I've been meaning to talk here about the Real Housewives of New York (RHONY), because they have three new cast members, and you know anytime new people are added to the mix it's always interesting to see how they bond and get acclimated to the group. One reason these types of shows fascinate me is because they serve as an example for how people interact. Sure, their lifestyle might not be the same as you or I, but the way they argue, apologize, and make friends usually is.
I had gotten away from watching RHONY the last few years (especially this past one) because things seemed to be very negative on the show. Sure, there is always fighting and nitpicking, but it was more than that. It was as if things were almost too dark and there was too much negativity to find the show enjoyable anymore.
However, that's all changed with this new set of cast members. I'm back "on" on the show, and if the first two episodes are any indication, I think it's going to be quite a season.
The last episode was titled (and themed) after something that Aviva Drescher's husband Reid always says, which I think has to be the single best line in the history of the show. It is:
"Say what you mean, but don't say it mean."
That could be the refrain for any friendship or relationship, don't you think? I loved the line so much, and think it's the perfect thing to remember every time you're in an awkward conversation with someone. Be gently honest, which is that you tell the truth, but you don't do it in a way to hurt someone. You weigh your words carefully. And you don't tell someone something just to make sure you get your opinion across either. You let them know what you think when you're trying to help, and be as nice as you possibly can be.
It sounds so simple, doesn't it? But I think it's something each and every one of us struggles with from time to time, especially as we get to know people. We get busy, life gets hurried, and we might blurt something out that doesn't seem like a big deal to us because we didn't stop to think about how it would sound or what it would mean to the person we're saying it to.
And yes, we will mess up. But even in our apologies we can do better.
The gals on RHONY offer up an interesting look at friendships in general, and I'll be watching closely (and probably commenting) again from time to time. For now, focus on the quote "Say what you mean, but don't say it mean" because I think it has the power to change your relationships.