Sunday, November 20, 2011

"I'm Not Here to Make Friends"

It seems that every time I mention “Reality TV", I get an overwhelmingly negative response. Humans from a wide range of religious, political and socioeconomic backgrounds seem universally united in their hatred of this genre of television.

However, it’s simply not possible that my viewership is singularly responsible for the sustainability of shows like Top Chef, Project Runway, Survivor and American Idol.

I'm convinced that some of you out there are closet reality fans.   You know too much to deny it.  Oh, I can hear it now:
     “I just saw that one episode.”
     “I've only seen it because my partner watches.”
     “I just watch it for the girls in bikinis.”

Even folks who (quote, unquote) “hate” reality TV must be familiar with the recurrent phrase, I’m not here to make friends.”

Sadly, there is now a long tradition of this ridiculous sentiment.  When I hear it, my reaction can only be a heartfelt, "Oh no they di'n't!"

Saying the "friends" line is the kiss of death.  A one way ticket for the aufiderzein bus.  Pack your tools and your knives.  Sing your last song and dance your last dance.  Burn your buff (and your ego), and go.  Buh. Bye.

If you're "not here to make friends," you're not likely to win.

This is true in life as well, both personally and professionally.

I've often written about my three steps towards reaching your life balance goals:

1. Internal:
thoughts, feelings, words

2. External:
actions in line with goals

3. Support:
help, accountability, encouragement

The essence of step three is that you'll be much more successful by having other people in your corner. 

There are a lot of reasons why any reality show contestant normal person might not want to be part of a team or rely on others for help.   

Personally, I had a childhood that required a great amount of independence.   Growing up, I became unwilling and/or unable to let others close enough to help, even when it was there for the taking.

(Fellow control freaks everywhere are nodding in empathy.)

That said, it's something I have worked hard to overcome.  At this point in my life, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am always better for having the help and support of others.  I try to say "thank you" early and often each day for the many wonderful people in my life.  Friends.

In return for being so blessed, I make it a point to extend as much positive energy as possible.  Yeah, I know sometimes it makes me look like the crazy lady who smiles and says "hi" to everyone as she walks down the street or the airplane aisle.  Sometimes the toll booth guy thinks I'm flirting with him.  The folks at my kids' school are just waiting for me to stop the "life is great" act and pull a nutty.  Well, that could happen; especially if Dunkin' Donuts continues to get my coffee wrong at least once a week.

I do have my moments.

The life balance lesson being beamed to you today is quite simply, be nice

Be here to make friends.

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Sarah said...

i was here to make friends, and i do try to be nice (most of the time) but some people are just too much for me to handle, ya know? btw who's nicolas?

john said...

Charlene, I love you! I honestly never got into reality tv, but now that you've just informed me that there are bikinis on these shows, Ive changed my outlook and will subscribe to cable on monday.
Hopefully top chef isnt baking BLTs in bikinis, that is painful, but quality TV :D

Charlene said...

Thanks John! Check out the Bachelor sometime. It seems like it's about a dude but really it's just a bunch of chicks in the hot tub all the time. You might also enjoy, "America's Next Top Model." :-)

And yes Sarah I know - we all have our limits! I updated the post pic to an image of Nicolas. :-)

Jenno said...

I for one love reality TV -- I miss watching PR and ANTM. Weird, right? I agree with the point too (it's TOTALLY true!) -- one must be nice to others to be truly successful for being not-so-nice brings negativity into one's life which then brings doubt and finally failure.

At least that's my view of it. :)


Charlene said...

Jenno - EXACTLY! :-)

♥ Teresa ♥ said...

I can't really think of any specific 'reality TV Shows' that I'm currently into. That's not to say that I don't like them, I'm just not hooked on any at this particular time. Hmmmm, I'll have to think on that one! I used to like AI but it has become really boring to me.

Anyway, I'm stopping by from SITS to share a bit of comment love! I hope you're having a wonderful weekend!



Teresa <><

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

It's no secret here, I love Reality TV! And I love your positive energy. It's contagious!

"Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest"

JW said...

The range of my niceties is the stuff of legend. I wholly agree with you on the importance of being friendly to thy neighbors. And yes, even the nicest of us needs to stop for a minute to lay down the law.

Staying on topic, I try to avoid reality television as much as possible, but now and then something draws me into its inescapable claws. My current vice is "The Deadliest Catch". Just can't get enough.

Mandy said...

Lovely post! The old adage of 'Its nice to be important BUT it's more important to be NICE' comes to mind - I'm with you - as a single mum offers of help and humbling oneself go with the territory and I have learnt to count my blessings and ride the wave :)

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

No complaints here - I love all those shows and lots more besides. I just get annoyed when they vote stupid like they did on America's Got Talent.

Bruce Coltin said...

So, I can't flirt with you anymore?

Charlene said...

Thanks SITS gals!!

Bruce - I thought you were just being nice! :-)

Argentum Vulgaris said...

I have just linked this post on Live is Just Like That... along with my comments on UnReality TV


btw, nice post

Stephanie said...

So true! Taht is why it is so nice to have you at work!!!


plainolebob said...

Hell ain't it all reality T.V.? If Me and Bess start a reality T.V., it'll be called,"makin frens in the back yard while drinkin beer, and fishin and such". What ya think? Gonna be a big hit in theses here parts.

plainolebob said...

Now I know who you remind me of, an ole friend of mine, you may or may not know. Zig Zigler

Drahdrah said...

Stopping by to say hi from SITS. Sometimes I wonder why people get so worked up about certain blogs or blog posts. If it upsets you that much, just stop reading... most blogs are personal to the author, and we all have a right to post what we want on our blogs. I'm one of those closet reality fans... I try to stay away, but sometimes I do get sucked in !

Charlene said...

Bob - Thanks. That's a first actually. But I can see the resemblance given my false teeth, receeding hairline and all. Oh - and my green necktie. heehee

tammy said...

Stopping by from SITS to say hi!

Love reality TV....perhaps a bit too much. Actually heading out to the living room now to watch The Amazing Race. ;)

Lani said...

What an awesome post. I recognized a lot of myself in it- I tend to prefer to go things alone rather than make myself vulnerable. But I know that's silly.. I still do it though.
There is just something about reality TV that makes me feel the brain cells slipping away, yet I do still love it. The Real Housewives is like crack to me. Not that I know what crack is like. Anyway:) stopping by from sits.
Also...I am hosting a Blog For A Cure Blog Party over at Who Knew? Reviews, ( starting today and running all week! Great way to get new followers, win great prizes, and support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society! Please stop by if you get a minute!

plainolebob said...

did you find the prize at plainolebob2?
lol. yep, thats right.

Drama queens mum (Kimberly) said...

I love reality tv too. It's so much fun seeing all the drama. I hate drama in real life, but like watching it when it isn't to do with me.

Drama mama! said...

Dude! your my kind of gal! I do watch a little reality TV im totaly for drama (bring it!)
My fav is the real howswives, Now there are some B#$%^s. Anyways, I totaly feel the same way about being in control. as a matter a fact i just told my fiance yeaterday that when i start to act like a hard ass and try to have control is because im afraid of something. Its so true! And yes im here to make frinds.

Charlene said...

Awesome comments - THANKS!!!

Innocent Owner Of Mad Cats said...

My comments to the TV when he said he wasn't here to make friends were along the lines of "dude, you couldn't make friends if you wanted." Just not as nice as that. :)

Charlene said...

What a great comeback - I love it!!

Fishbowl said...

Hi, my name is Amy and I'm a reality addict. I LOVE reality TV and don't let those fibbers tell you they don't sneak it in at 1:00 am while the children are sleeping. I only had time to skim further but LOVE the self-help topic and will follow you and come back for vitamins later! (returning from your SITS inspired comment on my blog)

Tough Cookie Mommy said...

Charlene, I love reality TV shows. I agree with you that those who vehemently deny watching them and claim to hate them, secretly watch from time to time. How could you not watch? They are entertaining and deliciously ridiculous...

IBND said...

I'm here to make friends. Wanna be friends? :]

Charlene said...


And just to prove my point... poor Nicolas was auf'ed off the show this week. Ciao!

Tammy said...

Freshman year in high school I was sitting in the Lecture Hall and although I was not being loud and obnoxious, some of the people around me were and it certainly could have seemed like I was part of it. I happened to turn around to look at who was behind us and expected to see some not too happy student just waiting to curse at us or something. Instead to my delightful surprise, the girl directly behind me smiled at me from ear to ear. It was this huge kind sincere smile and I remember just lighting up inside. It was to be a pivotal moment in my life. To this day I go out of my way to be that smile for someone. Never underestimate the power of kindness and connection between people. Just for the record. I love some of the reality shows that are on right now. But I tend to root for the nice people. Go figure. LOL

Cascia Talbert said...

I don't watch a whole lot of reality tv, only Pawn Stars and American Pickers. I am a history buff! Interesting points here though. Have a wonderful day!

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