Emotional Labor Revisited

2022 Jul 09, Timid Robot Zehta

Back in 2015, I read an amazing document. It was a digest of a message thread about Emotional Labor. Before I was done I knew I wanted to share it with everyone I cared about.

To that end I collaborated with the creator of the digest to update the formatting of the document. I hope the result is very easy and comfortable (formatting-wise) to read. Please check it out: Emotional Labor: The MetaFilter Thread Condensed (PDF).

It's been top of mind lately. Since a Google security change broke the original link around 2022 May 22, I've been replying almost every day to someone asking for access. As of 2023 Nov 17 I have replied 667 times (averaging 1.2 replies per day).

Feedback Over the Years

Since my email address is in the document, I've been fortunate enough to receive feedback over the years. Most of it simply expresses gratitude. Here are some anonymized excerpts about the content itself:

  • 2023 Aug 24

    I'll [...] download a copy for my mum-- she's going to feel so seen!

  • 2023 Jun 27 from the acknowledgements in The Wife App, by Carolyn Mackler:

    The stories in Emotional Thread: The MetaFilter Thread Condensed edited by Olivia K. Lima, Josh Millard, and Timid Robot Zehta were hilarious, heartbreaking, and fully relatable.

  • 2022 Aug 29

    I'm a relationship counselor. A common relationship issue (as you might expect) is emotional labor, and people often don't have language for what they're trying to express. A brilliantly written, skillfully edited document is just what they need.

  • 2022 Jun 04

    Still relevant in 2022

  • 2019 Jul 05

    I know it's a few years on but I actually only very recently found it and it's been lifechanging to say the least!

  • 2017 Apr 30

    I already shared this with a couple of friends and can't stop talking about it. All of the women with whom I talked about this had the same feelings and were shocked to see it was so common and had a name. I think that's actually the most important thing: this EXISTS and putting words on it helps so much.

  • 2016 Jul 07

    While reading it, I found aspects of women's struggles within relationships that I hadn't heard before, and it has given me a lot to think about.

  • 2016 Feb 09

    I read the condensed document [...] and found food for thought and room for personal improvement. Thanks for taking the time to make it.

  • 2015 Dec 19

    It's just a really remarkable, moving, organized, enlightening, sanity-restoring thing.

In the Media

Unfortunately, I haven't had any success trying to get the broken PDF links in the articles updated.

Article That Started It All

Previous Blog Post


  • 2023 Nov 17: Added feedback and reply count
  • 2022 Nov 04: Added Article That Started It All and updated In the Media
  • 2022 Aug 30: Added feedback