How I Met Your Mother: Barney’s 10 Biggest Mistakes (That We Can Learn From)

Barney is one of the most beloved characters on How I Met Your Mother. He often served as the comic relief, getting the gang into bizarre situations and lightening the mood. Barney never took himself seriously and enjoyed being the life of the party.

Believing Bob Barker Is His Father – Trust Your Gut

When Barney was little, his mom told him that his father was Bob Barker. While Barney believed this when he was little, as time went on he came to realize this wasn’t true but continued to trick himself into believing this lie. This allowed Barney to keep from confronting the truth, shielding him from pain.

Filming A Song To Win Back Shannon – Value Yourself

Barney is devastated when his girlfriend Shannon leaves him. In an attempt to win her back, he films an embarrassing video that haunts him later. When this is unsuccessful, he changes his entire personality and dedicates his life to getting revenge. In this process, Barney loses himself.

Following Women Onto A Plane – Don’t Get Too Focused On One Thing

Barney has done some truly stupid things in pursuit of women. In one instance, he convinces Ted to stalk some attractive women onto a plane. In the process, they leave their baggage at security. When the plane lands, they find themselves in a holding cell due to suspected terrorism.

Slap Bet – Don’t Procrastinate

Barney tries to take the easy way out. After losing a slap bet with Marshall, he can either take 10 slaps immediately or 5 slaps sometime in the future. To avoid immediate pain, Barney chooses to take 5 slaps. While at first, this may seem like a better deal, it goes on to haunt him.

He’s always on edge, waiting for the next slap to be delivered. The slaps also come at the worst possible times, including during his wedding weekend. This teaches to power through the difficult tasks immediately instead of waiting until later. While it may hurt in the moment, it’s better to get the pain over with and move on with life fear-free and stronger for having struggled.

Trying To Make Ted Jealous – Revenge Can Be Dangerous

When Barney and Abby are both frustrated with Ted, they team up to make him jealous. They pretend they are madly in love and make sure to go on a “date” in a public place. Barney, ever the showman, decides to take the plan further than discussed and proposes to Abby in front of everyone.

Trying To Get His Parents Back Together – It’s Okay To Move On

Barney clearly has trauma stemming from the absence of his father as a child. During his wedding weekend, he decides to try and get his parents back together. His bother James spends the weekend doing the same with his father and their mother. Neither plan works and Barney comes to realize that these two individuals are not right for each other. From this, we can learn the importance of moving on and letting go of those who aren’t good for us.

Avoiding Talking About His Problems In A Relationship – Deal With Your Problems

Barney does not like to talk about his feelings. When there are difficulties in his relationship, he decides to avoid the problem, typically by having sex. Unfortunately, unaddressed problems continue to build and the issues become so large that they are unmanageable. This destroys several of Barney’s relationships. Though it can be difficult, it is always better to speak openly and confront problems in a relationship head-on in order to build a stronger foundation.

Cheating On Nora – Be Honest With Your Partner

Barney and Nora had a great relationship, but Barney was struggling with feelings for two people. In the end, Barney acted on his desires and decided to cheat on Nora with Robin, who was also in a relationship at the time. Barney assumed that Robin and him would then begin dating, but that didn’t happen. He hurt someone he cared for and didn’t even get his desired outcome.

Rushing Into Marriage – Think Through Major Life Decisions

Barney and Quinn were going strong for a while. While Barney is first excited about Quinn’s career as an exotic dancer, he begins to become uncomfortable with the idea. He asks Quinn what it would take for her to stop and she tells him that if she were married, she would probably stop. Shortly thereafter, they are engaged. When Barney proposes a prenup, the entire relationship falls apart, but the prenup is not to blame. The problem is their underlying trust issues which they try to solve by rushing into marriage. It’s important to think major life decisions through and Barney and viewers definitely learned this lesson while watching their relationship fall apart.

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