If you’ve spent any time online recently, chances are you have encountered one or more Karens – middle-class white women who often exhibit superior attitudes while being patronizing and racist.
Karens can often do wrong; whether calling police on children too young for vaccination, or opposing it entirely. And there are those willing to assist Karens get what is owed them.
1. Don’t allow yourself to be influenced by her poor behavior.
Social media users often use the term ‘Karen’ as a derogatory term for women who exhibit inappropriate behaviors. This typically involves demanding things beyond what would be considered reasonable and showing overly dramatic temper tantrums.
Karen can be hard to identify, especially if you don’t know her well. She may wear a bob-haircut, act like an entitled middle-class white woman, or show other traits which indicate she is more privileged than you are.
One common instance is when someone requests to speak to a manager over what may seem to be minor matters, such as refusing to wear a mask when shopping at a supermarket due to policy or having medical conditions that prevent wearing one.
However, when witnessing behavior that appears inappropriate it’s important to keep an open mind and remain impartial as to its impact on you and those around you. Allowing yourself to become affected by its effect could have serious repercussions, including being called out or made uncomfortable by other people.
If your friend is known for engaging in problematic behavior, it’s essential not to let this frighten or undermine your confidence in yourself. A simple way of doing this would be avoiding social situations where anger might surface – this may prevent an outburst from developing into something bigger.
At the same time, it is essential not to allow yourself to become affected by the behaviour of friends who are known for being Karens. It can be easy to be drawn in by their poor actions and it may become hard for you to avoid getting involved with their world.
2. Don’t stoop to her level.
Karens are unique types of individuals who, when in the wrong company, can quickly become an aggravation to both parties involved. Self-indulgent and self-righteous types, they believe the world revolves around them alone and often possess an enormous ego that they do not shy away from flaunting openly.
Karen participated on the swim team at St. Mary’s Academy during her senior year, competing in various events. Although she never won a race, Karen put forth effort in becoming one of her classmates’ top swimmers. She cherished every practice and meet, wearing her team swim suit proudly as part of wearing a letterman’s jacket with pride.
Swimming was an invaluable form of exercise for Karen, helping build both strength and muscle tone. She typically participated in two-hour long swim sessions at least three times every week; always swimming the 50-yard free style but sometimes switching up with 100 and 500 yard free styles as well.
No one ever bested her at racing, yet no one left her in last place either. Her teammates went out of their way to assist her; she was extremely competitive and enjoyed participating in spite of hearing loss.
Opting not to join in their anger will likely prove more fruitful in terms of both your wellbeing and theirs. Instead, try being calm and rational even if it means being the only adult present – you’ll be surprised how it improves both! Most importantly, try infusing some positivity into the situation so as to counteract her negativity; hopefully this will not only enhance your day but may save an unexpected tantrum!
3. Don’t engage in debate.
Debates can be an excellent way to explore new ideas, but the correct attitude must be maintained; otherwise it could turn into an unpleasant and unfruitful conversation.
Peter Coleman, a social psychologist and director of the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Teachers College Columbia University suggests that for an ideal debate situation to emerge, participants must genuinely enjoy speaking to one another. They might not always reach consensus, but eventually find solutions which work for all in attendance – this approach typically yields progress that would otherwise remain impossible alone.
Typically, this sort of argument occurs when a group is working toward developing a solution – even when that solution may simply involve two people working out their individual circumstances together to find what solution would work best.
Though it can be tempting to enter any debate with pride and an attitude, the most effective forms involve listening actively and showing mutual respect – something which is invaluable both at work and during political campaigns.
Debating will also help build your argument, so start by outlining your main points, then work to refute opposing arguments as you go along.
Before beginning writing, make sure all facts and arguments for your speech are ready. This will save time when preparing it.
Karen is a term frequently used by Black women to refer to clueless and privileged white women who target Black people for imagined slights. Although some have criticized its misuse as misogynistic, many users still employ it in order to confront casual racism by some white women.
4. Breathe some positivity into the situation.
Coronavirus has caused discontent among Karens recently and some have become angry and volatile; to deal with them effectively is by remaining calm. Take the high road when dealing with them!
First and foremost, inject some positivity into the situation – you may be amazed at what results! Next step should be reorienting yourself in terms of understanding that this opportunity to improve customer service and morale could bring forth great outcomes.
With the right attitude and outlook you’ll have an easier journey and may even receive well-deserved praise and accolades.
Make time for some meditation or yoga – whether simple or advanced – as these practices will help channel your inner peace-maker and reduce chances of self-sabotaging your own efforts. Be honest and open with yourself about what’s bothering you while being more patient than before. Understand that only you are responsible for maintaining your own sanity; good friends and family members can serve as lifelines.
5. Don’t mirror her behaviour.
Karen is a common term used to refer to middle-aged white women who seem prone to public displays of anger. These women typically use their privilege to demand more than is reasonable or acceptable.
Though most may associate Karen as an amusing slang term, her behavior has become more disturbing over the last several years – especially with regard to videos featuring Karen that have gone viral online.
Racial overtones of this kind of Karen are deeply rooted in history: violent white women have used their privilege and victimhood as weapons against others; one such case being Carolyn Bryant who falsely accused Emmett Till of assaulting her resulting in his execution by lynch mob.
Today, more odious forms of Karen are making headlines for harassing people of color with impunity. One such case was Central Park Karen who called the police on an African American birdwatcher who was birding in Manhattan’s park and claimed he threatened her life.
Karen’s actions were both racist and reckless; given how often police violence is directed toward people of color. Furthermore, this action proved her manipulation of her power for personal gain.
There are various steps you can take to help prevent yourself from falling into such situations. First, find something to allow you to express your emotions. Play sports or create something artistic as an outlet to allow your mind a break from what may be an upsetting situation.
If you have the chance to mirror her behavior, make sure it differs slightly so as not to alert her that you are mimicking her and give yourself an advantage over her.