Big Brother is a reality show where contestants live in a house together. Each week, someone is evicted until only one person remains and wins the $500,00 prize.
Each season, Big Brother is filled with drama. There are blindsides. There are showmances. There are screaming matches and passive aggressive comments.
Even though Big Brother is highly entertaining, it is also an educational social experiment. Here are a few life lessons I gathered from watching the show for over a decade:
1. Be careful who you trust.
You have to listen to your instincts. Just because someone is smiling and giving you compliments in front of your face does not mean they are saying nice things behind your back. Even when you think you have a good read on someone, you could be completely wrong.
At the end of the day, the only person you can trust is yourself.
2. No one owes you anything.
It doesn’t matter if you hand your heart to someone (or save them with a Veto). Your good deeds are not always going to be rewarded. Sometimes, the people you went out on a limb for are the same people who are going to turn around and stab you in the back.
Unfortunately, no one owes you anything. No matter how nice you are, they are not obligated to give you their loyalty, trust, or attention.
3. You have to put yourself first.
It’s not selfish to choose the best path for yourself — just like it’s not selfish to use the Veto on yourself or vote off someone who is going to hurt your chances of winning the show. You are allowed to cut toxic people out of your world. You are allowed to move away from your loved ones to pursue your passions. Put yourself first for a change. You have to stop worrying about everyone else. Worry about yourself.
4. Falling in love is not always the best idea.
Stop assuming the world revolves around romance. In the Big Brother house, getting into a relationship is usually a bad idea. It can be the same in the real world. Sometimes, you need to stay single to focus on your career. Sometimes, you need to stay single to focus on yourself. You shouldn’t jump into a relationship just because you are bored. There are other things to focus on.
5. You will see someone’s true colors when they are down in the dirt.
Anyone can come across as a good person when they are doing well in life — but when they hit rock bottom, that is when you see their true nature. On Big Brother, moods change drastically when houseguests move from the HOH room to the block. Some people cannot handle hardships. They cannot take rejection or isolation or the unknown. They will turn on you as soon as they have the chance.
6. Being mean will come back to bite you in the butt.
Lately, a lot of people have lost Big Brother due to poor jury management. It’s a reminder the way you treat people in life can come back to haunt you. Your best option is always to treat other people with respect. If they think you are a horrible person, then they are going to be bitter whenever they run into you. They might even find ways to ruin your life (or your chances of winning 500k).
7. Secrets spread easily.
If you don’t want the entire world to know your secret, then don’t tell that secret to anyone. Not your best friend. Not your person. Not your crush. Keep it to yourself. If you tell one person, eventually more people are going to find out. Secrets never stay quiet for long.
8. You don’t need the internet as desperately as you think you do.
The Big Brother houseguests are not allowed to watch television, go online, or use their phones for months. They keep themselves occupied by swimming, lifting weights, playing chess, playing pool, walking the yard, and having meaningful conversations. They find plenty of ways to stay busy without the internet. They prove we could all spend a little less time with our electronics.
9. Sometimes, you get along with people you would never expect.
Some of the strongest friendships formed on Big Brother were between people who stemmed from two completely different walks of life. People who grew up with different backgrounds, mindsets, and hobbies. People who probably never would have crossed paths without the show. It’s a reminder to avoid judging books by their cover. Give everyone a chance.
10. You are allowed to cry.
There are a lot of emotions in the Big Brother house — just like the real world. Sometimes, the only way to soothe yourself is to give yourself permission to cry. It doesn’t matter if you are upset over something small. It doesn’t matter if you think you are too old or too strong to let your emotions rule you. You are allowed to cry.