Weaveless and weary Teresa "Tre" Giudice has been behind bars for one full week now at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, and according to one fellow inmate who spoke to Us Weekly, "vultures" are already scrambling to be her "bestie."
"All anyone is talking about is that woman," reveals another, "even the staff."
As any religious viewer of The Real Housewives of New Jersey can tell you, there is nothing to gain by being Teresa's bestie. Teresa, however, could benefit from making a few friends during the course of her 15 month sentence, and it appears inmates are lining up as tributes. How should Tre handle this influx of potential new frenemies? We consulted prison survival guides to give Teresa the best advice possible.
The most popular tip provided by free online prison survival guides is don't stare at people. You might think that staring is flattering, and will endear you to the person you are staring at, but you're wrong. According to this prison survival guide on Listverse, you should "always walk with your head facing forwards. All it can take is a stare that lasts one second too long for you to become the target of violence."
Teresa, it must be said, does not have the kindest resting face.
Think of prison like "high school."
According to the Just Cause law collective, going to prison for the first time is "a lot like starting at a new high school"...in that you shouldn't try to make friends right away? Doesn't sound like the best suggestion for someone starting at a new high school, but maybe it works for prison. The collective advises:
Watch and listen for quite a while, to get a sense of the other people you'll be living with. ... Some will be very decent human beings who can give you useful information and advice. On the other hand, the first ones who come up and want to make friends with you may be predators, losers, or snitches. Don't be in a big hurry to join a group, because you'll be taking on their baggage. Just take it easy and be pleasant with everyone, without striving to find buddies right away.
It's hard to imagine Teresa giving helpful advice, but she's definitely not a loser. Like a classic musical being staged at the new high school where you have just started, there's a role everyone in prison: Some people will be nice, some people will be prostitution whores, some people will be in gangs, some people will have useful information (these people are teachers). The best counsel for Teresa is just to treat it like high school, where she surely was nice to everyone.
Give apologies freely, but do not demand they are accepted.
This tip could prove challenging for Teresa to follow, as "don't argue" and "just walk away" are things she literally is paid not to do. Teresa will no doubt be served well by the fact that she, unlike most Real Housewives, does not make a habit of demanding apologies. Unfortunately, she is also more likely to set herself on fire than give one to someone else.
Wait to be invited to play cards.
Listverse notes that card playing—not gambling—can help you make friends in prison: "It is wise to learn a few card games before you enter so you can pass the time playing friendly games." This guide from a hacking zine, however, makes it clear that you should wait to be invited before joining the game. You know, don't show up to the party without an invitation.
Suck up to a priest.
A British gaol survival guide recommends new prisoners "get to know the chaplains—it doesn't matter if you're religious, and they don't care." Teresa could "ask to have a chat with them for pastoral reasons soon after arriving, they are good to talk to because your mind will be racing and they have seen it all before, but even more important if you need a help or a favor they are a good place to start."
Be your own best friend :)
Our final piece of advice comes from Yahoo! Answers, a collective of ex-convicts the world over. While Yahoo! user Mercer does not mention ever having been to jail, his contribution the Yahoo! Answers question catalogue includes queries like "Is there the same amount of water on earth as in the past?" indicative of a deep thoughtfulness about the world. He advises, simply:
Be careful though of bad apples, those people that seem over nice and friendly may have hidden agenda's and they trick people by being friends, and they try to use people. So just stay strong and just be first your own best friend, open and honest.
Teresa Giudice has spent six TV seasons learning to do that, through trial and error. She'll be fine.
[Image via Getty]