“Stop talking behind my back!” Ramona yelled to fellow cast mate Heather on The Real Housewives of New York. Actually, every episode of this hit Bravo show consists of Ramona yelling at someone, and this season Heather is on the receiving end of her wrath.
If you don’t watch the show, keep up the good work. I unfortunately got sucked into it one Sunday afternoon while I cleaned my room and left the channel on too long. What resulted was a new fascination in yet another reality TV show that adds no educational value to my life.
Although Ramona intimidates me and I have to turn off the TV when she gets into her screaming matches, she did give me my material for this next 25 For Life piece.
Each episode she pretty much accuses Heather of bad mouthing her behind her back. I find this so interesting, because Heather most of the time doesn’t call her names or criticize her out of the blue. All this new housewife does is try to defend herself when she gets attacked, when she has been, as Bravo calls it, “Ramona-d.”
It made me relate this to everyday life with my own girlfriends. When does the fine line of venting become gossiping? So many times you will hear a friend claim you are talking crap about them. Sometimes you get frustrated with a friend and you need to turn to an objective third party observer for a healthy venting session.
I think there is a major difference between letting off steam and saying nasty things about someone. If you are sitting there making fun of someone or randomly saying negative things to bring a person down, then that is gossiping.
In my opinion, if you got into a disagreement with a friend or were wronged by them, you need to tell someone else about it to get it off your chest to get an unbiased opinion and advice. Sometimes you need a sympathetic ear, and so often those ears belong to our other friends. However, you confide in them with the intention that they are going to keep your comments between you and them.
At the end of the day, intent is what will reveal to us the fine line between the two actions. If your intent is not good, then you can be accused of speaking ill of someone. If your intent is for personal health to help you talk through a situation, then you are expressing a human need to work through the stress with words.
I think I might cringe the next time Ramona calls Heather out for “talking behind her back.” If Ramona attacks Heather, then she has every right to discuss the facts. If Heather can talk about what happened in her day whether that is shopping at the local Bloomingdales, meeting a new celebrity, or getting attacked by her pint-sized co-star, then I think she has a right to relay her day’s activities in whatever politically correct way she sees fit.