My friends and I define “spirit animal” as a person or object or some other thing that represents our personalities in real life. For me, my spirit animal has, and always will be, Chandler Bing.
Chandler Bing was “Friends'” resident awkward funny one. He knew that he had to diffuse tension with his lame jokes and knew that when it came to relationships he was terrified because he was just trying to be himself and we all know how hard that is.
I have seen every episode of “Friends” at least five times and I always find something new to learn from Chandler. I’ve compiled a list of 20 life lessons that I’ve learned from that beautiful TV character in hopes that maybe I can make sense of my own self. And to share all this wisdom with you!
Here we go:
20. Always be yourself. It’s cliche but true. Chandler might have been a huge dork, but at least he always stayed true to that. He never compromised his morals for a girl and he always stayed true to who he was around his friends.
19. It’s OK to be funny. Despite what some may say about acting professional all the time, Chandler always had a sense of humor. Even if it was at his own expense.
18. Bro code. Technically this can be about any kind of friendship, but Chandler learned the hard way that you shouldn’t date another person’s significant other after they break up. He dealt with this when he dated Joey’s ex.
17. You can party but only until a certain age. Remember the episode when Ross and Chandler tried partying like they did in college? The found out that stage in your life only lasts so long. You have to grow up eventually.
16. If you can’t remember their name you’re in trouble and probably shouldn’t have done whatever it was you did in the first place. Once Chandler made out with one of Joey’s sisters but couldn’t remember which one it was. If you’re that stupid and drunk you need to be responsible and fess up to your actions.
15. Making fun of others is not funny. Julia Roberts once guest stared on the show as a girl Chandler used to make fun of in grade school. She got back at him and made him look like a fool. Lesson learned. Be kind.
14. Take risks. Chandler was sometimes afraid to try something new, but when he did he developed more as a character. Like the time he eventually talked to that model when they were stuck in that ATM place (which I’m guessing is a thing from the ’90s).
13. Know your limitations. Chandler knew that not everyone can be the best at everything. Find what you know you’re good at and stick with it. Life’s not a competition.
12. Pets are great. He had a chicken and a duck and they taught him how to care for other living creatures.
11. Roommates are tricky. Even though Chandler and Joey were best friends that didn’t mean that they never butted heads on a roommate level. Living with another person is tough even when you do love them (He found that out later with Monica, too).
10. If you’re not happy, fix it. In the ninth season Chandler got fed up with his job and quit. He tried his hand at advertising because he thought it would be something he was truly good at. Don’t ever be afraid to make a change if it will make you happy in the long run.
9. Don’t run away from stupid things. As Chandler’s character grew up on the show he learned that you can’t run and hide from responsibility. Only you can fight your own battles.
8. Parents are embarrassing and there is nothing you can do about it. Chandler’s mother wrote sex novels and his father was a cross-dressing Vegas showgirl-type person. He eventually learned that there was nothing he could do to change them though, so he just accepted them and the embarrassment. All parents do that. It’s OK.
7. We all have that annoying ex we can’t get rid of. Oh Janice. You will bump into people from your past and it will be awkward, but the good news is you will also get over it and be fine.
6. Hollywood people are most likely fake. Chandler loved “Baywatch.” He also knew the girls on that show were not real life people. And when he finally hooked up with Monica he learned that real life people are better than the ones on TV (most of the time).
5. People are annoying, even your friends. Poor guy has been dealing with Ross since college. The patience he had by season 10 was inspiring.
4. Be wise with your money. Chandler had a good job and was always able to pay for his expenses. But never did he do something stupid with his money like Joey or Rachel. That’s not be lame either. It’s called being smart.
3. Laugh at yourself. Chandler was always willing to poke fun at himself. He knew the importance with being comfortable in his own skin. By the end of the show he was perfectly fine with being the funny dork of the friend group.
2. Be a good friend. When you grow up and no longer live with family your friends become your family. Chandler understood this very well. When that day comes, surround yourself with the very best friends. People you would go to the ends of the earth for, but also people who would do the same for you. You’re going to be taking care of each other in the stage of your life that comes after college graduation.
1. That day will come. Being single sucks. Being 21 and single really sucks. Then I remember everything that Chandler has taught me. Being awkward and desperate for love right now is what you’re supposed to feel like (I think). You can’t go settle for a Janice, though. Sometimes the Monica is worth waiting for. Chandler was the character that no one thought would ever get married and he did. To a really cool person, too. He just needed some time to figure himself out first. I like to believe I can still fulfill this part of my spirit animal’s destiny while still figuring myself out. I deserve love. And I hope to one day find a guy who loves me just as much as Chandler loved Monica.