Karens are unfavorably known to people, often middle-aged white women who exhibit entitled behavior such as complaining to customers incessantly and demanding to speak to managers. Unfortunately, Karens have become an increasing nuisance since social media and other forms of news coverage began covering them extensively.
Karens can often be racist and sexist. Here’s how to avoid becoming one by making some simple changes to your behavior.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Karen is an offensive nickname given to middle-aged white women who frequently express complaints and act entitledly — demanding to speak with managers in any setting they visit, demanding full cream milk rather than skinny options at Starbucks and calling the police on non-White people for parking violations as examples of Karens.
Karen can often feel as if the world revolves around them and that everyone owes them something, so it is vitally important that when seeking assistance it does so without appearing like someone acting like Karen.
Dani Weller, customer service team leader of Bionic, shares her tips for how to avoid becoming Karens and address anyone acting hysterically or exceeding boundaries. Additionally, she provided some interesting facts and figures regarding which countries and states had the highest concentrations of Karens as well as ways to calm an angry customer.
So the next time a barista makes an error or the checkout operator forgets your change, take a deep breath before demanding to speak to their manager: is this really worth all the fuss?
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
Saying no can be challenging for anyone, particularly those with a natural tendency to be accommodating and helpful. Struggling to say no when people make sudden requests can strain relationships while taking on too many commitments at work and at home can lead to burnout and eventual exhaustion.
When saying no, try your best not to come off as rude. Provide an acceptable reason such as you have other commitments on that day or must stay on task with an important project.
Chen asserts that Karen’s true issue lies not with her bleach blonde bob haircut or excessive spray tanning habits, but in her feeling entitled to her privileges. As evidence, Chen points to a viral meme depicting “Karens” looking down on retail workers or claiming the right to access public spaces–practices which could pose challenges for marginalized communities during pandemic outbreaks.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say You’re Sorry
“Karen” has come to be associated with someone who is entitled, pushy and rude. While sometimes refunds and complaints need to be issued or filed, it is also essential that any offense caused to anyone should be expressed through apology and acknowledgment of feelings being hurt.
However, Karen can also be associated with sexism, racism and ageism; its use can be perceived as offensive to Freeby and others as it derogatively stereotypes women of color and other groups who might use its name in reference to themselves or another.
Apologizing requires being honest and accepting responsibility for any actions you have taken, in particular by being genuine and taking ownership of them. Furthermore, body language plays a crucial role – avoid crossing your arms or slouching as this could indicate defensiveness and lack of trust with whomever is receiving the apology; instead relax your face and look directly at them to convey that they matter while simultaneously showing that they understand why you apologized in the first place. Apologies can only truly succeed by conveying understanding, empathy and sincerity; that is what an apology does best!
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Say You’re Not Sure
Karens often stick their nose into others’ affairs and complain in an intemperate voice, being accused of acting entitled and lacking empathy towards marginalized communities.
Though no one enjoys being called “Karen,” it is important to recognize when we may be acting like one. Aside from being used as a playful insult, calling someone out when they behave in such ways can also serve as a useful means of intervention.
Freeby describes using “Karen” as an indirect way of warning someone into behaving more appropriately, as well as acting as an ally and helping empower individuals by showing how they should stand up for themselves in an appropriate manner.
Trustpilot conducted a global study that explored which names are associated with Karen-like behavior worldwide. Louise emerged as the top name among women who frequently complain, while Ann and Jane may be less relevant as potential Karen models.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Say You’re Not Right
Karens have the right to express their opinions; however, it is essential to be able to distinguish between valid and invalid complaints. One way of telling is focusing on how someone is presenting their issues.
Utilizing a sarcastic tone or placing blame for another’s problems squarely on their shoulders are indicators that someone is being a Karen. Furthermore, overuse of emoticons and GIFs may also point to someone being an arrogant Karen.
Karens can have difficulty understanding other people’s perspectives, which can be an obstacle. Additionally, it’s vital that they can accept when they have made mistakes.
Avoiding being a Karen is best done through understanding their behavior and following some basic tips. But keep in mind that life doesn’t exist to meet your whims, and without proper caution could turn you into one of the most irritating Karens ever. But don’t despair: there is still hope by learning to recognize their signs early and remaining calm during stressful situations.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Say You’re Not Happy
No one likes having an unpleasant day from time to time, but if your feelings of unhappiness seem consistent and pervasive it’s important to identify the source. If it seems as though your job is making you miserable then perhaps its time for change and find one which gives you joy instead.
The Karen stereotype has become popular online thanks to a series of amusing memes depicting a middle-aged Caucasian woman dissatisfied with her grocery store experience and using white privilege to abuse retail workers. While the term may refer to specific traits associated with her stereotyped qualities, it can also refer to anyone who complains about something and tends to complain about it.
Dani Weller, customer service team leader for Bionic, recently explained to Huffington Post that while “Karens” tend to be women, men can also fall under this description. According to Weller, listening and showing empathy is the best way to approach a situation with such a customer.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Say You’re Not Righteous
Karens believe the world revolves around them and that everyone owes them something – from an apology to a Louis Vuitton bag. Their selfishness manifests itself by demanding service, breaking rules or bullying people who differ from them; their anger shows freely in public or when confronted by those who handle things differently than them.
The internet loves Karen. It has become an offensive term to describe middle-aged white women who do not understand their privilege. Popular memes depict Karen wearing an asymmetrical bob and demanding to speak with management for unsavory reasons.
If a friend is acting like Karen, don’t try to convince them they’re wrong by appealing to personal opinions; instead explain biblical truth and trust the Holy Spirit to convict her according to God’s word. Instead, use spiritual wisdom when dealing with her sinful behavior rather than giving in and allowing it to continue harming others; Jesus warns against judging people based on appearance alone and emphasizes how true righteousness must be driven by love rather than technical rules.
8. Don’t Be Afraid to Say You’re Not Right
Karen is a stereotypical suburban mom with a short bob haircut who complains about everything, never caring how her behavior impacts others. Karen is self-centered and self-absorbed – often unaware of how her actions impact other people around her.
Recently, the Karen stereotype has garnered considerable interest via viral videos and memes, becoming a topic in online forums and subreddits alike.
Karens tend to be women in their 30s or 60s with children, who exhibit condescension towards people of color, have a whiny voice, and are insensitive towards those around them. Furthermore, they exhibit a sense of entitlement stemming from their white privilege.
Reducing your chances of being Karen can be achieved through changing your behavior. If someone acts in such an inappropriate way, it’s important to inform them. Instead of accusing them of their conduct directly, use a gentler approach by explaining the situation objectively instead of subjectively. If their conduct continues unacceptably, escalate your concerns further by speaking to a supervisor or manager.