I don’t watch a lot of reality TV, but I’m hooked on Selling Sunset and Selling the OC on Netflix.
Of course I get drawn into the drama (and the real estate and clothes too!) but I’m very interested in how they handle conflict. Lots of throwing daggers back and forth, jockeying for who has it harder/been through worse heartache, and shaming each other. Rarely, if ever, does someone apologize.
I know these shows are edited, and I think the producers might choose parts of conversations to make people out to be “characters” of themselves without showing the more normal and even kinder sides of them. But I don’t think their behavior is that far off from reality.
In this minisode I talk about some specific scenes, as well as what it might look like to circle back and clean up a “mess” that was made. If you’re ever in a similar situation– because let’s face it, we all make mistakes and behave poorly sometimes– this minisode will help.
Or, if you just want to hear me riff on these reality shows, tune in!
I love a good personal development book, and you do too, right? I’ve compiled a list of book recommendations, as mentioned in past episodes. Check out these amazing book recommendations here. Happy reading!
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I wanted to make this particular minisode and here’s the origin story of it…
I don't watch that much reality TV. I have nothing against it, I just don't. I wish I had more time to watch because there's so much good TV out there! And reality shows too because I want to be a part of the community that talks about it. I'm disappointed that I am not a part of the Real Housewives franchise– that looks so interesting.
But I will tell you what I have been hooked on. Anybody out there watch Selling Sunset and selling the OC? So for those of you that don't know, Selling Sunset and Selling the OC revolves around a real estate brokerage that was founded, I'm pretty sure it was like generations ago… And the people that run it now are these two men who are twins, Jason, and Brett Oppenheimer, and they have a bunch of real estate agents that work there. And they've selected a handful to be on this reality show. I believe it started with selling sunset, which is in Los Angeles. And now they have a branch office spin off in Orange County. And I've watched both, partly for the real estate because I grew up in Southern California. (I did not grow up in those homes in Southern California. But, you know, of course, I love seeing it.) And I got sucked into the drama. And here are my thoughts.
Part of what sucks me in are the way that these people behave towards one another. And as someone who's been in personal development, and a large part of my work is around communication. It's so interesting for me to watch what goes down. And I want to say this too. Of course, the shows are edited. And it's likely that the producers might choose parts of conversations to make people look out to be certain ways. Characters is what they create.
And I also wonder– I don't know this, does anybody remember the woman Christine Quinn– she's this stunning statuesque, blonde, who, within the first season, you knew she was going to cause trouble. And there was going to be drama with her. And I thought to myself, I think she's doing this on purpose. I think she knows reality TV. And I think it's genius, to be honest with you. I mean, she knows reality TV enough, that if she creates this, like caricature of herself for this show, and becomes the most popular person on the show, she can create a persona of herself. And it's a brand. It's a brand that she can market. I thought that from the first handful of episodes, and I don't love it, but I respect it. I have so much respect for that. Damn, that's genius. And I'm sure she's not the only one who's done that. I think a lot of people sign up for that. Reality TV doesn't want to see people working out their differences in a healthy kind manner. Unless, unless it's a TV show specifically about that. No, people tune in for the drama. I tune in to selling sunset and selling the OC for the real estate, the clothes, (are you kidding me these dresses, these dresses, and the women in these dresses will stop traffic standing, oh my God), and the conflict.
But as a trained professional, I wanted to come to this minisode and talk to you about a couple of characters that I see on there. And I'm using the term characters because I, I do think that they're edited for the show. It's hard for me to imagine that these people are like this all the time in their real life.
And let's start with– there's a there's a character on selling sunset, whose name is Polly, and she is an adorable, gorgeous woman from the UK. But of course in a British accent, stunning, stunning woman. And also so much drama. And then there's a woman on selling the OC, which I think she's a newer character to this season, because Christine Quinn is gone. But her name is Nicole, also stunning woman. And I've noticed a pattern with both of these particular women. And it looks like this. I and I don't mean to pick on this person. I do think that, of course it's edited and and I just I'm using it. I'm using your as its teaching moment. It's teaching moment, but I think probably will ever listen to us.
What I notice with all of these reality shows is that shit gets kicked up on purpose. Drama happens on purpose. Because they know that the cameras are on, and they're shit talking each other. And they know that it's not going to stay within that conversation. They know it's going to get back to that other person. And so that kind of stuff happens. And sometimes it's really mean. And then an argument takes place. And sometimes it's a fight. And I've seen clips of this on Real Housewives so many times. So this is a thing and reality TV. And when I see the conflict happen, it is throwing daggers just mean back and forth. And then there's a jockeying for who has it harder, or who has been through worse heartache. They're either bringing up their own stuff, or other people are defending the person and saying “well, you know, she had this happen”. And so it's like it's a group effort. And they shame each other.
There was an argument that happened on selling OC where it involved Nicole and Chriselle, the other character to ask her if she's on drugs, because Chriselle knew that Nicole sometimes partakes in mushrooms, which I'm like, Girl, go for it like, recreational, whatever. And that was a low blow and surprised me from the particular person, Chriselle. Because she tends to not do that. And so it was just like, and we all do this, right? Like when we are pushed to the point where we have had enough. Sometimes we go in for the low blow. And that's what happened in this particular episode. And, then it just happened, then it just escalated from there.
And here is my point– how these reality shows are. My point is that rarely, if ever, does anyone take accountability, and responsibility for their behavior, the only time I've seen it happen is when people are already good friends. And they'll do that. But rarely, if ever, do people do that when they're already adversaries. And maybe they do it off camera where we don't see it, because it's just not probably wouldn't make people tune in as much. But the thing that I really noticed that shines the brightest is the fact that when people have done something, it makes me uncomfortable, to watch people behave so badly, and then not circle back, and clean it up. Because we are all guilty of behaving at not our best, of saying things out of anger and hurt and fear. Those are, I think those are the big three. When we come from a place of anger, hurt, or fear, especially if it's an old wound, or especially if we are knee jerk reacting to someone who has hurt us, or made us afraid or made us angry. We are not acting as, as our best self, we're not acting in accordance to our values, and we can be shitty to one another. So when I watch it, I just like, Oh, I feel like this second hand, just massive discomfort that it's not cleaned up.
Alright, how to take accountability, how to clean things up, I want to say this because some of you might be thinking it. And I understand that hesitation or never doing it because of the risk or the history that someone has ended up using that against you. And it could look a couple of different ways when someone holds that against you. So say you get into an argument. I'll keep it simple. So you get into an argument with someone. And let's say during the argument, you pause, and you can tell that you've heard that person and you say, “I'm sorry, I didn't mean that, those words, I'm just I'm hurt. And I didn't I don't mean to behave like this. And I just that probably hurt you. And I'm sorry, that I said it. I'll try not to say that again.”
That person can immediately turn around and say, “You always do this” and just sort of push back. And you know, feelings are still really high. And it's not a good time to have a heart to heart. Or just for the sake of you being vulnerable in that moment. The person can use that as sort of like an animal laying on their back and showing you their belly and neck to strike. So that can happen, for sure. And it's those moments to think about exactly how you want to wait for the exact words that you want to use to hold yourself accountable and just to take responsibility for your behavior. And the other you know, maybe it's time to point out what that person is doing in response to your apology and your amends. Okay.
So Here's what it might look like. Let's use the examples that I gave just for hypothetical purposes. The argument that happened on selling sunset where Nicole and Chrishell are arguing, and Chrishell says to Nicole, “You're acting so out of hand, Are you on drugs?” Then Nicole pushes back. And then Chrishell says, “you've admitted to doing drugs before”. And PS, multiple people said to Chrishell, that was a low blow, like, that probably shouldn't have been said, and she still never took it back. Never said, I regret saying that, never apologized to Nicole. And like, let's be honest, Nicole was being shitty, too. It just got completely out of hand. And it was like a long standing argument that they'd had, like, over many episodes. I just the whole thing. I was like, what if they need someone to come in there, and sit down with them, and act as a mediator, I would happily be paid for that. By the network.
Anyway, what Chrishell could have said, and this would have been incredibly vulnerable and difficult. I know. She could have come to Nicole later and said, “Hey, I know that we've been arguing about this thing for a while. And I know it's still not resolved. And we have other conversations to have. However, when I brought up that I thought you were on drugs in front of the cameras, I feel like that was not my best moment. And that absolutely was a low blow. And I was really hurt and really angry. And I don't mean to make excuses. But my point is, is that I really want to apologize to you. And I'm really sorry. And that won't happen again”.
And this particular case, if you have like a long standing argument with someone, which this was, it was a much bigger issue than just that moment, you could say, “I'm not apologizing for the whole thing. We still have some things to work out. But that comment that I made, I didn't feel great about that. And I want you to know, if we're going to work this out, I want to be my best self. And that wasn't it. And so I'm sorry about that particular thing.”
So that's what it might look like, taking responsibility, taking accountability, for your behavior. Things like this also happen at work, I have a corporate client who they are struggling with someone on their team, who makes mistakes at the same rate that everybody else does. You know, it's not that this person is making more mistakes than anybody else. But the difference is that this particular person will never take responsibility. And it's frustrating to the other members of the team. This particular person always gets defensive, and puts the blame on other people, and makes excuses. And it just it wastes time. And it makes everyone frustrated and it makes the other people on the team feel like that other person isn't a team player. And so what it might look like at work, and again, like work can be a very vulnerable place to take accountability for your mistakes. Because you might think, you know, your livelihood depends on it, you might think if I take responsibility, then I'm admitting that I made a mistake. And I'm admitting that I'm falling short. And I could get, I could get let go, or I could get passed up for promotion. So just want to acknowledge that. But what it might look like at work, in that particular situation with the client I mentioned, you could say, “Yeah, you're you're right, I did drop the ball on that. And I am sorry. And for context,” ( big PS, it's okay to give some context. There's a difference between making excuses. Excuses happen when you don't take any responsibility at all. Or you're placing blame somewhere else. That's excuses. Context is more like you're just letting people in and giving them a little bit more information as to why you may have behaved that way. And it can add to the information of what you're going to try to do better next time and how you're going to help solve the problem.) So it might sound like this. “You're right. I absolutely dropped the ball on that. And and I'm so sorry, I know that it made more work for everybody else. And now we have this, this client that's upset for some context, you know, I have, I have a new baby at home, and I haven't been getting a whole lot of sleep. And what we're doing at home to remedy that is xy and z. And can we also have a conversation about how I can get help on this particular arm of the project. So it won't help again, I do totally want to take responsibility for my part in this mistake, and can we have a conversation on how we might be able to fix it, so it doesn't help again, I need some help with this in order to make sure it doesn't happen again.”
So that looks like you're naming and taking responsibility for your mistake. You're talking about what might have have added to that mistake or kind of aided in the mistake. And you're also asking for help in order to make sure that it doesn't happen again. I mean, maybe you don't have to ask for help. Maybe it's all on you, and you can figure it out. But you know, let's all try not to make promises that we might not be able to keep. And I think that the last thing I want to say about this topic is that, you know, it's like, who cares? Why does this matter so much. When you take responsibility for your mistakes, whether it's in your personal relationships, or whether it's at work, that's building trust, it's an incredibly vulnerable thing to do. And it is also building trust. We build trust in small increments over time, and this is one of them. Because in those moments, what you're also saying is, I'm human, I'm human, and I am not perfect, just like everybody else. It shows your common humanity. It shows that you are willing to look inside of yourself. Admit that you make mistakes sometimes, and also admit that you're willing to work on them. That builds so much trust over time. It's not instantaneous. It's not just gonna happen in this one moment. But it's these small moments that build trust over time. So that's all I'm keeping it short today. Again, if you want to be coached on the podcast, or you are open to answering those two survey questions if you head on over to Andrea one.com/links That's where everything is. Thank you so much. And hey, if you know any, any of the producers at these reality shows and you want to introduce me to be the communication mediator to teach them how to apologize and also you know, common humanity and empathy, empathy and those types of things. I might be your girl. Thank you so much for joining me. I will see you soon on the podcast. And remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye for now.