Karens are ruthless. They will stop at nothing until they get their way.
And they do not care who they embarrass. Their children, themselves--anybody. They will rampage and rant and rave all the live-long day all while maintaining that they are right and that they are entitled to be right.
But children are watching. Children will listen.
Here were some of those answers.
It always ashamed the hell out of me. My mom would never leave a store happy and never ordered anything from a restaurant she didn't send back at least once. Going places with her was a nightmare, but in a way she taught me how to act by showing me what I didn't want to look like.
Forgive Me Father
My dad is a Karen, and I feel so awful (and embarrassed) for the poor people that had to suffer the wrath of his unjustified anger. I don't speak up to him because I'm freaking terrified myself, but I do apologize to the person later when I get the chance on his behalf and ask what I can do to make up for it. Pretty much everyone has said it's fine and they experience it every now and then :((.
Not Today Mom
My mom was a full Karen before we had a word for it. One time she picked me up from school and took me too McDonald's and said "look at all these "N-word people just standing around" and I'm like "dude you've met them.... Kevin is my math tutor....".
YOU'RE Fired Karen
My mum was a Karen. She actually used to pride herself in the ability to make customer service staff cry. it got to the point where i used to go back and give apologies to the staff after. She got people fired and used to joke "if they can't take the heat, don't do the job."
Last time we ate out, Mom was really demanding. I apologized to the waitress and tried to give her an extra tip while mom was in the bathroom. She refused and said Dad is a really generous tipper. I assume he's been covering for her all along.
No Excuse YOU!
My dad's a Karen. He literally almost made a waitress at chilis cry. I just mouthed sorry to her and wanted to sink in my chair and die.
I think my dad has finally stopped doing this, but when I was a kid, he would actually do the 'hey buddy' finger snap to get the waitress's attention. Occasionally accompanied by yelling across the room, 'EXCUSE ME, my glass is empty!"
My late ex husband was a Karen. I just looked away or stared at the floor when he would start in with the store clerk or the bank teller. There was nothing I could do and I didn't dare call him on his behavior because I didn't want him to escalate his abuse toward me. Occasionally if I thought he wouldn't see it I would mouth "sorry" at his victim.
I tell her she's embarrassing me, then she doubles down on it and starts arguing with me, I start arguing back, it becomes even more embarrassing, she makes sure to say something that will mess me up loud enough to be heard and then calls me insane and overly sensitive when I get up and leave or stop talking to her. But I don't apologize to other people on her behalf.
My personal hobby when I was younger and had less to lose was when I saw someone behaving like this (berating an employee, especially a teenager who is helpless), I 'accidentally' stumbled and fell into them. I'm 6'2". Then I yelled off into the distance at no one and told them to watch out. I apologized to the Karen and quickly walk away. My friends told me the Karen always stopped being a prick after that.
My mom is not a Karen however her name is Karen. She doesn't seem bothered by the name meme but my dad was very confused. He asked what a Karen was and got very defensive of her and does not support the term. It was sweet to see him get riled up to defend her. But honestly, Karens can be the worst.
I stopped speaking out, it is pointless. It's like talking to a wall. Usually I just turn or walk away, like i don't know her.
My mom isn't the most extreme Karen, but she has had a history of giving retail workers a hard time over a promotion or a sale price or what have you. She's not bad at restaurants, but she will sometimes insist on me sending something back even when I say it's fine.
I'm usually pretty embarrassed, and I've turned out opposite of that, maybe to the extreme? I will just quietly accept my fate if my steak isn't cooked how I want it, or a sale price isn't quite what it should have been.
My mother is a demi-Karen. It really depends on the person she talks to. Unusually many rage episodes with people of foreign backgrounds for small insignificant details, so yeah... Anywho, I grew up just not understanding her, thinking she was being unreasonable and cruel. Scolding people for not having your favorite cheese in the store? Get a hold on yourself.
Now, I confront her in the shop during a fit. I am dead @ss tired of seeing a woman of 53 acting like a toddler. It usually goes something like this, let's keep the cheese example:
"YOU ARE A DISGRACE! I HAVE SHOPPED HERE FOR YEARS etc etc"
"Mom, they are trying to help, they don't have your type of cheese, shut up and let's go to another store"
I am usually super tired and all of these... Fits and rages over nothing is just unbearable.
And no, we are not Americans, we are Norwegians where nearly anyone acts like this.
My dad is the Karen not my mom. He throws a fit when he doesn't get what he wants. Usually at restaurants.
Food is too slow? Pissed.
He doesn't like his sandwich? Pissed.
The tv in the restaurant has the news when he wants football on? Pissed.
I don't do anything but it's so embarrassing watching him yell at the poor staff. Like for damn sale just stop it man.
I apologize after she storms out and get screamed at in the car ride home.
I haven't spoken to her in a few years, but my mom is the variety who likes to quiz service employees about their jobs. Not that she knows anything about it, but she'd ask too many questions under the guise of being "just curious." It was like she was evaluating the expertise of this person and whether or not they deserved to serve her. I was always really embarrassed (I worked retail for most of my life), so I would generally slip in an apology under my breath. I didn't confront her because I was scared poopless of her.
Probably the one time my dad just about cursed out a server at 1am at a freaking Perkins . My dad acted like a complete butthole and i just put my head down. Second time my dad acted like an butthole I was 19 on a road trip . My dad insisted we walk after ordering a coke and the dude forgetting to ring in our order. On that occasion i wrote a paragraph review praising the server and apologizing for my father being a jackoff.
Low Contact Save
I'm pretty low contact with her, I would stop talking to her altogether if my sister didn't live with her. But she'll abuse my sister to get to me so I maintain a positive relationship with her. Which just means I have to do what she says.
Whenever she had a Karen moment, I would get really embarrassed and stare at the ground. Sometimes she would use me to get what she wanted. I don't know many times she made up a disability for me in order for her to act super entitled. Sometimes that stuff wouldn't fly and she would go nuts.
I wish I could say I never defended her but it's not true. If wasn't on her side it meant I got punished when we got home.
My sister is a Karen. I literally watched her yell at an ice cream man because he was late to their neighborhood. What's sad is everyone can see how proud she is of herself, but she can't see that all of the rest of us are so embarrassed for her.
She probably gets it from Grandma.
My mom has gotten a lot better at not going off on people these days, possibly due to my best friend working in food service (she hears a lot of tales of people complaining about things out of their control). While she still believes each individual employee represents the company as a whole a therefore should be able to make amends when she feels wronged, she backs off quicker now and I kind of know how to calm her down. Growing up I could never understand arguing with someone until you get what you want instead of going somewhere else that would just give it to anyway. She probably gets it from Grandma.
"look, I'm not like them"Giphy
I end up over-tipping most of the time to try and make some amends for my family's behavior (I have one Karen and two whatever male Karens are). And where I'd maybe normally be quiet and keep to myself if I was alone, and just be nice when I had to speak to people, like to pay the bill or whatever, I end up having to be proactively and overly nice to try and compensate. There's an element of "look, I'm not like them" to it too.
And yeah, I have had to apologize many times for their behavior as well as calling them out on it at the actual moment of Karen-Ness. I'm older though so have the courage to tell my family to shut up. When I was a kid I just used to be scared that we'd get our food spat in or that the folks on the receiving end would be as horrible back, and I'd end up wanting to disappear. QuokkaMocha
My Dad. He can be the "corporate executive that doesn't take no for an answer" kinda guy.
Sometimes it works out like a good cop bad cop situation.
He can be an butthole but I'll just come in at the end and just emphasize with the person and it usually works out.
I've seen my mum Karen twice but tbh they were both justified.
We were reenrolling in high school. The reception had one window open to process the papers. There was 200 kids in my year level. We also had time blocks we had to come in to reenroll in. So Mum drives me in and waits in the carpark. 1.5 hours later she comes in wondering where I was. All I had to do was get some paper stamped. Whelp the school's reception was on lunch break leaving no one to process the papers EVEN THOUGH IT WAS OUR ASSIGNED TIME. The line was 400 people long now. She absolutely cracks it at the receptionists and makes them open all 4 windows to process the paper work. The next year we had a week to drop off the paperwork. None of these assigned time crap.
Smoke it Out
My dad had a Karen phase for a while but it only came out when we were at restaurants, for some reason. He would berate the waitress (it was always a waitress, never a waiter) about his food not being the way he ordered, despite not having ordering it like that.
I tried to tell him he can't talk to people that way and to apologize to the waitresses on his behalf, but he didn't really listen to me since I was a teenager.
My solution was to offer to let him go have a smoke in the parking lot and leave me his card so I could pay the bill at the same time. He almost always accepted since he's a pretty heavy smoker.
I hopes those waitresses enjoyed their 30% tips.
To those who are just eating up these Karen stories, I recommend https://notalwaysright.com/. Stories of terrible customers, employees, bosses, etc.
My mom recently yelled at a pharmacist at a medicine pick up window and said everyone there was going to h*LL I did the same thing I always did in these situations. I got super ashamed of it's at a restaurant, gas station etc, I'll say sorry to the worker after my mom storms out it's honestly supper annoying and when we get home she complains for HOURS about it. I just get super ashamed my grandma and aunt are like this too. My grand Mac is worse she once demanded at a very fancy restaurant that she speak to the manager and get a full refund on the bill over $100 because they forgot ketchup on her burger. i hope I never act like them. Anyway I apologize to any worker who's had to deal with them or any Karens.
No Coffee for You
I remember my mom having a Karen moment. She was ordering a coffee from McDonald's (think you already know where this is going) we waited till we we're next to pick up are food which took about 40 mins. My mom was starting to get impatient. Then when it was our turn at the window, the employee (who looked about 18) told my mom "I'm sorry ma'am but are coffee Machine is not working at the moment..." Then I saw my mom's face getting red. I already knew that I was about to witness a homicide.
My mom said "Well why didn't you tell me when I was first ordering? I got places to be you know! I waiting for almost an hour to get my food! Where's your Manager? Because this is unbelievable!" Mean while I was sitting in the passenger seat next to her covering my face. I felt really bad for the employee. I'll spare you the details. The argument lasted for about an hour.
She wasn't around when it happened. When I was maybe 21 or so I was staying for a bit in my parent's second house by myself during a snowy winter. I was trying to negotiate with a plow driver to plow the driveway when he told me he wouldn't do it because he had heard from other plow drivers that the lady who owned our house was a crazy witch who made unrealistic demands. I knew exactly what he meant and stopped calling plow companies. I already knew, despite the gaslighting of my childhood, that she had unchecked narcissism, but that was the first time I realized everyone else knew too. It was a weird acceptance.
My mom is named Carin and she fits it 80% of the time. She's gotten so many free things from complaints and comments. She can be so embarrassing.
A few weeks ago she had a Karen moment but in a great way. We were taking a walk with my husband and our kids and we heard screaming and a baby crying. A man was threatening a woman and was yelling "look what you're doing to the baby." My mother didn't hesitate. She walked up to the front porch and said "is there a problem?" My mother stood up to a 250lb man. She actually went into the house, pushed him out, held the baby, and calmed the situation down. My husband was there but said he was her back up.
I called the police. As she was talking to the police the man started yelling. She turned around and said "i am speaking. You need to sit down now" and waited for him to sit back down. Of course the police gave her the speech about how she shouldn't have gotten involved and called them but she went right back and said she isn't afraid of anyone and the child came first. She's a tough one.
My Mum is a mega Karen. While she doesn't yell at staff so much she's such a passive aggressive witch that it's just as humiliating for people. I spent my childhood embarrassed by her. She would have no problem in humiliating us kids in public either, like screaming and screeching. Now I just tell her to shut the hell up and I embarrass her as much as she had embarrassed me over the years. It only took a few times and now she doesn't do it when I'm in public with her. She watches what she says. That's what relatives of Karen's need to do. Call them on their bullshit and humiliate them in public. That's the only thing that will stop them. That's their kryptonite.
Usually, I'm not on her side. Especially when she's rude to waiters or workers. It's pretty embarrassing and even though I love her, my brother and I are always so humiliated. My mom doesn't like all the bad rep "Karen's" get, so whenever she gets Starbucks or something like that she always says a random name when they ask for it. She then proceeds to post about it on Facebook without realizing that is the most "Karen" thing she could possibly do.
My biological Karen demands bi-weekly to monthly food and entertainment tribute to maintain the fragile family ceasefire, but she insist on taking turns paying the bill so she can choose to pay at the cheap places and stick me at a fancy restaurant. Regardless she always tips %3-%5 average.
At all restaurants I excuse myself to use the "restroom" intercept the server and hand them a fair tip based on what I think our meal might be. I apologize in advance and warn them my mother is a "difficult" customer. They all get it, and seem to appreciate the heads up instead of the unexpected angry customer blowing up in their faces like a grenade.
Before the lockdown I used to regularly take my mother to one sentimental cheap diner specifically because the waitress loves me and spits in my moms food.
My mom would ignore people in stores who greeted her. She would wave her hand high over her head to get the attention of a server. Complains about everyone and everything. It's embarrassing. I've grown up overcompensating for her rudeness.
Not My Kid.
I just walk away and don't say anything until she's done doing her Karen thing. Then I walk out of wherever we are before she does so if I'm seen with her it's kinda easy to do buy. Also sometimes she sees me walking away from her and then when we get home she yells at my dad for me being his child when I'm both of theirs. I just like to avoid every situation I can. So in all I do nothing and try not to let people know she's my mom.
Queen of HeartsGiphy
My mom is a Karen. As a kid I referred to her as the Queen of Hearts because she was always like, "off with their heads!!" I stopped talking to her the second I was financially able to leave her (around age 19). I've been in hospitality and customer service my whole life because I am so used to dealing with Karens. I handle it well since my mom was one 24/7. When she had her moments in public growing up, it was incredibly embarrassing. I'd usually roll my eyes and make faces that portrayed that this is something she did a lot and we were sick of it as well.
Sometimes I'd apologize. Sometimes, people would apologize to me, like "sorry your mom is a witch" kinda thing which meant a lot- that they knew they only had to deal with her for a few minutes and I had to deal with her my whole life.
When I deal with Karens at work now, sometimes their kids will do that to me. Full circle. That kinda eye lowered whisper, "sorry about them" thing and I always give them back that knowing head shake, like "it's all good- I'm sorry you have to deal with that!" If you know, you know.
It was terrible. Once I was old enough to understand what she was doing, I would get so embarrassed. As a teenager, I began apologizing for her. The worst one was when she took me to the doctor and argued over the payment. We didn't have insurance at that time, so the doctor was giving us a discount. Well, one visit they notified her that the price had gone up and she had A MELTDOWN.
She yelled at the poor girl at the desk for like five minutes before she stormed out. I was crying, because not only was I incredibly ashamed to be related to her, but as a depressed teen I felt like I had just learned exactly how much I was worth to my mom ($25... this was in the 90s). In tears, I apologized to the girl at the desk and slunk out. That one has always stuck in my head.
My mom had a Karen moment once. I don't even remember what it was about, I just know that she had a crap ton of problems at that moment, and something the cashier said had pissed her off, and she snapped at her and said something rude. I quickly said "sorry" to the cashier and went after my mom. I still feel bad for that poor cashier.
Oh God, yeah. This is definitely something that applies to me.
I used to just make myself as small as possible and ignore it because she scared the hell outta me (she wasn't abusive, I was just a really timid kid). Now that I'm an adult I've started calling her on it. Usually it doesn't help but at least she knows I'm not just gonna stand by and let her scream at everyone that looks at her.
A recent incident was actually the first time I apologized to them afterwards. We were going to a doctor's appointment and went to the wrong building so she started yelling at the poor lady at the check in desk thing. In a crowded waiting room. It was awful. I stayed behind for a minute after she left and apologized to the lady, she looked like she was gonna cry and I felt SO bad.
My mom is half a Karen and I'm ashamed when she's having a Karen moment. I go as far as walking away from her and looking at my phone.
God Help You
My mom isn't usually a Karen, but I was reading through some old blog posts I made 5 years ago and came across one where I wrote that she yelled at a McDonald's manager because the soda he gave her spilled in her Prius. It was a 2-year-old new car at the time and God help your soul if it gets dirty on the inside in any way.
I had just come out of surgery at the time and was on my way home, still drugged up. But I have a faint memory of it.
She's nicer now for the most part.
We're no longer in contact, but for one of my birthdays we went out for breakfast (after TONS of begging from me; I let her choose the place and everything). Waitress forgot something for my food and my mom went OFF on her.
I snuck the waitress my birthday money (all $20 of it) as a tip. The food was great, and all she forgot was a few strawberries. The pancakes were wonderful with or without them. My mom figured I 'wasted' my birthday money somewhere else.
I used to hide under the counter as a child. I was so embarrassed and afraid. As a teenager I would hang back and leave the store after her, and apologize to anyone she was rude to. Now I call her on it, and tell her that I'll take care of whatever the issue is. Most of the time it's just a misunderstanding and can be sorted out without screaming.
Paying It Forward
My mom isn't exactly a "Karen", but she does tend to complain when something is expensive. Like vocally, to the person who's working. Poor employees are just doing their jobs, they don't control the price of a bowl of pasta. I usually just keep quiet and say something afterwards, but I make sure to tip the worker if I can or at least offer an apologetic look
Other People Shouldn't Have To Apologize For You, Karen
My mother-in-law learned to be a Karen from her (now late) mother, who was a mega-Karen. They bragged about being able to get any meal for free, and it never failed when I went out with them- the waitstaff was put through the wringer. The food was cold, the salad dressing wasn't on the side, "this isn't what I ordered" even though it was- and they would berate the poor server for what was a perfectly good meal and service.
She once canceled my husband's dentist appointment behind his back and didn't tell him, causing a whole mess of confusion and difficulty at the office. She ended up screaming at the young lady working at the front desk (who is a family friend!) and making her cry right then and there. It was awful.
My husband has always gone behind her to apologize, even since childhood. The people are understanding that it isn't his fault, but that doesn't make the treatment they get okay :/
Queen Supreme KarenGiphy
My mother has borderline personality disorder and a pain pill addiction. She is a miserable, toxic person. And I almost let her ruin my life once upon a time. She's the Queen of the Karens.
She really messed me up mentally and emotionally, and it bred this sense of entitlement in myself, well into my early twenties before I even realized that I was being a complete tool. I always thought of myself as a generally nice person. And I was, until I didn't get my way. Just like her. I'm very, horribly ashamed to admit all this.
So the answer to these questions are a mixed bag. I used to defend her and even join her side. She taught me that I shouldn't be ashamed if there are looks over how we acted, because the looks and judgment were directed at the people/workers/managers etc that denied us <insert trivial demand here>. She was and is delusional af. And she deluded me from a very young age. I am now 30 years old, and I'm still recouping from the toxicity she instilled in the roots of who I am. It's even contributed to other issues, and it's ruined relationships. I have such deep anger issues and I'm still working to resolve them in therapy to this day.
Yes, I am very ashamed. Ashamed of my mother. Ashamed of who I used to be. Ashamed that those impulses and instincts are even still there, as it worries me that they may never go away completely. But I'm committed to working hard to always fight those feelings when they come up. But most of all, I'm ashamed of the journey my life has taken, but therapy and support give me hope. And there's a certain self forgiveness in that, which I hope to achieve one day.
In short, I can't say all Karens have the same issues that my mother, Queen Supreme Karen, has; I can say that I don't wish the life of being the child of any kind of Karen minion on even my worst enemy. It's psychologically destructive, and can destroy your morals in the process. It's a miserable life, and it's easy to allow it to consume you if you don't get it under control.
Don't Feed The Karens
Friend is a child of a Karen
She was apologizing to everyone in a grocery store when her mom was checking out with a box of soda cans, and the bagger punched out the handles on it so she could carry it, and she said "mm no you ruined it go get me another." And everyone was waiting for them and he actually had to lol
It gave her a philosophy on Karens- don't give them what they want when they throw a fit that makes them BOLDER.
Learning How Not To Act
My aunt is the one who is a Karen, and I spent most of my times with her. Everytime she had her Karen moment, I always said sorry to the people right after she left, gave extra tips and all that without her knowing. I'm not even embarrassed or anything more like annoyed bc I know it's hard for her to change her personality and everything, I'm lucky that at least she's willing to listen to me when I told her that her behaviors are wrong and rude, she always told me "I'm teaching them something didn't I?
I'm helping them in a way" and well it's hard when she only listen and never actually changed.
I speak out once, and she gave me the look, and lecture me after it happened, of course I listened to her and just nod, to calm her off. But later I tried to talk to her about how bad her behavior earlier is, sometimes she realized it sometimes she doesn't. I'm so sorry for those people who get yelled at by my aunt. Thank god I'm not like her.
What Are Male Karens? Dougs?
My dad's the Karen in the family, and it's kind of horrifying. The last time we went on vacation together he freaked out at the clerk at this one hotel, I can't even remember what it was about, but I think she ended up giving in to him just to get him way from her. The rest of us were all switching between taking our turn asking him to stop and looking at the ground in shame. But the kicker is that after I got to my room I realized I had to go back down to get laundry detergent from her. She was still visibly upset, I just tried to finish the interaction as fast as possible.
Discounts For Karens
My mom's obsessed with getting discounts. She's called over managers and argued with staff when they wouldn't accept her coupon. I've told her to just forget about the discount, but she always just tells me to wait. This happens a lot at Chilis because of the automated kiosk and all the different types of discounts. I can tell that the staff are annoyed, but they have to pretend to be happy.
Last year, I was in my mother's car as she was pulling up to her house in a cul-de-sac when she noticed an Apple Maps van driving by. She quickly jumped out (far more quickly than she is usually capable of) and began berating the driver with expletives, calling him a wanker and shouting at him to f**k off. I asked her to calm down and let her know that her behaviour was utterly disgraceful and that I was embarrassed by it. She didn't show any signs of remorse, she believes that them taking photos of the street is an unacceptable invasion of privacy.
It's not the first or last time she'll do something like that, but I never let her get away with it if she is treating others unfairly.
She also voted for Brexit, that's pretty Karen-y in its own way (especially given her reasons for doing so - my favourite one was that she can't seem to find a similar variety of apples that she could when she was a child, and blames the EU).
Karen Moments, Karen LifeGiphy
My mom used to be someone amazing, but some years ago she met her now husband who really fit in the role of Karen's husband. Since then she changed a lot, she isn't a fully evolved Karen but she's getting there.
She doesn't have TV anymore and live far from the city. Her only source of news is the 24/7 news channel my stepfather watch on his computer. This channel is widely known in my country for being the type that only show terrible thing or normal things but presented in a terrible way in order to gain audience. So her view on the world is... well, its wrong.
When she has Karen moments i often offer to deal with the people myself or most of the time just tell her she's wrong factually and morally.
She isn't a really smart person, and believe i am that type of person, so she usually trust me (after some arguing most of the time). She has faith in me and like me a lot so it's pretty easy for me to make her understand, sadly i went to live far away and she doesn't have the same feelings for my sister, so most of the time nobody can do anything about it.