Credit: Amy Sussman/FilmMagic

So what's being a Real Housewives of New York City cast member really like? Try a real-life version of Survivor, according to new kid on the block Cindy Barshop.

( first revealed in September that Barshop, the owner of Completely Bare salons, will join the show's fourth season, which returns in February.)

After being tossed into Bravo's infamous ring of housewives, the single mother of one-year-old twins says it took a little getting used to. "No one gave me a handbook on how to be a housewife or who to interact with or how to be with them," she told WWD. "It was like being on Survivor."

Just like the competitive reality show, players need a strategy to succeed. "I had to work at making myself relevant...showing my qualities and showing them right away. This is not a place where you slowly learn about somebody or they slowly learn about you," Barshop, 46, explained. "And there is an etiquette."

That doesn't mean Barshop always played nice. "She is very kind, but let me tell you, she is a very sharp lady. When she has to be aggressive [on the show], she has been," Barshop's brother, Howie, said. "She did get aggressive when she had to."