Gaining assertive communication skills is an essential tool for maintaining healthy, rewarding relationships. Assertive individuals value themselves just as much as they respect others, creating mutual respect between both parties.
If you’ve been labeled rude and entitled Karen, it can be challenging to express yourself assertively. Yet doing so is essential for successful communication.
1. Listen More than You Talk
Assertive communication styles are those which demonstrate respect for others, express their thoughts and feelings clearly, take responsibility for their actions, and demonstrate empathy. These traits can help foster healthy relationships with friends, family members, and other people.
Assertive communication can be challenging, but it also offers you the chance to develop your communication skills and boost your career success. Furthermore, cultivating positive relationships with others will bring more fulfillment in life and at work.
If you feel like a Karen, these assertive communication styles may help:
Listen More Than Talk
When someone talks to you, it is essential that you listen attentively in order to comprehend their words and fully comprehend the situation. Doing this allows for clear comprehension of what has been said and helps you respond appropriately and appropriately in return.
It’s essential to pay attention to what the other person is trying to convey and refrain from responding in a way which causes further distress or frustration. Never act in such a way that makes them feel disrespected or taken advantage of.
You can do this by asking open-ended questions, offering solutions and soliciting their ideas. Doing so will allow you to understand how they’re feeling and what is causing them to express this way.
Furthermore, you can ask them their goals and whether or not they have an understanding of the situation they’re describing. Doing this will enable you to be more empathic, guaranteeing that you are hearing their true needs.
Another successful way to communicate with an aggressive communicator is simply responding to what they say, rather than what you want to hear. Doing this allows the other person to feel heard and valued, while preventing you from becoming defensive or irritated.
If they continue to communicate this way, you can gently rephrase their message to sound more assertive. For instance, instead of saying “It’s difficult for me to use this tool,” explain that it’s complicated and that you need to learn how to utilize it effectively in order to achieve the best results.
It’s essential to recognize that this communication style can be challenging to break away from and may indicate an underlying issue needs addressing. But if you can identify the issue and take steps towards resolution, your team member can learn more assertive communication techniques which will ultimately enable them to be more successful at work.
2. Don’t Make a Big Deal Out of It
If you’re an active Instagram or Twitter user, chances are that you’ve come across “the Karen,” an asymmetrical short haircut with an air of entitlement that has been dubbed “the Karen.”
Karen has become a slang term for white women who are perceived as entitled in public. It first originated as an insulting description of an angry middle-aged woman demanding to speak to a store manager over something minor, like having too many ice cubes in her iced skinny vanilla latte. But over time this expression has gained momentum and now refers to any woman perceived as acting entitled in public.
As the United States grapples with a pandemic and systemic racism, activists have taken up the term “Kenans.” It’s becoming more frequent for people to be labeled Karens – particularly during lockdowns when furloughs, layoffs and the Black Lives Matter movement have taken center stage.
Recently, several viral videos labeling people as Karens have made headlines. One woman called police on her neighbor for writing “Black Lives Matter” with chalk on his driveway and another coughed on customers at a New York bagel shop. It’s an alarming trend but one which has led to increased understanding about the potential harm Karens can cause.
In the case of the woman who shouted at employees at Trader Joe’s, her employer could have faced legal claims depending on how she was treated. But at root, her actions revealed an unchecked privilege and entitlement which needed to be addressed.
This type of behavior is often the result of tacit sexism and generalized gender bias, but it also may be a product of our culture which views some people as inherently superior to others due to their gender, age, or race.
Karens often experience a strong sense of self-righteousness and pride, which may make it difficult for them to see things with an objective, non-judgmental perspective.
When dealing with someone labeled a Karen, it’s essential to comprehend their emotions and demonstrate that they’re not alone.
3. Don’t Take Things Personal
Taken personally, taking things personally can have many adverse effects. Not only does it make you feel bad, but it may cause misunderstandings which lead to damaged relationships with others. Furthermore, it affects your overall emotional state of well-being as well as have an adverse effect on career prospects.
If you find yourself being labeled a Karen, you may experience various emotions such as anger, resentment and fear. Depending on the circumstances, these may feel like overwhelming feelings that you have no control over or no way out. But there are strategies available that can help develop assertive communication styles so these feelings do not get out of hand or cause further stress.
Furthermore, not taking things personally can help you cultivate stronger, more stable relationships with others. This approach improves communication, avoids misunderstandings that could damage those connections, and increases resilience in the face of criticism or setbacks.
Recent years, the term “Karen” has grown increasingly offensive and many in Australia are concerned. Linguists have determined that its origins remain mysterious but many believe it to have sexist roots. Some speculate this began as a 2005 joke by comedian Dane Cook; others point towards Mean Girls, Goodfellas and a 2006 Nintendo video game as potential origins.
No matter its origins, this term has gained significant momentum in both social media and pop culture. It often refers to a middle-class white woman who displays behaviors indicative of privilege – such as anti-vaccination stances and racist micro-aggressions – when confronted with racism.
Karens often loiter around stores and restaurants looking for an opportunity to attack employees or use their white privilege. They seek control and attention, striving to assert their power in a world that often views them as inferior.
They may become angry due to an injustice or as a way to defend themselves from society’s judgment. Anger also stems from feelings of insecurity and being threatened.
4. Don’t Get Angry
You can learn to manage anger in many ways. It is an emotion essential for our survival and can also energize us when confronting problems.
But when the situation spirals out of control, the consequences can be dire and devastating – including harming those you care about most.
Karen meltdowns can be caused by a variety of things, such as stress, fear and anger at someone else’s actions. While it’s difficult to control your emotions when they’re running high in the moment, take a step back and consider what’s going on before speaking any words.
Calming down can help you communicate more effectively with others. Nonverbal communication, such as facial expressions and body language, allows you to express your emotions clearly without saying anything that could be perceived as aggressive or hurtful.
If you experience frequent anger, it may be beneficial to find ways to reduce your stress level by getting enough sleep or exercising regularly. Talking with a mental health professional about the situation may also provide support and suggestions on how best to handle it.
Anger is an inevitable part of life, but when left unchecked it can have detrimental effects. Feeling angry and even depressed may lead to other negative outcomes.
Anger can also be a reaction to events beyond your control, like being involved in a car accident or losing someone dear to you. While it can be challenging to let go of these feelings, remember that anger has the potential for being productive when used appropriately to address the underlying cause.
When someone is labeled a Karen, they often become defensive and may respond in an overly sarcastic or retaliatory way. Directing this anger in such ways can have disastrous results, especially when directed towards people of color or those less powerful than them.
When women are called Karens, they often respond with remarks such as, “I have no respect for you,” and label those who don’t look or act the same as “white trash.” Additionally, Karen may make sexist remarks like: “I’m just saying that I have never seen you wear a bob cut.”
When you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed by anger, take a break and do something relaxing to take the edge off. This could include taking some time away from the situation or doing something therapeutic.