Karens have earned themselves a bad rap for their entitled, annoying and sometimes sexist behavior online. But a recent Trustpilot study suggests this stereotype may be outdated, inaccurate and counterproductive.
Karen is often depicted as a white female stereotype who exhibits entitled behavior such as demanding to speak to a manager and making anti-science claims, as well as policeing marginalized groups.
1. Don’t Take Things for Granted
Have you seen Karen recently online? In the eyes of social media, Karen is an imaginary character depicting an entitled middle-aged female customer who frequently complains and demands to speak to the manager. According to memes depicting Karen, she wears an asymmetrical bob and has an intimidating attitude.
The Karen meme has attracted widespread scrutiny as some critics deem it to be sexist. A business comparison company in the UK decided to go one step further by conducting a study analyzing where you’re most likely to encounter someone like Karen.
As it turns out, Karens can be found across the world for various reasons and can often be encountered without warning. But regardless of why or where they may appear, studies conducted have identified certain common traits among all Karens that make them instantly identifiable.
When encountering Karen, try not to allow her behavior to alter yours. Rather, focus on understanding her perspective and the factors leading up to her acting this way before being professional but firm while remaining respectful if necessary – this should help Karen realize her behaviour is unacceptable and hopefully cause it to stop altogether; otherwise you may just need to distance yourself as there’s nothing you can do to control another’s behaviors, thoughts or emotions – nor should you have to!
2. Don’t Make People Feel Bad
If you’ve spent much time online, chances are that you have come across memes about “Karens.” They’re often depicted as middle-aged women who complain excessively and act entitled by demanding to speak to managers directly. This stereotype became particularly apparent during the coronavirus pandemic when women have been accused of abusing it as an excuse for rude and dismissive behavior – yet do “Karens” deserve so much negative attention?
Named Karen reached its pinnacle of popularity around 1965, suggesting that those defaming all Karens are likely baby boomers. If that is indeed the case, according to nomenclature expert I.M. Nick it may have become stigmatized due to shortening names on social media.
Karen can still feel personal to those named Karen; one 23-year-old from Philadelphia told CNN that even though the comments weren’t directed directly at her, they could make her upset and offended. Although not meant as a slur, Karen doesn’t feel that the nickname is fair – her peers may understand this sentiment better. This week on Karen’s solo episode she explores 26 lessons she has learned so far over her lifetime – check it out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Anchor to listen in!
3. Don’t Talk About Other People
“Karen” has come to symbolize rude entitlement thanks to internet memes that have surfaced recently. Additionally, social media encourages shortening and abbreviations – according to one nomenclature expert.
Two years ago, user karmacop97 created the humorous “Karen” subreddit as a joke; soon thereafter it quickly amassed over 430,000 subscribers and shared memes depicting various forms of Karen-esque behavior. Some might view this meme as being sexist while others see it as an opportunity to raise awareness about racism and oppression.
Dani Weller, customer service team leader of Bionic, recently conducted a study analyzing more than one million Trustpilot reviews to discover which states have the highest concentrations of Karens. To do this properly and help change people’s behaviors or perspectives effectively, she suggests listening carefully and understanding their perspectives – otherwise you won’t know their problems and issues, she advises.
Spending time around a diva can be exhausting, but it’s important to remember that people are multifaceted beings with many experiences shaping them into who they are today; we should refrain from passing judgment or labelling. Instead, try and focus on all their good traits instead.
4. Don’t Make It Your Business
Karen is a common name, yet online culture has turned it into an insulting shorthand for smug white women who perpetuate classism and racism. This has resulted in subreddits and memes criticizing real-life Karens; real Karens have taken offense at being mocked. To take things a step further, one business comparison company conducted research analyzing data on some of the world’s most popular names, including Karen, to compare with customer complaints, rank top states with Karen-dominated populations, as well as ranking top states with regards to how this impacts travelers.
Karen is joined in this episode by Lesley, her college bestie! They discuss life in NYC, college regrets and what it’s like being Karen! Additionally, they give their honest opinions about Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, and other celebrities from Florence Pugh: Harry Styles Movie! Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify or wherever your podcasts can be found! Rate, review, subscribe – plus don’t forget Instagram where this pod can be found: @how.nottobeakaren and Karen herself is @karengiselle28!
5. Don’t Take Advantage of Others
Karens have earned themselves an unfortunate reputation for their arrogant, inconsiderate and often rude behaviors towards anyone outside of their own mold. Over the last several years, this meme has gained prominence online as an internet parody depicting middle-aged white women throwing temper tantrums over minor inconveniences and whining to managers with regards to them; all while trying to solve world peace with one wave of the hand.
While internet jokers have long teased about this character, its rise has only gained momentum within the past two years thanks to Karmacop97 creating a subreddit dedicated to it. While originally humorous in nature, its creation has garnered criticism as being used to mock working-class women and used in ways which may be offensive; some even likening its portrayal to racist caricatures of black women seen on Birds of a Feather (a television show popular in Britain at that time).
Karen delves deeper into her decision not to have children and the reasons behind it, especially given today’s climate. Additionally, she offers her opinion as to why people shouldn’t ask women if they’re “babes”, and gives an unsolicited advice regarding her number one question everyone should stop asking women (whether on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Spotify etc). Tune in! Listen on Anchor, Apple Podcasts or Spotify now – or wherever else podcasts can be found!
6. Don’t Get Your Needs Met
Karens tend to overreact when faced with even minor setbacks. For example, they might lash out at a barista for not getting their order right or become exasperated when discovering that chardonnay they bought on sale in their grocery store wasn’t actually 5 percent discounted as promised.
Recently, “Karen” has come to represent women who act entitled and snobby. However, it was initially used as an internet meme created to find humor in real-world racism and oppression.
Researchers at Bionic have discovered that people named Karen are more likely to behave like divas. By analyzing over one million reviews on Trustpilot, this team identified names most often associated with such behavior; and also studied demographic information regarding those complaining and found that most are women.
Identify the source of the entitlement. Work on being more patient and respectful with those around you; avoid using sarcasm or insulting language and remember that most situations and outcomes are beyond their control. Consider what benefits accrue to being an entitled individual before engaging in any disruptive behaviours that create unnecessary drama.