"I didn't realize at the time that it's essentially this soap opera, the 29-year-old TV personality tells ET's Jennifer Peros. "That's pretty much what it was."
"It was a fun job, but it was essentially a job," she explains. "They put me in situations that they would know how I would react, and that's what I did."
And while the mother of three can look back and laugh now, one thing she's not ready to do is tune in.
"I haven't gone back and watched them, but one day..." she suggests. "I think it was two summers ago, my husband, Jay [Cutler], had them on when I came home one time and that was... it's kind of brutal for me to sit through."
Cavallari says what makes it really difficult to sit through is seeing how much she's changed and grown since the series aired.
"I was so obnoxious and I'm like... different time in my life," she points out.
It's safe to say a lot has changed for Cavallari, who has her own jewelry line, a recently released memoir, Balancing in Heels: My Journey to Health, Happiness, and Making it all Work, and three kids with Cutler.
"Jay would probably say that I'm the good cop and he's the bad cop," she told ET earlier this month while talking about the challenges that come with parenting three children under the age of four. "Although, when he's not there, I mean, listen... The kids are not walking all over me. I know how to set boundaries. I know how to get them in check."
One thing that's not in this family's future? Another reality show.
"No! We get offered it all the time," she revealed. "We want our kids to live as normal a life as possible."
Besides, how much of what we saw on The Hills back in the day really happened anyway?