15 Children of ‘Karens’ Explain What Life Is Like With Them
Not sure exactly what it means to be a Karen? According to Dictionary.com, “Karen is a mocking slang term for an entitled, obnoxious, middle-aged white woman. Especially as featured in memes, Karen is generally stereotyped as having a blonde bob haircut, asking to speak to retail and restaurant managers to voice complaints or make demands, and being a nagging, often divorced mother from Generation X.”
Maybe the Karens in your life look a little bit different than the description above, but it’s the attitude that really characterizes a true Karen.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to not only live with a Karen but be raised by a Karen, you’re about to find out. Children of Karens are speaking out and sharing their stories on Reddit. Scroll down to hear from 15 people what it’s really like to have a Karen for a mom.
A Reformed Karen
Reddit user mercadilly wrote, “My Mom is a reformed Karen. When I was a kid she used to treat people in customer service like trash. When I was a teenager and in customer service positions, it finally dawned on her what a terrible human being she was being. She’s turned around and been great ever since. I’m proud of her to recognize her faults and fix them.”
“I have an anxiety disorder”
Reddit user ASzinhaz shared, “My mom is somewhat of a Karen (mostly in regards to restaurants) and I have an anxiety disorder. It’s a combination made in hell.”
“I’m just like her.”
From reddit user One_Knight_Scripting, “When I was a child everything was someone else’s fault. We’d speak to managers in stores/restaurants/etc.
When I came of age, I joined the military and moved away as fast as possible. As an adult, my relationship with her was terrible. I was so frustrated by her asking me to come back to visit her area everytime we talked, that I just stopped talking to her. Something particularly interesting had happened this past year. I went home to see my grandma on dad’s side as she was passing. I called my mom and told her I was taking an emergency trip and would be in the area but wouldn’t have time to see her. Her response? “That’s fine, I understand your family needs you.” I was beside myself. I had known that she was working on herself for a while, but living so far away and speaking so little I hadn’t witnessed it. Five years ago, she would have demanded that I leave my dying grandma to come see her. I came back to the area the next month and we discussed it more. She said that she realized that a lot of problems in her life and a lot of the unhappiness stems from selfishness. I am incredibly proud of the changes she’s made in her life. And it has forced me to reevaluate my own actions pertaining to our strained relationship and my life as a whole. And I’ve come to a conclusion. I’m just like her.”
Reddit user nannylittle writes, “It’s exhausting.
I can’t do anything normal with her or even have a normal conversation. Sometimes I’d like to call and ask how my sister is. Instead I get a list of people who have wronged her in the last week. It’s the most petty bullshit too. “Oh some child was running around at McDonalds today, if that was my child I’d have warmed her bottom!” I know mom, I was that child. Same with the entitlement. She’ll give me a list of things that should’ve been done for her. It makes it so hard to even contact her because I have to mentally prepare myself for hours of ranting on the phone. If we ever go out together, like even to get lunch. I’m going to be embarrassed by her behavior. Not to mention she’ll try to embarrass me somehow.”
A male Karen
From xaradevir: “My dad is a male Karen.
I always hated listening to him call customer service on the phone, because he’s such a complete asshole to whoever is just trying to do their job.”
Here’s how reddit user d4ydr34m02 copes. “I learned to end argues by saying ‘you’re right'”
Reddit user demonardvark wrote, “Frankly it’s embarrassing. You have to sit there while they shriek at a manager and cause a big scene. If you try to chime in you get yelled at, then they are in a bad mood the rest of the day. I’ve sat through hour long debates with managers over 11 cents disparity on a bill. Everyone is looking at you and you are just kind of trapped there.”
A 2nd Generation Karen
From Reddit user desert_red_head: “When my siblings and I were younger, she was great, but she’s become more insufferable as she’s gotten older. She has two voices: a talking to us voice and a talking to other people voice. Her other people voice is very serial killer like. She tells us not to shop at certain stores or stay at certain types of hotels when we travel because they are “ghetto”. She is never EVER wrong. For anything. Even when I tear an argument of hers to shreds, she makes me apologize. I’ve never received an apology from her in my life, even when she’s screamed in my face for absolutely no reason.
She’s not exactly the “let me speak to your manager” type, but she will leave places crappy reviews on Google or Facebook if she doesn’t like the service. Speaking of which, she is the queen of Facebook. The first couple months of the pandemic she wouldn’t stop posting about how we all need to go back to living. Now that the protests have started, she’s been ranting about how she didn’t sit in the house for 2 months for it to be ruined by protesters. I’ve had to learn to just ignore it and be thankful I don’t live with her anymore. It may also be worth mentioning my mom is a second generation Karen. My grandma is the literal textbook definition of Karen. She’s almost 80 years old and I still can’t go to restaurants with her because I never know what she’s going to say or do. My generation’s Karen seems to be my brother. However, my fiancé already knows that if I ever start showing any traits of Karen then he is to immediately put me out of my misery.”
Her real name is Karen but she’s not a Karen
Reddit user ukalakaliki shares, “My mothers name is karen but she is the opposite of the stereotypical karen. Shes awesome”
A Family of Karens
From Reddit user sntigar, “I have no idea who is worse between my Father, my Mother, my oldest sister and my older sister.
Dad will belittle anyone who crosses him, demanding to speak to managers, threatening litigation, calls to authorities, etc. He is always concerned that somebody is out to get him and is extremely cautious of scammers. Door to door solicitors or people calling are in for a treat if the are sorry enough to get him. Customer representatives over the phone have no idea how to manage him. He is surpisingly very nice when things are going smooth though. Mom is a textbook restaurant Karen. She is fortunately nice about it, but will request changes, comments on everything, etc. But she is impossible to please. I get it when I do anything for her. Oldest sister has my dad’s temper and my mom’s demands, without either of their niceness. Plus she is well married so she is insanely entitled. Older sister is just temper, will just yell at people. They are my family and I love them, but I hate it when I see any of their awful ways in me. Hopefully Karen shaming will get them soon and they understand the wrong of their ways.”
“I used to make excuses”
Reddit user whitethrowblanket explains, “My mom is a Karen to service people sometimes. She can range from mildly rude to a total monster at times. I used to make excuses, like one time when she worked as a realtor and in the middle of buying something retail, stepped away a bit to take a phone call. The lady had this obvious “are you kidding, that couldn’t wait another minute to finish this” kinda expression I tried to smooth it over like “oh sorry, she’s at work always even when she’s not at work” kinda thing. Lady responded “it’s still rude” and tbh that was the first moment I realized yeah, my mom is rude. Now if she’s unreasonable I straight up tell her off. Usually ends in the 2 of us fighting and me apologizing to whoever just got yelled at. The worst was after my grandma died, she took her feelings out on everyone. After her being rude to a waitress for NO reason, my brother told me to ease up since “she just lost her mom”. I replied, every one of us here just lost a person we love but they gives her NO right to treat others like crap! Especially for no reason!”
Humiliating and Horrific
Reddit user Exiled_to_Earth wrote, “It was humiliating. My mother treated everyone in the service industry as if they were idiot peasants placed there to serve her exclusively. However; she usually never brought her children out in public, so I was spared the majority of her behavior. She has always looked shockingly young for her age and it always seemed like she had kids really young, so that was a part of it. The other part was that she hated how I looked.
We’re an asian family and I was always overweight; a complete taboo for women. She would comment about my appearance to every single stranger she could. Doctors, target employees, other kids, etc. Whenever she was forced to buy me clothing, she would comment to every worker how nothing looked good on me because I was ugly and fat. Then she would proceed to insult the workers. I always felt so ashamed by both actions that I could never look anyone in the eye. I could feel their pity radiating out and it was humiliating. I didn’t want anyone to feel bad for me. I didn’t want their damn sympathy. I didn’t want to be a major point of ridicule. It has led to a lifetime of having too much pride. It’s hard to laugh at myself now and I take myself way too seriously. I struggle to act less serious, but I spent so much time being laughed at. I can’t take it and I hate it when anyone talks shit about anyone, even if they deserve it. I have openly refused to trash talk a nonpublic figure for a long time. It’s always toxic, especially if you wouldn’t say it to their face. My mother would also use her first language to openly insult people all the time. She bled entitlement. It was horrific.”
From Reddit user WikThorKun: “Terrible, I don’t even want to talk about it.”
Reddit user meiyoumayo wrote, “My mom once had some strong Karen tendencies, but she started channeling that Karen energy into activism, community service, and advocating for people, and it morphed into assertiveness and tenacity rather than rudeness. Honestly, she’s an inspiration to me, because she took what was an issue for her and turned it into something positive that helps others.”
She Even Looks Like a Karen
From Reddit user Grand_Admiral_D, “My mom was actually named Karen. Her hair is the cut of actual meme Karen. Living with her was hell. She is no longer in my life. I have so many crazy horror stories I doubt many would believe me.”