If you have ever binged watched anything you know that by doing so, you start to become a part of the show. You may start to think like the characters think and assume people you meet have characteristics of those in that TV land. After White Collar, I kept my purse close in case there was a Neal Caffrey trying to steal something, make a copy, and then put it back with out being noticed. After Pretty Little Liars, I cringed at the sound of a text and was constantly noticing black hoodies and red coats. After Real Housewives, I may or may not have thrown a glass of wine in Val’s face and kicked her out of my house for putting her feet on my sofa.
Ok… one of those may be an exaggeration, but binge watching the Real Housewives of Orange County did give me time to get to “know” the ladies and analyze their situations. While friendship has been on my mind lately, because of our new girls group (yay! I am loving it and all the gals!), and seeing the ups and downs of the women’s friendships on the show, I began noticing a few things that are beneficial and some not so beneficial things to building and maintaining friendships! So here are the DO’s & DON’Ts of friendship that I have learned from the beautiful ladies of the OC.
#1. DON’T GOSSIP
This has got to be the biggest issue I see on this show! If it weren’t for the gossip no one would get their feelings hurt or feel betrayed. Gossip also tends to expose those that are being two faced. (With editing and montages, it is super obvious!) They say one thing with one friend and something totally different to someone else just 5 minutes later!
In our own friendships, it is so important to keep things confidential and to not break the trust that we have built. It can be easy to talk about others lives as a topic of conversation, but there is a line between updating someone on whats going on with a mutual friend and sharing too much or talking bad about someone. To decipher which you are doing, ask yourself “Would I say this (the details, this tone, my opinions) if that person were here?” And guard against becoming a chameleon… changing your opinions to match those of the people you are with. Being true to yourself and your values, build trust with those watching.
#2. DON’T BASH A BOYFRIEND OR SPOUSE
There has been tons of boyfriend bashing from Slade to Brooks. By friends & enemies. To people or to gossip columns. On one end it can be to humiliate or bring down another person and their choices and on the better end it starts from genuine concern, from a friend who wants the best for you. There has been a ton and it has caused such huge rifts between friendships!
I have learned this one from personal experience, on both sides, and my advice is this: Talk to your friend and let her know your concerns if you think she is dating someone who is not good for her or may be treating her poorly. Have a serious sit down conversation, don’t just make little side comments or jokes, but really let her know that you are genuinely concerned. If she is your friend she will seriously take it to heart, whether she does anything about it immediately or not. And then pray, pray, pray that God will speak to her heart about the matter and show her the truth and if need be, show you the truth. By constant bashing and judgement, you could run the risk of losing her as a friend and losing any influence and support you have in her life.
*This is mainly talking about if you just think her boyfriend is a loser and she could do better, not if you think he is being abusive.
#3. DON’T BRING THE DRAMA
Thank goodness we are not in danger of being cut from a show for being too boring! It’s becoming more and more obvious to me that there are some who have figured out the longevity to staying on the show. One season they have to be loud and dramatic, (to boost ratings and win the producers over) and the next they are nice and friendly (so that viewers don’t hate them and cast mates will still want to film with them).
You can probably think back to a friend who is full of drama! Either she creates it, because she desires attention or it happens to follow her, because of destructive behaviors. In both cases, dealing with dramatic friends can be exhausting and those types of relationships always tend to be more one sided, with one regularly being there for the other.
#4. DON’T RELY ON ALCOHOL TO HAVE A GOOD TIME
OMG…. I would be in the hospital if I had as much to drink as these ladies! (This is not an exaggeration… I am an extreme lightweight.) Whether it is to calm nerves, ensure a good time, or loosen someone up enough to dance on the bar at Andale, they are alwayyys drinking!
I like to have a drink out with the gals as much as the next person, but if you find that drinking is ALWAYS a part of your friend time or that it is in excess, you may need to make some changes. Partying with friends may make for wild memories, but it doesn’t create deep relationships.
#5. DON’T SPEAK CONDESCENDINGLY
You are very smart… we get it. I actually really like having Heather on the show, because I think she brings a very different personality into the mix. She speaks well and she seems to be an information nerd, which I can totally appreciate. But it was totally intensified this past season, I’m sure with some editing, and it really caused some friction with the girls.
I not suggesting that you dumb down all conversations. But I think there are 2 important things to consider here : your motives & your tone. Are you using big obscure words because you love language and have a wide vocabulary or are you using them to make others feel small? And is your tone light and friendly or are you talking to your friends like you would talk to your children???? Let’s also add, no finger pointing and wagging either! Friends want to feel like there is some level of balance and equality in the friendship. They don’t want to feel like they brought their English teacher or mother to girls nite.
#1. DO GIVE THE NEW GIRL A CHANCE
Every season when they introduce a new girl, you can bet that Vicki will not like them and try to test them, with the latest newbie it was by forgetting her name ( I think she stole that move from Brandi…).
When someone brings a new gal into the group, be proactive in welcoming her in and making her feel comfortable. You may be super shy, but think about how intimidating it would be if you were the new girl and knew no one! Plus, you may just end up meeting a new best friend. :)
#2. COMMUNICATE QUICKLY, DIRECTLY, & LOVINGLY ABOUT ISSUES
Like pretty much every show on TV, Real Housewives thrives on NOT talking about issues quickly, directly, and lovingly! How short would an episode be without all the talking about the issue to the husband, other friend, hair stylists, momma, etc ??? How could we get those great teasers for next week if no one ever screamed and ran off or broke down into tears???
It is inevitable that some disagreement will come up between you and your friends. Although it can be awkward and uncomfortable, always try to talk with them about it quickly. It’s crazy how many arguments start, because of a simple miscommunication that neither party intended! Have your talk alone, so no one feels “ambushed”, and don’t beat around the bush. Pray about it beforehand that you would be communicating in love and with the others persons best interest in mind!
#3. DO CALL WHEN YOU WILL MISS OR BE LATE
I could have never in my wildest dreams have imagined that being late or missing an event could cause so much ill will! And it is not just with this bunch… off the top of my head I can recall it happening with Yolanda, Nene, Kandi, Lisa, and Kim. Being late or missing an event without texting or calling well ahead of time and with a good reason, will make you the topic off conversation for entire said event.
Coming from a person who as never been on time in her life, this was really good for me to see! I never want my friends to feel like I don’t take them or their event seriously, or that I don’t want to be there. I think we should make a point to attend and be on time for our friends so that we can show that we support them, and if need be, just text we will be late! And I am quite sure that our friends will be gracious enough not to start a war over it.
#4. DO TAKE TRIPS & HAVE FUN TOGETHER
You probably aren’t going to be heading out to Bali or Puerto Vallarta anytime soon, but how much fun do these ladies have together when they take a trip?!? With the stresses of life and family not there and everyone having on their party pants, they all seem a lot more chill and easy to get along with… except for when they are fighting. (Ok maybe this one is hit or miss with these ladies, but I think it will be all good with you and your friends :) ).
Traveling together can bond you quicker than anything! You are together 24/7 and you are going through different circumstances together! Some fun, some stressful, but you are able to learn about each other and lean n each other in new and different ways! I have always been a huge advocate of girl’s trips… even if it is just stuffing 6 girl in a 1 bedroom condo at the beach nearby!
#5. ADMIT WHEN YOUR WRONG & APOLOGIZE
It absolutely warms my heart and gives me hope for these housewives, when I see one of them admit they’re wrong and apologize. It is sort of like a meteor, if you blink you may miss it and it doesn’t happen too often, but when it happens, it makes me feel like there is some realness to these friendships and they truly to care about what happens between them in the end.
One of the greatest benefits to growth in our lives is having a teachable spirit. Being aware that we don’t always know everything and that we make mistakes, helps us to be able to hear when we are wrong and grow from it. Arguments would be so much shorter if we could admit our fault, apologize, and move on.
So tell me, have you learned anything from watching the Real Housewives???
Which city is your favorite?