Barney Stinson may be a caricature in How I Met Your Mother, but his story on the show can teach fans some important things.
Challenges Are Exciting, Not Scary
Any time Barney is faced with a challenge, he gladly accepts it by belting out “challenge accepted!”. Often, no one has even brought up a challenge of any sort, but Barney rushes to accept it anyway. Enthusiastic, driven, and competitive, Barney is the person we should emulate any time we are faced with an obstacle in life.
Most of the challenges he accepts have to do with picking up women. He wore overalls, a dress, and talked in a baby voice. To some extent, he also viewed his serious girlfriends, Nora and Robin, as a challenge.
Dress To Impress
“Suit up!”, Barney tells Ted. While it’s not exactly necessary to wear a suit anywhere, Barney does have a point. People often make judgments based on first impressions, so it’s important to always look sharp. We can’t all look flawless in each and every photo someone takes of us like Barney does, but at least we can dress nicely.
Help Your Friends When They Need It
Ted might be agreeable and down to earth, but when it comes to friendships, Barney is actually a better guy than ted. When Marshall and Lily were breaking up, he flew to San Francisco to get Lily back. He got Marshall a job when he was financially struggling and helped Robin record an awesome CV. If it wasn’t for Barney, Ted would never work on the GNB skyscraper, which is a pretty big deal.
Barney refuses to take any credit, though. He expects nothing in return at all. He might act egotistical at times, but he is actually the most selfless character of them all.
Don’t Work Yourself To Death
Barney has a job, but no one actually knows what he does, which is one of the running jokes on the show. Barney tells his friends that it’s important to have a CV in which you sell yourself as confident, driven, and independent. When it comes to actual work, though, Barney thinks it’s best to do as little as possible.
Real life doesn’t work that way, so we should take Barney’s advice with a grain of salt. One thing is true, though: Barney always looks so great because he is never burned out from working too hard.
Money Won’t Buy You Happiness
Barney works at a corporation and the running joke is that he doesn’t actually do anything there. Doing things gets you fired. Barney has a high paycheck and lives in a man-cave of a condo. Ted’s apartment is among the most financially unrealistic ones. in the history of sitcoms, but there are no qualms whatsoever about how Barney affords his swanky flat and the huge flat screen TV
Barney might be wealthy, but he has very little to show for himself in the beginning of the show. Happiness stems from meaningful relationships and family. Barney came a long way from season 1 and progressed the most as a character.
Don’t Let Go Of Your Inner Child
It might seem childish that Barney loves to play laser tag – he sure is mocked for it by his friend group from time to time. But Barney is onto something here. It is crucial for our well being to nurture the playful, curious, and child-like side of us. Every time he manages to bring someone along, be it Ted, Robin or Robin’s father, everybody gets really invested in the game. Barney takes it the most seriously, though. In “Murtaugh”, he gets really aggressive towards the kids who play there and ends up TPing the place.
Some might call Barney’s obsession with playing a game immature and ridiculous. It’s those people that need to reconnect with their inner child the most.