Thursday, March 25, 2021

Psychology of Karen IV: The Robber Karen Sub-type

Previously, we had discussed the three sub-types of Karens;

(NOTE: for consistency, I'll be using the term Karen, and "Ken" if the subject is male. Apologies to actual people named Karen and Ken)

Type I: "Serve me, peon!" Karen -- entitled Karen wanted people around her to serve her, no matter how inappropriate (i.e. "I don't work here, lady!" stories)

Type II: Vigilante Karen -- narcissistic Karen believes she's doing the world right by enforcing some "law" or "standard" in her head, even though it was uncalled for, i.e. "Karen calls the cops on my wobbly disabled father for alleged public intoxication" or "Karen tried to kidnap unaccompanied minor in an airport, chased her across multiple terminals". 

Type III: Punisher Karen -- narcissistic Karen believes her target needs to be punished for whatever transgressions in her head. Example: "Karen tries to rip out server's hair because Karen can't believe they are not extensions". 

Today, I like to propose a 4th sub-type of Karen: the "robber Karen". 

The robber Karen is an entitled parent, usually accompanied by an entitled kid who wanted something the subject has, could be anything, from a pet to a handheld console, to a laptop, to professional items such as musical instruments and cosplay lightsabers. Due to the narcissistic nature of Karen, she considers everyone else's belongings as hers. In this aspect, it is very similar to Type I with the "serve me!" attitude. 

The story usually starts with the entitled kid, who wanders around, saw the subject possessing a certain item. The kid demanded to play with the item, was refused, then went off to find mommy.  Karen will then demand the item usually with verbiage like "it's just _____, you don't need it" or "my kid just wanted to play with ____".  

At this point, the logic she used does not matter, as it probably made no sense anyway. Often, it's "you're too old/too young for _____" when the logic would have also applied to the entitled kid. The reasoning can be simply "you don't deserve ______" (and her entitled kid does) though it may not be verbalized that way. Instead, it's usually phrased as "How DARE you refuse entitled kid?! Hand it over!" 

The subject will, of course, refuse. But Karen is not taking no for an answer, no matter the sheer gall of demanding an item that does not belong to her or her kid. 

If the subject tries to rebut with "but it cost this much ______, so no" she'll express incredulity, like "that is just a toy" and offer a ridiculously low price like "that's just a toy, I'll give you $50" when it's worth $300+, because she does not recognize the item's worth and thus will not believe the answer. 

In fact, any rebuttal reason will be turned around by Karen into a logic pretzel. "The dog's too dangerous for a child? Well, you shouldn't have it then!"  Never mind that it'd be even MORE dangerous to strangers such as Karen and entitled kid. To a Karen, your reasons are irrelevant. Only her entitled kid and her truthiness matter.  

At this point, Karen will often attempt to take the item by force (or help the entitled kid do so) because transgression against her "reasonable" demand or offer was refused, and thus the subject must be "punished", and in this aspect, they resemble type III Karen. 

At this point, the incident turns into strongarm robbery against the subject, often a minor. 

If the subject managed to retain the item, Karen will sometimes call the authorities, claiming to have been robbed, when she was the one doing the robbery. Indeed, in most Reddit stories, this is where they forgot there are surveillance cameras overhead, similar to various type I stories. 

One example would be "Karen tries to steal model train set because EK wanted it, caught red-handed, caused hundreds in damage"

Another example, "Karen pulled my hair so her son can touch it, my mom pressed charges"

Similar to a type I Karen, Type IV Karens will lie to authorities to get their way, but often, they are against owners who *can* prove ownership, and thus, often lose badly. Though it makes you wonder if they ever did it to kids who did not know what to do to fight back. 


So how do you deal with a type IV Karen? 

Escape and evade immediately. You don't need the drama. Move away from the area, change your stance. If you were standing up, sit down. If you were sitting down, stand up. Change your clothing and/or your look temporarily (put on or take off a layer of clothing, if possible). Go into a restroom if need be and change. They can't engage you if they can't find you. 

Else, be in a crowd. 

If they managed to engage you, you can try the "why" tactic, but with the child there to remind her of her mission, distracting Karen is far more difficult. On the other hand, her mobility would be limited if she had to drag the child along. It's easier to escape and evade instead. 

If this is in public, you can try public humiliation instead, by proclaiming loudly "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU SAID THAT TO ME!"  You don't have to be specific, just turn away in disgust and walk away. She'll be so confused (for a moment) her mission temporarily forgotten as she had attracted way more attention than she wanted.