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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Orange County

What *Are* You Supposed to Do When a Friend Insults Your Partner?

After the RHOC's Kelly Dodd and Emily Simpson faced off, we're left wondering is there no going back after harsh words thrown at someone you love?

By Marianne Garvey
Next on RHOC: It's Shane!

The Real Housewives of Orange County’s Kelly Dodd had a major fight with Emily Simpson and her husband Shane Simpson, with Emily threatening to “kill” Kelly during a party. “Get her the f--k away from me,” yells Emily. “I will f--king kill you.”

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Kelly has since appeared on Sirius XM show Jeff Lewis Live on Wednesday, saying the drama with Emily and Shane was related to her feud with Vicki Gunvalson and Vicki’s boyfriend Steve Lodge. (In that fight, Steve told Page Six that he, and not Vicki, was the one who set up Kelly’s ex-husband Michael Dodd with another woman.) 

Anyway, when Kelly confronted Steve about him talking smack, Shane gets involved and then Kelly aims her venom at Shane. She also claims she had no idea Shane was Emily’s husband, although the two were introduced earlier in the night. 

“I did not know this was her husband. I swear,” explained Kelly. “But when I walked in with Shannon, I guess I was introduced to him but it was so unmemorable. I don’t remember meeting him. I just wanted to clear the air, make amends with Steve, but he snubbed me. He walked away from me. And that’s when little man puts his two cents in.”

Emily also jumped in once Kelly started insulting Shane.  “I called him a lot of things,” admitted Kelly.

If this whole thing is making you seasick, you’re not alone. Who’s in the wrong here?

According to national etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, hurling insults or threats at a friend’s partner is a sure sign the friendship is probably over. 

“Considering you want to mend the relationship, it takes dedicated effort,” Gottsman tells Personal Space. “When someone insults your partner, and it’s a good friend of yours, keep in mind it may not be intentional. Either way it will be a sting. How you handle it is with diplomacy. You can speak up in the moment and say, ‘Carol, I’m sure you did not mean [what you said] Would you please clarify?’ Or, you could wait for a private moment and address the situation and let her know you don’t feel comfortable, nor do you appreciate her being insulting or abrasively vocal. Let her know how it made you and/or your partner feel and ask her to please not do it again. “In the future, if you have something you’d like to say I would prefer you broach this topic privately instead of in a group.”

Gottsman says that if your partner is the one doing the insulting, and you disagree, you can speak up, but make sure you do not make matters worse by lashing out aggressively. “Adults know how to disagree and still maintain respect,” she says. “Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but not when it hurts or insults another person. You can certainly speak up at the time, and if it’s not a serious comment, speak to your partner privately and let them know you were not comfortable and didn’t appreciate the insulting comment.”

Psychology Today says anger is the “weakest possible response” to an insult. “This for three main reasons,” PT reports. “First, it shows that we take the insult, and therefore the insulter, seriously. Second, it suggests that there is truth in the insult. And third, it upsets and hurts us — which can invite further insults.”

Which is exactly what happened with Kelly and Emily. Kelly insults Shane, Emily threatens Kelly. And around and around we go. In her Sirius interview, Kelly insists she actually likes Emily, and didn’t really take her threat too seriously. 

“I get Emily to say that she’s going to kill me. It’s like if you’re going to threaten to kill me, get in line b--ch! Get in line!” she said. 

As for her beef with Steve, Kelly just didn’t want him talking about her in the press. 

“It’s just when he started talking about me about setting up Michael, I was like just don’t talk about me. He was just doing [Vicki’s] dirty work for her. That’s all,” she said, adding that she hasn’t spoken to Vicki “in a month or two.”

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