+
upworthy
Joy

Stop blaming the 'Karens.' The people who complain the most have a different name.

The stereotype has been wrong all along.

karen, karen meme, karen stereotype

A woman giving a stern warning.

Over the past few years, women named Karen have taken a lot of heat in the media. The term "Karen" has been used to describe a specific type of entitled, privileged and often middle-aged white woman. Typically, "Karen” is depicted as demanding, self-important and constantly seeking to escalate minor inconveniences to authority figures, like demanding to "speak to the manager."

Identifying the folks who create unnecessary drama in our world is important. But calling them a “Karen” isn’t the best way to solve the problem. There are many reasons to have an issue with the “Karen” stereotype. First, it’s terrible for people named Karen, and it’s also a connotation that many feel is racist, sexist and ageist.

Further, according to a new study by Trustpilot, the stereotype isn’t accurate. A recent survey by the online media site found that the people who leave the most one-star reviews aren’t female, and the women who do it the most aren’t named Karen.


Trustpilot is a site where people can review a business from which they’ve purchased a product or contacted customer service. According to TrustPilot, the number one biggest one-star reviewers are named John, not Karen.

“The name John is top for [one-star] reviews in the US, with the rest of the top five positions filled by David, Michael, Chris and James,” the site wrote in a press release. “Looking at specific categories, John is also first for negative reviews in Business Services, Electronics and Technology, Shopping and Fashion, and Money and Insurance. Meanwhile, Lisa left the most [one-star] reviews in our Beauty and Wellbeing category.”

So, if your name is Karen, keep this story in your back pocket next time someone stereotypes you as an entitled complainer. The real complainers are the Johns and, for the women, Lisas.

Why do people go online and write negative reviews? Psychologist William Berry writes in Psychology Today that people get many positive benefits from complaining, although they may annoy everyone around them.

The first big reason is an ego boost. When people complain, they feel validated. It also makes them feel superior to others. Complaining can also bring like-minded people together. If you and a significant other have ever been mistreated in a restaurant or car dealership, having a mutual enemy can work wonders for your relationship.

There are also entire groups of people who bond over a common gripe.

People who habitually complain may do so because of the brain’s negativity bias. “The human brain, geared for survival, focuses on negatives (as they appear more threatening to survival) than on positives (which enhance life but are less vital for survival),” Berry writes. “As the brain perceives negatives at an approximated ratio of five to one, there is simply more to complain about than there is to be grateful for. Additionally, this may lead to less general happiness.”

Here are the top 15 names of consumers who leave the most one-star reviews on Trustpilot. (Also known as the folks that owe the Karens out there an apology.)

1. John

2. David

3. Michael

4. Chris

5. James

6. Mike

7. Mark

8. Robert

9. Alex

10. Paul

11. Lisa

12. Sarah

13. Steve

14. Sam

15. Daniel


This article originally appeared on 9.7.23

True

Making new friends as an adult is challenging. While people crave meaningful IRL connections, it can be hard to know where to find them. But thanks to one Facebook Group, meeting your new best friends is easier than ever.

Founded in 2018, NYC Brunch Squad brings together hundreds of people who come as strangers and leave as friends through its in-person events.

“Witnessing the transformative impact our community has on the lives of our members is truly remarkable. We provide the essential support and connections needed to thrive amid the city's chaos,” shares Liza Rubin, the group’s founder.

Despite its name, the group doesn’t just do brunch. They also have book clubs, seasonal parties, and picnics, among other activities.

NYC Brunch Squad curates up to 10 monthly events tailored to the specific interests of its members. Liza handles all the details, taking into account different budgets and event sizes – all people have to do is show up.

“We have members who met at our events and became friends and went on to embark on international journeys to celebrate birthdays together. We have had members get married with bridesmaids by their sides who were women they first connected with at our events. We’ve had members decide to live together and become roommates,” Liza says.

Members also bond over their passion for giving back to their community. The group has hosted many impact-driven events, including a “Picnic with Purpose” to create self-care packages for homeless shelters and recently participated in the #SquadSpreadsJoy challenge. Each day, the 100 members participating receive random acts of kindness to complete. They can also share their stories on the group page to earn extra points. The member with the most points at the end wins a free seat at the group's Friendsgiving event.

Keep ReadingShow less
Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Van Gogh’s Starry Night.



Van Gough never got to enjoy his own historic success as an artist (even though we've been able to imagine what that moment might have looked like). But it turns out that those of us who have appreciated his work have been missing out on some critical details for more than 100 years.

I'm not easily impressed, OK?

I know Van Gogh was a genius. If the point of this were "Van Gogh was a mad genius," I would not be sharing this with you.
Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Mom shows why painters tape is her 'weird' thing she'll never travel without

For parents with young kids looking to have a little less travel stress this holiday season—this one's for you.

@nicholaknox/Instagram

A mom shows all the ways painters tape can be useful while traveling

Traveling can be stressful for anyone, but it’s particularly challenging for parents with really young kids. The sitting still for long periods of time, the changes in schedule, the abundance of stimuli, the unexpected stomach bugs, the suddenly running out of diaper wipes…all the things that make trips triggering for toddlers and therefore chaotic for mom and dad.

And while there might not be a way to completely avoid every travel-induced aggravation (it’s all part of the journey!) there are definitely tips and tricks and tools to make it a bit smoother of a process.

For one mom, a peaceful trip always begins with a roll of painter’s tape.
Keep ReadingShow less

Gen Xer shares some timeless advice for Gen Z.

Meghan Smith is the owner of Melody Note Vintage store in the eternally hip town of Palm Springs, California, and her old-school Gen X advice has really connected with younger people on TikTok.

In a video posted in December 2022, she shares the advice she wishes that “somebody told me in my twenties” and it has received more than 13 million views. Smith says that she gave the same advice to her partner's two daughters when they reached their twenties.

The video is hashtagged #GenX advice for #GenZ and late #millennials. Sorry older millennials, you’re too old to receive these pearls of wisdom.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pets

Dog mom has the most random phone conversation that adorably captures her dog's attention

This nonsensical conversation has the puppy ready for tacos...now!

Dog mom's random conversation has dog on edge of his seat

Dogs are constantly listening even if we don't know it. Their little ears perk up anytime they hear something suspicious or tilt their heads trying to understand what's being said. Some dog owners avoid saying words like "walk," "ride" or "treat" in front of their dogs because they know it will get the dogs overly excited.

One dog mom decided to test her luck by holding a fake phone conversation while her dog was nearby and it was shared to social media by HrtWarming. The conversation was about as nonsensical as it could get because no one else was on the other end of the phone.

"Yeah, did you get the treats? Well, he specifically wanted peanut butter. Yeah. Peanut butter treats. Yeah because we're going to go for a ride later," She says. "I think we're going to go for a ride and go to daycare. Camp. Yeah."

At this point the dog is pretty invested in the conversation as he keeps tilting his head from side to side but as the random conversation goes on, he gets more excited.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Baby still in diapers is blowing people away with his musical ability at the piano

Young Gavrill seems to intuitively understand music, and the best part is that he does it with such joy.

Gavrill Scherbenko appears to be a musical prodigy.

Mozart blew people away with his composing abilities at age 5. Franz Liszt played piano professionally for the aristocracy when he was 9. Yo-Yo Ma played cello for President John F. Kennedy at age 7.

Musical prodigies have fascinated people for centuries with their mastery of music at unexpected ages. Most of us have the same questions: How and at what age were their abilities discovered? Is it nature or nurture or a combination of both? Can prodigies be created on purpose, or is it something no one can predict or control?

While each musical prodigy has their own unique story, one family is giving the world some early glimpses of what an innate sense for music looks like in a baby who's still in diapers.

Keep ReadingShow less

Is it always best to be honest with friends?

A big parenting trend over the past few decades is people giving their children names that help them stand out instead of fit in. Social scientists say that a big reason for the change in America is the rise of individualism.

“As American culture has become more individualistic, parents have favored giving children names that help them stand out—and that means more unique names and fewer common names,” Jean Twenge, a San Diego State University psychology professor, told the BBC.

However, being an individualist comes with some risks. One can be an iconoclastic trendsetter or seen as desperate, inauthentic and cringeworthy.

Keep ReadingShow less