The Real Housewives of Orange County took an interesting turn recently when Shannon Beador's bestie status with Tamra Judge was threatened. Here's what happened: Among other jabs at Shannon, Gina Kirschenheiter eventually brings up at a girls' dinner how Shannon didn’t check on Tamra after Tamra’s husband’s heart surgery and how that makes her a bad friend. Keeping up? (Video here.)
“Really, what kind of a good friend are you?” Gina asks in front of the group.
“Are you serious right now?” Shannon asks, which leads to Gina telling her she doesn’t like the way she treats her best friend.
“Tamra will tell you right now I am a very good friend to her,” Shannon replies.
Then things get worse on vacation, when later on, Tamra herself admits to Gina and Emily Simpson she "feels sorry" for Shannon, and that’s why she’s so loyal to her. “Because I feel sorry for her, I feel bad for her,” Tamra says. “Every day she wakes up with a negative comment… that’s just her personality and I’ve just adapted to her personality.”
Well, we're dealing with two things here. One, a friend getting in the middle of two best friends. And two, your best friend admitting they feel sorry for you.
As for the first issue, Dr. Jan Yager, sociologist and friendship coach, tells Personal Space that at that dinner Tamra could have politely defended Shannon, because a good friend will always "defend the friend that is being criticized" if they are truly that close.
Next step is to "let the third friend know that treating all of you with respect and positive words and behavior is expected."
As for Tamra saying she "feels sorry" for Shannon, it didn't seem malicious, but it still can come across as hurtful to some people. Would you want a friend who was there only because she feels bad for you? Didn't think so.
"Let this friend know that she wouldn’t want you to say negative things about her so she shouldn’t say negative things about you," Dr. Yager says.
Lastly, you can always get past a friendship fight if there is real love there. You need to decide if the relationship is worth saving, talk, trust their intentions, and don't let other friends get in the way.
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