Learning through observation. What you can learn from Real Housewives.
Bravo’s Real Housewives shows are terrific training grounds for life coaches. The airwaves are filled with self-indulgence, anxiety, finger pointing, all-about-me-isms, and how not to be conscious. Mind you, it also has some terrific examples of authenticity, strength and powerful love.
I’d love to claim that I watch Bravo’s Real Housewives shows as research for my work in life coaching but let’s be serious, I watch because it’s interesting to watch other human’s reactions to life, it’s entertaining, A N D – it truly does help me recognize patterns in behavior and practice determining which strategies I’d recommend for my own clients in these situations. It’s learning through observation. As a matter of fact, I’d be happy to recommend some new life strategies to the central characters of the shows.
There is a lot to be learned by watching how the men and women on these shows interact.
I often close the show with my mouth agape asking “Do they really not see themselves?” Before your life ends up a screaming match on a reality TV network and your sister-in-law ends up on Andy Cohen’s couch I offer some insights from a life coach’s point of view.
Why Most Real Housewives Struggle
1. Shifting the blame. The number one factor I recognize in most of the personalities on the RH shows is that not one of them is willing to take ownership for their lives. The occasional “I did that and I’m sorry” does occur, but not at a depth that will create future change. For a person to take personal responsibility means to own the thoughts, words and actions that happened before during and after a situation arises.
We get what we think about most of the time. Shannon Beador dwelling on Heather’s supposed hatred of her is not going to help heal the wounds. Heather Dubrow’s consistent harping on her being yelled at at dinner parties by Shannon Beador is not going to make the yelling stop.
Our thoughts and our words are creative.
They literally move molecular structure.
To say “she hates me” or “Brooks is a terrible person” only builds that image and reminds your brain to look for more of the same.
SUGGESTION: Mind your thoughts and words.
Literally pause as you’re thinking and think before you speak. You can even press an imaginary delete key when you find ugly thoughts creeping in. When you quiet the angry thoughts and when you don’t speak the hurtful words you automatically dispel some of the aggression and pain. The more often you do this, the it easier it gets and then better thoughts and opinions can creep in. The next thing you know, you’re drinking champs at Laguna Beach with Christian and Lizzie as Terry talks about his past season on “Botched”.
2. Insert awkward pause. OR– reflect, don’t react. Over and over again the gentle folks on these shows refuse to stop and think before they react. When a dirty word, a comment or a suggestion is made tempers instantly flare. Now granted, the delivery of information isn’t always smooth or truthful, but imagine how much less pain there would be if each person reacted with silence and reflection and a simple thank you before grinding their pumps into the carpet and storming off.
SUGGESTION: The next time you’re confronted with an accusation about your responsibility within a given situation, consider the perspective of the other person.
Think about how you would feel if you were in their position, could you then understand their pain? Another option: remember that each person has their own version of reality. Our brain’s automatically delete, distort and generalize incoming information and it’s broken into 7-9 chunks of information, too. This fact alone allows for discrepancies in memory. Your sister from another mister may simply, and honestly, remember the event different than you do. Be okay with that and then refer to step number one listed above: Mind your thoughts and words.
3. Beautiful outside does not necessarily mean beautiful inside. Sorry ladies, but being glamourous and well painted doesn’t always transfer to a blissful existence. For all the MAC lipstick you’re wearing and false eyelash glue you’re going through, your words and actions show that you may be struggling inside. When you so willingly throw your wine in the face of another human being, trash talk your mother’s boyfriend, disallow your friends to be friends with other people you may not like, you are harboring pain. It’s time for some deep inner work.
SUGGESTION: Get in touch with the pain you feel inside.
Opt to mine your soul and find out why you react this way. Life truly is a mirror, a mirror that isn’t just for primping. Life’s mirror is one that shows you things you don’t like so that you can correct what’s wrong with yourself from the inside-out. It’s a chance for you to change and grow. For example Brianna, by reflecting on your anger at Brooks you might find that maybe there is an old story going on in your head and that Brooks just represents a character in your story. It isn’t that he’s as awful as you imagine, it’s that the story you carry is awful and he reminds you of that story. They tool you need? Tapping! Use EFT to change the old stories that are keeping you pressing on your mom to dump a man she loves.
Next article: Real Housewives, Part 2
Real Housewives use this technique to move them through painful situations: