What’s So Bad About Being a Karen?

I think I might be a Karen.


If you don’t know what heinous sin this is, ‘Karen’ is a name people apply to busybodies, do-gooders, and -basically- annoying types who butt in to ensure you’re doing something correctly. If you look lost on the street, Karen might walk over (uninvited) to tell you not to loiter and exactly what destination you must see. Standing in the wrong place at checkout? Karen will set you straight.

Apparently, many do not enjoy this setting-straightness. They’d rather be left alone to their pitfalls and foibles and misconducts without helpful advice. Many even consider this meddling to be unhelpful. Can you believe that?

This is Reason One why I may be a Karen: I relate to the idea of ‘helping.’ I like the idea of correcting an incorrect world. I have, for example, added the necessary change to a teacher’s whiteboard lesson when she wrote their instead of they’re. When I took some classes toward college last year, the couple running the group mentioned how they will miss my “helping us to know the correct way to do things.” Ouch.

Reason Two for why I might fit this category is that I’ve noticed that I notice errors. I’m critical. I’m observant about defects or problems. In fact, I worked for a couple years as a Quality Control Technician. When reading something, my eyes are drawn to grammar or spelling errors. Yes; I am one of those people.



The good news is that I do not fit Reason Three: my being named Karen. My name is, honestly, Chelsea. My parents were not even going to consider naming me ‘Karen;’ more to the point, my mother thought I was a boy because I attached so much lower than my older sister…

I try to mask my Karenness. I will my expression to remain neutral at misspeakings or misspellings. When in public, I refrain from ‘helping.’ I genuinely care for people and mean well, though; so, what’s so bad about being Karen?

Wouldn’t you want one around?


It’s been a while since I’ve done this, so here’s a bit of what I did over the last week:
Monday, December 7: Shared a quote by Muhammad Ali.

Tuesday, December 8: Whipped up an awful example of an amusing poem.

Thursday, December 10: Whipped up another awful example of an amusing poem.

Friday, December 11: Winner of the A Mused Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Doug!

Sunday, December 13: Announced the next A Mused Poetry Contest. PLEASE ENTER a limerick about resolutions!

Monday, December 14: An inspirational quote from a book by Anne Lamott.

Tuesday, December 15: “Safer at Home Journal For My Kids,” by Kat of The Lily Café.

Wednesday, Date: Today.

I also posted random thoughts of mine on my motherhood site.

Photo Credit: Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels, and CafePress

©2020 Chelsea Owens

65 thoughts on “What’s So Bad About Being a Karen?

  1. I feel having a “Karen” around could be helpful if their attitude is right. I am not much into someone with an attitude of “know it all”. Like you I notice spelling mistakes and sometimes I catch grammar errors. I don’t make a fuss about those things unless I am asked to proof read someone’s writing. I try to proof read my posts before I hit the “Publish” button.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, good. My worry comes from when others complain about that impulse. I can’t turn it off, but I have learned not to say anything unless asked -of course, some people have asked and then gotten offended…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t heard the word Karen enough to know what it means, but given your definition of Karen, I’m probably one as well except if a herd is rushing over a cliff I will probably get out of the way. Or at least try not to join them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A while back, inspired by a building project, I wrote an essay titled Advice. Here is the last two paragraphs.

    I always welcome critique but people have to understand the work is mine, not theirs.

    As for flaws, I take them in stride. If I wanted perfection I would have hired a perfectionist. This way, the mistakes are mine and they give the place character – my character.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. OK, your definition is far different than any I have heard. A Karen is a woman of privilege who thinks her poop doesn’t stink, but those who are different (perhaps different skin color, different social class, different religion (if if it is just a denomination of the same larger religion), different sexual orientation, etc.) poop stinks to high heaven and they (the Karen) think they are doing good by telling that person exactly how and why they (the Karen) perceives their poop to stink. So it isn’t helping someone who looks lost, it is assuming that a black person is lost because they are in a nice neighborhood.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. yeah pretty much, actually the origin of Karen started in restaurant’s. Difficult customers who sent food back were deemed “Karen”, then they morphed into Racist’s or like Trent said people that think everyone else is beneath them. I’ve never heard your definition.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yep, it is not something you want to be called! And, if the term “Karen” was used before this spring, it was not a nationwide, or worldwide, thing. It exploded on the scene this spring, it was all the very worst connotations.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yikes. 😳 That is definitely not at all what I thought when people called others “Karen”.
        I’m just a bit of a know-it-all, who genuinely wants to help others! What does that make me?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. My younger son, Michael, speaks quite disdainfully of Karens, Chelsea, and I think they have a bit more a bad reputation than just being helpful. It believe they interfere and report minor infractions to the authorities. I am quite sure you are not the Karen my son talks about.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I don’t mind having my many levels of floors been loudly pointed out, I kin axpect that. The problem is the true Karen tends to have an irrational irascible inability to accept advice giving can be reciprocal.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I could wear that t-shirt… but for my grandkids, the correction is usually not “silent.” I seldom need to correct them.

    They don’t appear to resent it… just regard it as one of grandpa’s peculiarities, I suppose…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, these articles paint a much harsher ‘Karen’ than what I was familiar with. I’m not going to drop a mask and tell at other people based on skin color, but I am tempted to tell people to leash their dogs -definitely to pick up their dog’s feces.

      Liked by 1 person

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