After Bethenny made comments at a ladies dinner, claiming Carole always defends who’s next to her, Carole hit Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen to say, “No, it's not true. Everything that Bethenny says about me is not true…That wasn't the friendship I was having with her at the time, so I was just as surprised as the audience was to hear all of that. I was just being a really good friend, wrote a lot of checks for her charity.”
Bethenny then admitted there had been “a shift” in the friendship, teasing that the fighting gets even “more intense” this season between her and Carole.
On Southern Charm, Kathryn C. Dennis and Patricia Altschul have also battled it out; Patricia didn't extend an invite to Kathryn to the baby shower she threw, but the two are now making progress. Craig Conover revealed during a recent interview that Patricia “doesn’t say mean stuff about Kathryn anymore,” and the two have been making headway in their “friendship.” So ... there's hope for the RHONY ladies, too.
Sharon Joy, a life coach who helps people have successful relationships, tells Personal Space that often, when things are left unsaid is when tension builds between two people.
“What happens is a lot of times something happens and we make up in our minds why it happens (say they don’t look you in the eye), and it quickly turns to ‘they don’t like me anymore,’” Joy says.
If you’ve got Bethenny/Carole-type tension in a friendship, here’s what you can do — if you care to do anything at all.
Check it out with the person.
Try not to explode at the dinner table like Bethenny and Carole. Just ask “I was wondering if I did something to upset you?” in a lower voice than the RHONY ladies, or take it up with your friend later, but definitely don’t ignore any tension. If you do, it just builds. Just face it head on.
How important is that person is that person to you?
“If they’re a member of your friend group, let it go and be a part of the group. If it’s a more personal connection and you want to go deeper with them, then talk to them. “If you have a situation where someone hurt you and you don’t say anything, you end up in a fight and not talking for a year,” says Joy.
There’s no easy answer.
“Obviously communication is helpful,” Joy says, adding that there’s really no easy way around a difficult talk.
You don’t want to attack them.
“If you start with ‘You made me feel terrible,’ then they’re gonna sit down and get defensive,” says Joy. “Instead say ‘I was excited to see you and I was disappointed there is tension, I want to make sure we are OK.’”
Take a break if you need to.
“When a marriage is going through a rough spot, just having a time out to let things settle can help [same with friendship].” says Joy. “But you have to be careful, sometimes if you pull away, it doesn’t come back together. It has to be done strategically.”
If someone apologizes, it’s usually OK.
If they keep doing whatever upset you, it’s hard to keep the person around.
Know that dealing with the uncomfortable tension sucks.
“You don’t want to explode or attack back, that’s going to make it worse,” says Joy. “It’s usually not appropriate to address in front of other people — it’s embarrassing and people feel they need to take sides.”
Write it down.
“If you can write a really well-crafted email and say, ‘I really care about you and I feel tension, what can we do to make this better’ that would help,” says Joy.
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