someone if they don’t talk to you? Have a conversation with the guy.

You’re only the jerk if you keep smoking in the house after that conversation.” TheOutrageousClaire

Another User Comments:

“Did you sign something that said you would not smoke in that house? If not, I don’t think you are being a jerk and your roommate is controlling and very prudish considering smoking stuff is as legal as booze in a number of states.

Also what you do in your room that you pay for is your own business unless it’s directly affecting your other roommates. Playing loud music at night would be more of a jerk move in my opinion.” radseven89

Another User Comments:

“I don’t think you are a jerk, but you aren’t handling this as maturely as you could either.

There are a few more things you can do to completely eliminate the smell. The first is to get a Smoke Buddy, it’s pretty cheap, lasts a while, and does a good job. Next, I’d switch to Ozium or something besides Febreeze. Febreeze is going to cover up the smell not eliminate it. If you’re smoking a bowl, make sure to cover it after it’s been lit so the excess smoke doesn’t escape.” The_R4ke

1 points (1 votes)

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ankn 1 month ago
As a smoker, you have no idea how annoying smoke is to a non-smoker, and how it puts a permanent stink on your living space. For now, suggest you smoke outside as much as possible, and get an air filter for really foul weather. For the long run, look for a roommate who smokes to replace Sam.
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Sometimes it's obvious, other times it's not! You be the judge about who's the jerk! Upvote, downvote, and comment on your favorite stories by signing up for a Metaspoon account. Click Log In at the top right corner of this page to get started. (Note: Some stories have been shortened and modified for our audiences)