I saw someone ask the winds of SM about using the name Karen in their WIP. It’s an ancient name with a beautiful meaning. Look it up. What’s funny is that this has been on my mind when I see the slur tossed around.
I’ve thought it must suck to be a Karen right now. People are so gleeful when adopting new and more biting ways of invalidating someone. I get it that often these ‘Karens’ have opened themselves up to herd shaming by behaving as reprehensibly as possible without a seeming care for their behavior. I do get that.
What I also get is how meeting her tit for your tat is so counterproductive to stopping people like her. When I see my kids go tit for tat on matters the one thing I can say with certainty is that the one retaliating always looks pettier and smaller than the one who initiated. I don’t know why this is but it is. And it speaks to the knowledge that the best way to diffuse a situation is with calm maturity.
I’ve been watching Masterclass and not long ago I started the Chris Voss lessons. Chris Voss if you don’t know (and I didn’t) is an ex FBI negotiator and high paid consultant. I started his lessons out of boredom one day. One of the main ideas of his lessons is that if you escalate they will escalate. Whoever you are engaging. If you scream they scream. If you raise your voice and become frantic, they raise their voice and become frantic. Pretty much 100% of the time unless you happen to be the poor fool who ends up against a highly trained negotiator like Chris.
One of his main tools is voice control. He calls it the Late Night FM DJ voice to calm them. You know his other tool, of equal importance? Listen up writers – it’s vocabulary. The tone and the words you use will predict almost without failure your ability to deal with anyone. Yes, there will be outliers but none of us lead that exciting a life that some mature interaction can’t deal with most of the assholes we meet. (And on a side note instead of denigrating a name why don’t we just called these people what they are assholes or douche bags or IDK insert damning epithet.)
In the end our words are powerful and the way we use them can be as shaming as any petty insult. And this is from a man who has talked some pretty fanatical, irrational, hate-filled people down from the limb.
And I can assure, he never once called them Karen.