5 Self-Help Lessons I Learned from Reality TV

When it comes to reality TV, I like watching competitions whether it be a fashion competition, a cooking competition, a singing competition, etc. I don’t like reality TV where normal people live their lives and bicker.

Glued to the screen, I begin analyzing the psychological states of contestants and making connections as to what kind of mental state makes a person vulnerable to elimination or propels someone to the top.

1. Chill or else you’re out

I observed that contestants who have cried because of stress, lack of self-belief, or were overwhelmed by the nice comments of judges almost never win. People who win are those who handle situations calmly. Even when they are praised, they don’t cry and say, Oh my God, thank you, thank you! They just smile and sincerely express their gratitude.

2. Evil people do great until boom–karma

People who are extremely disliked by their peers do well at the start, which makes the other contestants angrier, but soon karma catches up.

3. Don’t play the judges’ victim card

In Project Runway, there was a guy who created a garment just to please the judges. He got eliminated. In his exit interview, he was full of self-hatred and self-pity. He blamed the judges, but he should have blamed himself. Criticism is valuable information for  artists, but it should be used to help the artist grow, not throw away his entire artistic vision.

4. Inspirational Exits

I find the exit interviews of Project Runway especially inspiring. Almost no one leaves disgruntled (except for the guy described in number 3). I’m almost amazed at how hopeful their messages are: you have to believe in yourself, this has been a great experience, I have grown so much, etc. It teaches me that even at the point of failure, you can still view your experience in a positive light and anticipate for greater things to come.

5. Broken? Just keep going

Laura, a contestant on Project Runway, who after consistently getting good feedback but never winning a challenge, received harsh criticism. Throughout the new task, she felt broken and unsure, but she just kept going. She won that challenge.

More Happiness and Inspiration:

Check out my other blog categories.

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Note: For some entries in this blog, a few names and details have been deliberately and willingly changed by the author. This is a personal decision made by the author for specific reasons known to her and is not an endorsement for censorship.

All the opinions expressed in this page and in this blog are my own and do not represent the official stances of the companies, institutions, and organizations that I am affiliated with. I am a person. I’m not just a manifestation of corporate interests. I have an identity that is separate from my company because even if human beings are paid for a service by corporations, human beings are not owned by corporations. 

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