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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of New York City

When You Help a Friend in Need, What Do They Really Owe You?

Luann de Lesseps and Bethenny Frankel continue their fight over who owes who what.

By Marianne Garvey
Luann de Lesseps Apologizes to Bethenny Frankel, but Is It a Good Apology?

The last we saw on The Real Housewives of New York City, Luann de Lesseps was still fighting with Bethenny Frankel about her leaving her cabaret show early to go "watch her daughter sleep."

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So, when the RHONY ladies all gathered at Luann's upstate house in Kingston, N.Y., — where one room inexplicably has a stove in the bedroom — to fight it out. Bethenny and Luann got so heated the argument was, "To be continued ..."

"I thought Bethenny was totally justified because it doesn't make sense," Dorinda Medley said on The Real Housewives of New York City After Show. "That should just be, as a mother and as someone who helped me so much, shouldn't even be a remote issue. What is the issue here?"

Tinsley Mortimer agreed. "I was really shocked that Luann would even have the balls to even say anything about Bethenny and her child, going home," she said. "She had to relieve the babysitter but also, it's her daughter, it's Halloween, and we had been there for hours and hours. Luann never came out to see us. We thought it was really rude."

Despite the ladies clearly explaining the issue to Luann, she's standing her ground. "I think Bethenny's totally overreacting. I mean, if I had a dime for every time she was really nasty to me, I'd be rich right now," she said.

Does Luann owe anything to Bethenny, considering her help in rehab? Well, on the one hand, yes, but there are also people who take advantage of those they've helped (not to say that that is the case here). "Baseline respect" is all Bethenny is asking for. But Luann may be too busy performing cabaret to hear her.

Life coach and founder of The Addictions Coach, Cali Estes, PhD., told Personal Space when you help someone, it should be from the heart and really, you shouldn't expect anything in return.

"There is a difference between doing 'kindness' and doing 'business.' If you help someone out, it is considered kindness and nothing should be expected in return," she said. "However, if you do something for someone and expect some sort of return, that is considered business. Helpers seem to end up with the upper hand out of expectation, waiting for the return favor. Life is not designed like that, however. Sometimes we help and don’t even receive a thank you, although that is a social protocol. If you have zero expectations when you help a friend out, you win."

Kati Morton, LMFT, mental health influencer and author of Are U OK? told us that "helping a friend should be something that’s done out of love and joy" and "not for keeping score of who has helped more or who is owed. When we keep a running tally in relationships we can inadvertently make it toxic."

"Therefore, we should only give our time and our selves when we want and are able to. That way, if we get a 'thank you' from a friend who we helped, it's just icing on the cake. Being able to help them and be there when they needed was enough," she concluded.

If you help a friend in need, you should be doing it because they are a friend and you care about them as a person. "If there’s some other expectation, that’s when things always get complicated," says therapist Jason Eric Ross. "Too often, people have unrealistic expectations of others. A helper may have an upper hand in their own mind, but that’s not an effective way to go. Keep it simple and limit who you expect things from. You’ll be happier that way."

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