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Running head: Barney Stinson

BarnabusBarneyStinson:ALegen.WaitforItDarybutBriefCharacterAnalysis
Danielle Grider
Ivy Tech Community College
PSYC101,MooresvilleCampus

Barney Stinson

BarnabusBarneyStinson:ALegen.WaitforItDarybutBriefCharacterAnalysis

BarnabusBarneyStinsonisoneofthemaincharactersoftheshowHowIMetYour
Mother,portrayedbyNeilPatrickHarris.HowIMetYourMotherisacomedysitcomon
CBSaboutfivefriendslivinginNewYork,whichcentersonTedMosbyandhisquesttofind
truelove.TheseriesisnarratedbythefutureTedMosbytellinghischildrenanextremelylong
andelaboratestoryabouthowhemettheirmother.BarneyStinsonisoneofTedsbestfriends,
andagreatsourceofcomedyfortheshow.Barneyisaserialwomanizerwithfatherissuesand
questionableactions.Hehasauniquepersonalityandusescrazyandelaboratetacticstoseduce
women.HissinglemotherraisedBarneyandhisolderbrotherJames.BarneyandJamesboth
askedabouttheirfathersbuttheirmotherwouldeitherlietothemorchangethesubject.
Throughouthischildhood,Barneywasconstantlyliedtobyhismothertoprotecthisfeelings.
Forexample,Barneysmothertoldhimhecouldnotplayonthebasketballteambecausehewas
togoodanditwouldbeunfairtotheotherplayers,wheninrealitythecoachdidnotwanthimon
theteam.Barneywasanunpopularchildandwaspickedonandbulliedbyotherkidshisage.
OnemajorthingthathappenedinBarneysadulthoodthathelpedshapehischaracterasitis
today,waswhenBarneywasayoungadultheandhishighschoolsweetheartweregoingtojoin
thePeaceCorpstogetherandlosetheirvirginitytoeachotheraftertheyweremarried.Theday
theyweresupposedtoleaveBarneysgirlfrienddidnotshowup.Whenhewenttofindherhe
discoveredshewascheatingonhimwithaguywhohadearliertoldBarneythatthekeyto
pickingupwomenwasmoneyandsuits.Barneymadeavideosingingasongtotrytowinhis
girlfriendbackbutwhenheranintohisexgirlfriendandthemanshewascheatingonhimwith,

Barney Stinson

theybothlaughedandmadefunofBarney.Barneywasmadeafoolofanddecidedtochangehis
lookandbemoreliketheguythatstolehisgirlfriend.Barneylosthisvirginitytohismother
promiscuousfriend,changedhisstyleofclothingandpersonalityradically,andquithisjob.
ThesearejustsomeofthedefensesBarneyusedtoprotecthimselffromhisfeelings.
LookingatBarneyspersonalityfromaPsychodynamicperspectiveyoucanseetheuse
ofdefensemechanisms.Defensemechanismsarethoughttosafeguardthemindagainstfeelings
andthoughtsthataretoodifficultfortheconsciousmindtocopewith.Insomeinstances,
defensemechanismsarethoughttokeepinappropriateorunwantedthoughtsandimpulsesfrom
enteringtheconsciousmind.Therearesixmaindefensesthattheegousestohelpprotectthe
mindwiththemostprimitivebeingdenial.Repression,projection,displacement,regression,and
sublimationaretheotherremainingofthemaindefenses(McLeod,2008).Barneyusesdenialin
manysituationswithintheshow.Heacceptstheliesthathismothertellshimbecausethetruthis
tohardforhimtobelieve.BarneysmothertoldhimthatBobBarkerfromThePriceisRight
washisfatherandBarneyaccepteditastrutheventhoughitwasveryfarfetchedand
unbelievable.Barneysmothertoldhimseveralunbelievableliessimilartothatandheaccepted
themastruthallthewayintohisadulthood.DisplacementisanotherdefenseBarneyusesforhis
realdesiretogetmarriedandhaveafamilywiththegirlheloves,Robinbutbecauseofhisfears
ofcommitmenthesleepsaroundwithseveraldifferentwomen.AFreudianpsychologistwould
mostdefinitelysaythatBarneyisgoingthroughthephallicstage.Thephallicstageoccursfrom
theagesthreetosix.AFreudianpsychologistwouldsaythatheisgoingthroughthephallic
stagebecausehefindspleasureusinghisgenitals;whichwouldtransferintowhyhealways
wantstohavesexwithrandomgirls.Heconsistentlycaresaboutonething,whichishaving

Barney Stinson

sexualintercourse.InFreudstheoryitsaysthereisaconflictwithineachstageandalsoa
fixation(Krueger,2013).Barneydoesnotknowhisfather.Throughouttheepisodesflashbacks
showBarneyswishofhavingafather.Duringhischildhoodheoftenseesoldermenwholook
goodtohim,andeverytimeheaskedhismotherifeachofthosemenwerehisfather.She
alwayssaidyesbecauseitwaseasier.Freudianpsychologistwouldcallthisafather/Oedipus
complex,whichoccursduringthephallicstage.Forboysitveryimportanttohaveafathersince
Barneywasmostlyraisedbyhismotherhehadnomalerolemodeltoidentifywithinthe
developmentofhispersonality.
BylookingattheFiveFactorModelofpersonalitywecanlookcloseratBarneys
personality.TheFiveFactorModelofpersonality,alsoknownastheBigFive,isfivebroad
dimensionsofpersonalitythatareusedtodescribeapersonspersonality.TheBigFive
dimensionsareopennesstoexperiences,conscientiousness,extraversion,agreeableness,and
neuroticism(Krueger,2013).Barneyisdefinitelyanextravertperson.Heisveryoutgoingand
alwayslookingtomeetnewpeopleespeciallywomen.Helovesthebarlife,drinking,andnew
experiences.Extraversionisdominantinbeingsocialandoutgoing,whichBarneydisplaysin
everyepisodewithhisstrongpersonality.Thenextdimensionwouldbeopennesstoexperience,
whichincludesadventure,imagination,andunusualideas.Barneyfitsthisdimensionwell
becausehecreatestheseoutrageouscustomsandcharacterstotrickwomenintosleepingwith
him.Helikesadventureandnewexperiencesashetakescommentssuchas"Noonecandothis"
asachallenge,announcing"ChallengeAccepted".Hewilleventakeanentireyeartofulfilla
challengeevenifthepersonwho"challenged"himdoesn'tevenremember,asseenwhenBarney
tookayeartogetTedtogrowamustacheintheepisodecalledTenSessions(Bays,Harris,

Barney Stinson

2008).Thenextdimensionwouldbeagreeableness,whichincludescompassion,friendliness,
andaltruism.Although,Barneywouldnotagreewiththistraitbecausehewouldlikepeopleto
thinkofheisnotsoftheartedorcompassionateespeciallywiththewayhetreatswomen.Barney
caresdeeplyforhisfriends,mother,andbrother.Hewoulddoanythingforthemandhashelped
themoutonseveraloccasionswithoutthemhavingknowledgeofit.Hewouldsayhehas
compassionandhelpsoutthecommunitybysleepingwithuglygirlsandchunkygirls.Thelast
dimensionsareconscientiousnessandneuroticism.Barneyhassometraitsoftheconscientious
becauseoftheachievementfactorandorganization.Barneyis,unknowinglytoomost,very
smartandhasachievedalotinhiscareereventhoughnooneactuallyknowswhatBarneydoes.
Hisapartmentisveryorganized,andsomeofhisskimshecomesupwithtogetwomentosleep
withhimareactuallywellthoughtoutandorganized.Barneyisnotneuroticbecausethat
involvesbeinganxiousandmoody.Barneyisalwaysoutgoing,fun,andenergetic.Itmaybea
maskforwhathereallyfeelssometimesbuthewouldneverbedescribedasneurotic.
IfIweretodiagnoseBarneywithapersonalitydisorder,itwouldbenarcissistic
personalitydisorder.Narcissisticpersonalitydisorderischaracterizedbydramatic,emotional
behavior,whichisinthesamecategoryasantisocialandborderlinepersonalitydisorders.
Narcissisticpersonalitydisordersymptomsmayinclude:believingthatyou'rebetterthanothers,
fantasizingaboutpower,successandattractiveness,expectingconstantpraiseandadmiration,
believingthatyou'respecialandactingaccordingly,failingtorecognizeotherpeople'semotions
andfeelings,andexpectingotherstogoalongwithyourideasandplans,troublekeepinghealthy
relationships.Peoplethathavenarcissisticpersonalitydisorder,theyoftenmonopolize
conversations,andmaybelittleorlookdownonpeopletheyperceiveasinferior.Theymayalso

Barney Stinson

haveasenseofentitlement,butunderneathallthisbehavioroftenlaysafragileselfesteem.
Theyhavetroublehandlinganythingthatmaybeperceivedascriticism,andmayhaveasenseof
secretshameandhumiliation.Andinordertomakethemselvesfeelbetter,theymayreactwith
rageorcontemptandeffortstobelittletheotherpersontomakethemselvesappearbetter(2012).
Barneyisineverywaynarcissistic.InthefirstepisodeoftheshowBarneytoldTedafakestory
aboutthisbeingthefirsttimehetookhisdeafbrotheroutsincetheirmotherdiedandhowhe
putshisdreamsonholdtotakecareofhim.Tedbelievedthestory,whichsurprisedBarneyand
admittedthathemadeupthestorywhilepeeing.BarneyaskedTedforhisnameandbefore
leavingthebathroomhetoldTedthathelikeshim.Fifteenminuteslater,Barneysatdownnext
toTedandtoldhimthathe'sgoingtoteachhimhowtolive.BarneythentoldTedtolosehis
goatee,getasuit,andtonoteventhinkaboutgettingmarrieduntilhe's30yearsold.Barney
believesthewayhelivesisthewayothersshouldliveandispassinghisknowledgetoanother
guysohecanhaveawingmantohelphimpickupwomen.Barneycomesupwiththesecrazy
andoutrageousideasconstantlyandexpectstherestofthegangtogoalongwithhim.Hisideas
arealwaysthebestandhehastohavethebestofeverything.Barneyisalsounawareand
uncaringaboutthewomenhehurtsbylyingtothemjusttogettheminbed.Barneyhasahard
timerecognizingotherpeoplesemotionsanddoesntunderstandwhysomeoneisupsetwith
himwhenhedoessomethingtohurttheirfeelings.WhenBarneyandRobinendtheir
relationshipbutdecidetoremainfriends,hedoesseethatRobinishurtbyhimtalkingabout
otherwomenhesleptwithanddoesntthinkabouthowitmakesherfeel,hehadtobetoldbyTd
andLilythatRobinwasupsetwiththewayhewasacting.Barneysaidinoneepisodethathehas
ashrinkfornarcissism,amentalillnesswhereyouarephysicallyorsexuallyinlovewithyour

Barney Stinson

appearance.Barneycouldbenefitfromcognitivebehavioraltherapy.Ingeneral,cognitive
behavioraltherapyhelpsyouidentifyunhealthy,negativebeliefsandbehaviorsandreplacethem
withhealthy,positiveones.Thegoaloftreatmentistoalterdistortedthoughtsandcreateamore
realisticselfimage.Aspecificformofcognitivebehavioraltherapy,calledschemafocused
therapy,centersaroundrepairingnarcissisticschemasandthedefectivemoodsandcopingstyles
associatedwiththem.Thisveryactiveandworkintensiveformoftreatmentencouragespatients
toconfrontnarcissisticcognitivedistortions,suchasblackandwhitethinkingandperfectionism,
andhasbeenshowntohavepromisingresultsforthetreatmentofnarcissisticpersonality
disorder(Ambardar,Bienenfeld,2013).Treatingnarcissisticpersonalitydisorderisalongterm
processandcannotbetreatedwithmedicationbutcontinuallytherapy.
Inconclusion,Barneyisfunlovingcharacterthatkeepspeoplelaughingandshaking
theirheadsatthenextcrazyskimhecomesupwith.Heunconsciouslyutilizesthedefense
mechanismstoprotecthimselffromfeelingsofabandonmentfromnothavingafatherandthe
lieshismothertoldhimtoprotecthisfeelings.Healsoutilizesthedefensemechanismsforhis
fearofcommitmentandgettinghurt.Barneyisanextravertpersonandenjoysbeinginsocial
situations.Helovesthebarlife,drinking,hittingonwomen,andnewexperiences.Heisopento
experiencesandacceptsnewchallenges.Barneyisalsoanarcissisticperson,andwantsthebest
ofeverything.Hethinksveryhighlyofhimselfandbelieveseveryoneshouldlivethewayhe
doesandisshockedwhenothersdontfeelthesamewayhedoes.Hecouldbenefitfromtherapy
tohelphimwithhisnarcissistwaysandtogetpasthisfatherissues.Barneyisaconstant
entertainmentsourcefortheshow.Whoknewwatchingawomanizingnarcissistwithdaddy
issueswouldbesoentertaining.

Barney Stinson

Barney Stinson

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References

Bays,C.(Writer),Harris,C.(Writer),&Hsueh,B.(Producer),Kang,K.(Producer).(2008).Ten
Sessions[Televisionseriesepisode].InThomas,C.(ExecutiveProducer),HowIMetYour
Mother.LosAngeles,CA:Netflix.

Krueger,J.(2013).HowIMetYourMother,Personalitywise.PsychologyToday.Retrieved
December1,2013,fromhttp://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/oneamongmany/201302/how
imetyourmotherpersonalitywise

McLeod,S.(2008).DefenseMechanisms.SimplyPsychology.RetrievedDecember1,2013,
fromhttp://www.simplypsychology.org/defensemechanisms.html

NarcissisticPersonalityDisorder.(2012).WebMD:MentalHealthCenter.RetrievedDecember
1,2013,fromhttp://www.webmd.com/mentalhealth/narcissisticpersonalitydisorder?page=2

Ambardar,S.&Bienenfeld,D.(2013).NarcissisticPersonalityDisorderTreatment&
Management.Medscape.RetrievedDecember1,2013,from
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1519417treatment