The Real Housewives franchise never fails to bring the drama.  From fighting with friends, frenemies, significant others, co-workers, kids and everything in between, we have the chance to watch firsthand.  Which is why, when my editor at Slice.ca asked if I was interested in writing recaps on the new RHONY season,  I couldn’t help but take on this all-new project.

For me, watching this show is all about learning the dos and don’ts in dealing with relationships.  I hope to help revisit episodes the morning after, highlighting the main theme so we can put our reality TV-watching to good use.

The Case of TMI
You’re working the room at an event.  Between double-kissing friends’ cheeks and refilling your cup, you’re also doing your fair share of meeting and greeting others.  And as nice as it is to just do your thing, it’s important to keep in mind the proper etiquette.

When it comes to this episode, I have three words for you: too much information. Over-sharing is something many of us are guilty of.  Here are some ways the women over-shared in this episode, what it says about them, why it puts others on the defense, and how to handle the situation in the future.

Heather and Carole on Death
Unfortunately, all of us have lost a loved one.  Dealing with loss is always tough, and though it’s important for us to share this with close friends, especially if we lost a parent, spouse or child — like many of the housewives — it’s important to realize that this information catches people off guard. They don’t know how to respond, especially if they just met you.

Heather lost her dad the Friday before the first episode was filmed.  In mid-convo during Sonja’s cocktail party she blurted it out to people she had just met.  This is a case of TMI. There is a time and place to share this info.  A first meeting of any kind isn’t one of them.

At the same cocktail party, Carole (whose memoir on the death of her husband was a New York Times best-seller) was approached by a fan named Aviva. Aviva told Carole how much her book had helped her, and then continued to ask personal questions about Carole’s journey as a widow.

Tip: Wait until you get to know someone and then bring up your loss when it seems natural.  If you question bringing it up, it isn’t the right time.  Talking about loss is meant for others to understand where you’re coming from and to show support.  In Heather’s case, she brought it up with other very personal health issues and it caught everyone off guard. On the other hand, when talking to someone about their loss, ask them point blank whether or not they feel comfortable talking about it before you go into detailed questions.

Aviva and Health
Aviva lost her leg in an accident when she was a child.  When she went for pedicures with Sonja, whom she just met, she brought her third (more tanned) prosthetic leg with her to ensure it could get polished to match in case she got a tan.

The way she brought it up was fun, playful and honest.  She was so natural about it, it was easy for Sonja to make a few jokes and for them to talk openly.  Sonja was surprised, and she admired Aviva even more for bringing it up.

Tip: When confronting people about major issues, do it in a setting that seems most natural.  Like in this case, they were going for pedicures, so of course it would come up.  Take off the seriousness and pressure by sharing openly and authentically.

The above rules apply in various situations, with various people in your life.  Many dating sites say that over-sharing is one of the top deal breakers on a first date.  You don’t want to put out too much, too soon.

Have you ever ended a friendship or relationship due to TMI? What did you think of the premiere?

Watch the premiere online or check our schedule page for more air times.

Jen Kirsch is a relationship expert, columnist and blogger. For quick tips and tricks, follow her on Twitter @jen_kirsch. Read her posts every Tuesday on Slice.ca.