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Famous Personality Assignment
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how i met your mother
by Jordan Karmel
Barney Stinson is a character from the show How I Met Your Mother. The show is about a man named Ted and his four best friends explaining his story to his kids about how he met their mother. The show continues to go from the beginning of his college years until he in fact does meet his wife. Ted tells many detailed stories that always lead closer and closer to how he met their mother. Ted is always thinking that each girl he meets might be the one for him, although on the other hand Barney thinks that Ted should be trying to sleep with anyone mildly attractive. Barney tends to give Ted terrible advice for what Ted truly wants. Barney is in his thirties but always strives to have sexual intercourse with younger women with daddy issues. He is considered a womanizer to the entire group and loves what he does. Barney was raised by his single mother named Loretta, he had never met his father although was very naïve to believe the fact that his father was Bob Barker from the hit show “the price is right”. Barney is always wearing a suit. He has many contradicting theories and is always going on extreme adventures that get him and his friends in trouble but they lead to good stories. He consistently takes on challenges that make him try to pick up girls in different ways. Barney makes a lot of money but no one is sure exactly what his occupation is. Barney is considered the crazy one in the group but always keeps every conversation exciting to them. He is very optimistic and manipulative. Barney has many catch phrases including “suit up”, “legendary”, “bro code”, “I’m awesome” and “challenge accepted”.
Perspective 1: Freudian psychoanalytic perspective
Freud was the creator of the theory of psychoanalytic perspective. Within this theory it includes three parts that create the personality of people. The three parts were the Id, the Ego, and the superego. The Id is the primitive desire for drives and emotions, it is selfish and greedy. The Id tries to seek immediate gratification using the pleasure principle. The ego is a balance of the Id and the superego. The ego uses the reality principle. The superego is where the mind considers right and wrong from the society. It uses the morality principle in which we have our morals. Freud had three techniques to find out where we stood using dream analysis (Freud called it the royal road to the unconscious) Freud would ask you about your dreams and came up with terms manifest content and latent content. Manifest content was the content of the dream that a person remembered. Latent content was the underlying hidden meaning of a dream. He also used free association in which he would state one word and you would have to answer one responding word to see what your subconscious would say. His last strategy was hypnosis. All of these strategies were to find what was in a person’s subconscious.
Barney Stinson would most definitely be characterized as using his Id most of the time. He consistently tries to sleep with girls although there is no long-term satisfaction. He has also stolen girls from his friends proving he likes immediate gratification. Barney would be seen as having an undeveloped superego because he is extremely manipulative and very impulsive. He is immature when it comes to being in the real world. This is seen in many episodes including “The Playbook” and “The Perfect Week”. In these episodes it is revolved around Barney trying to trick girls into sleeping with him, in the playbook episode he has different ploys and scams that he puts into a book that he can always use to get with girls. In the episode of the perfect week he tries to go a perfect week of getting with a different girl each day for a week it references many baseball references of the “perfect game”. His motives are always the same, selfish and greedy but he does all these tricks because deep down he is lonely and has dad issues and this is how he copes with his problems is to pretend nothing is wrong.
A Freudian psychologist would most definitely say that Barney is going through the phallic stage. The phallic stage occurs from the ages three to six. A Freudian psychologist would say that he is going through the phallic stage because he finds pleasure using his genitals; which would transfer into why he always wants to have sex with random girls. He consistently cares about one thing, which is having sexual intercourse. In Freud’s theory it says there is a conflict within each stage and also a fixation. Barney’s conflict in this stage holds true being that the conflict is his sexual behavior is socially unacceptable. This is completely true because he does get turned down often and gets slapped across the face a lot as well. The fixation of this stage is the inability to love, which shows throughout the show because he always wants just one night stands. Any time a girl falls for him he makes sure to get rid of them, any time anything is changed around his house or anyone shows any kind of affection he makes sure to go back to normal. In the newer episode named “Tick Tick Tick” he has a girlfriend that he started to fall for, then he cheated on her. A psychologist would say that he is scared of committing and is apathetic towards love; therefore he does like to be a womanizer.
Perspective 2: Big Five
Gordon Allport had the idea that each person has unique qualities. He came up with the “Big Five” personality traits to truly look into a person to discover who they really are. The five personality traits consist of: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness. Barney would easily be considered an extroverted person. He is always looking to meet new people and do exciting things, he loves the bar life and drinking. The subparts to extroversion are social, dominant and assertive. Barney has shown all of these qualities to extreme amounts. He is the first one in the group to talk to new girls. He has a strong personality and tries to dictate what the group will be doing for the night.
The next trait is agreeable which includes friendly, trust, altruism, modesty. I think that Barney would be pretty agreeable in this situation. He is the most friendly, as he never lets anything get to him, he is always smiling and making a joke out of each situation. He is optimistic and always sees something good out of each complicated circumstances they get in. Even though he is a womanizer and lies about whom he is every time to these random girls, I think he is very trustworthy to his true friends. People have different “masks” with different groups of people but the only ones that matter are the ones we feel most comfortable with which is his friends. Barney would consider himself altruistic because he always says that he is being good to the community when he gets with ugly girls and old girls and fat girls. Although he actually is altruistic because he always helps his friends out without them knowing. He helps Ted out by knowing what he truly wants and gets him there in odd and fun ways. He always is very modest because he does not care if he gets rejected. He never really does lie to his friends he just finds ways around the straight answer.
The next trait is conscientiousness which includes competence, persistency, and dependable. Barney is very persistent, as he never gives up after one chance of any opportunity. He never lets any challenge goes to waste as he always says, “challenge accepted”. Barney is very competent because he is extremely skilled in the thing he loves much which is to hit on beautiful girls. He makes a lot of money; which always shows because he buys ridiculous outfits and costumes to hit on these women. He is also very dependable because he would be there for his friends in a second if one of them ever needed it. He does not care for many things but his friends are a big deal to him. Barney is a very driven character that will not stop unless he gets what he wants, in one episode he made a joke and wanted a high five. In which no one proceeded to give him one, he persisted that his hand would stay up until he got what he thought he deserved. He waited the entire episode until he got the high five he was in need of. Even though it is something silly it shows true character to fight for what you deserve.
The last two personality traits are neuroticism and openness. Barney is not neurotic at all because that involves being anxious and depressed. Barney is always fun and outgoing, although he puts on this mask because he doesn’t and never had a father figure around for him. Yet he portrays himself as strong and very secure. The last trait is openness, which is imagination, and curiosity in which he has an immense amount of. He imagines being with each girl he sees and is curious to find out how he will ultimately succeed in his goal of sleeping with them. He is extremely creative with his schemes of well thought out tricks to get these insecure girls to be willing to go back with him.
After thoroughly investigating Barney Stinson as a character, it is clear to see why he acts and thinks the way he does. Personally speaking I think it is funny to judge people because everyone has their problems even if some people look perfect. Barney from some perspectives seems extremely lucky being able to sleep with these gorgeous women and never being told no, and always having great stories only goes so far. It is obvious that he goes for these girls with daddy issues because he has daddy issues himself. He goes for girls that are vulnerable because he wants to be with someone that is more vulnerable than him so that he can make himself feel better. He is consistently hiding from the truth that he is not as happy as he portrays. He is always pretending to be so “awesome” but there is a reason why he does the acts he does and even something so little as wears suits is because he lost his first girlfriend to a guy in a suit. Barney is a fun, loveable, womanizer yet there is a much more serious side thinking back to Freud whom might be right that Barney may have the inability to love. He is so crushed from not having a father that he will never let anyone get close to him. That is why he only wants one-night stands. Barney is trying to convince to himself these challenges more than he is trying to prove or convince anyone else. All of these conclusions go back to him not growing up with a father his whole life.
List of How I Met Your Mother.Episodes.Wikipedia.Retrived from
Barney Picture. Retrieved from
Friedman, H.S., & Schustack, M. W. (2009). Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research, 4th edition. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. ISBN-13: 978-0-205-57968-6
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