We all have different values and rules by which we live, and it can feel comforting to see our favorite TV shows play out in ways that could totally happen in real life. There are times when Netflix will never be relatable, and things can get so dramatic they almost fell off in a distant world. Still, here are a set of ten rules that would make the world a better place if we lived by them, taught by one of the best fictional characters of all time of all time…Phoebe Buffay.
- She appreciates what she has.
We have the dilemma of wondering which side to take – the crush/significant other or the long term friend. It is unfair to have to choose who is more important in your life, but sometimes you have to remember certain things. You have to know that, as Phoebe has taught us, no one should have to feel like a way to kill time until someone better comes along. When that relationship ends, when your heart gets broken, who will be there for you when the rain starts to pour, like they’ve been there before? Be there for them, too.
- Phoebe doesn’t over-analyze.
Humans like to spend their time obsessing over details and trying to create an algorithm for everything in life. That’s how we have learned everything we know, through a careful and calculated process. Yet, life is easier when we appreciate a good thing for what it is. For example, a friend. Maybe the only true wisdom lies in accepting that there are things we do not need to explain. If someone needs some sort of favor, assuming that person does not ask too much of you or put you in a difficult position, should it be questioned? Should you say “I need to know exactly why you want this and what’s in it for me” or should you do something for someone because you care about them, and let it be that simple?
- She makes her own decisions.
We are all different as individuals and the only person that knows what is best for you better than anyone else is YOU. Your friend doesn’t like your hat? Good thing it’s your head and thus, your decision. Ross doesn’t approve of your tattoo? Good thing it’s your skin and thus, your decision. Specifically going to someone for advice is one thing, but there comes a time when you have to be your own person and stand up to others (even those close to you). They are still not you. YOU ARE THE BOSS OF YOU.
- She knows her worth.
Too much reliance on other people is unhealthy. Yes, we all wish to have people in our lives that we are able to depend on whenever we might need them. In a perfect world, we all would. In reality, sometimes it can be the one you trust the most that ends up destroying you – IF YOU LET THEM. That’s the bitter truth we must all face at one point, but we have a great thing called choice. You get to decide how much power people have over you.
- Phoebe never worries about others’ opinions of her.
Remember being five years old and sitting in a park with a stick and digging a hole? Remember what it was like before you realized the opinions that other people formed of you without even knowing you? You wouldn’t sit there looking at the hole you dig and start comparing it to your friend’s hole to see who did a better job. You wouldn’t fear being hated for digging a different kind of hole than the rest of society. You wouldn’t sit around crying about how digging a hole does not feel like enough. So why do young adults do this? There’s a beautiful kind of irony in the maturity required to act like a child. People are fully aware of many of the problems in the world and still continue not to be affected by them. So why should you be affected by people’s opinions of you? People will judge you no matter what, so you might as well have your fun. SO RUN! LET’S GO!
- She doesn’t make excuses.
When someone wants your help with something, or perhaps just wants some of your time, do you always have to say yes? Does canceling plans once mean you’re avoiding someone? No. Is it really the end of the world if someone replies to your message a little bit later? No! You know you’ll be sitting there staring at your phone later that night, too. If you crash, you know you’ll wake up and scroll through your Facebook like the morning newspaper. Even the most extroverted person will have days when they simply do not feel like going anywhere or doing anything. So give them space! Almost every time, it’s not about you. If people are important enough to each other, they’ll reconnect eventually.
- Phoebe Buffay can take a damn compliment.
Confidence. Another concept lost on many. People have a tremendous fear of being seen as “arrogant” simply for being proud of a positive feature or accomplishment. You need confidence in life. If someone compliments you, what ever will you do?! Oh no, this is a terrible problem and you must spend at least five minutes coming up with a very specific response! Do you hear the sarcasm? I hope you do. It’s not that hard. SAY THANK YOU. The reason someone has gone out of their way to say something to make you feel special is that exactly – to make you feel special. To remind you of something positive about yourself that they have noticed. This person does not deserve to be argued with for going out of their way to say something flattering to you. They intended to say it and have it believed, not to get into a whole debate and have to justify with specific points, proofs and comments exactly why they think that specific positive thing about you. Don’t ruin it. Shut up and enjoy that free muffin from Joey.
- She understands the stupidity of people’s assumptions.
This sarcastic Phoebe is fantastic. This emphasizes so many problems that our society still has by displaying the idiocy of the idea of “homosexual hair”. One specific trait is not enough to accurately come to a general conclusion about a person, just as a small specific group of people is not enough to accurately come to a conclusion about everyone else. So do what you want with your hair and keep being fabulous like Mr. Bing.
- She is NOT a hater.
Don’t hate. That is something else that should be a lot more simple than people make it. If something someone does makes them happy, and does not hurt you or affect your life in any way, why make it affect your life? Turn on the news and you will see endless negativity. You will never see “Local man saves old woman’s cat from tree and bakes her scones and reads her a story.” People like this DO exist, but we just don’t celebrate them enough. We see so much pain, so when you see someone who is happy for any reason at all that does not hurt other people, at least try to be open to the possibility of being happy for them. Be happy. Put THAT out in the universe. It’s contagious.
- She never forces her opinions upon others.
It’s obvious this chick is a goddess in disguise, and can take the words straight from my mouth with merely a gif, so before I rant on too much, I’ll keep this point simple. People disagree. Get used to it. Learn from it. Embrace it.
Thanks to Phoebe, we finally have someone real to look up to. To tell us that the crazy, weird, and silly things we do on the daily are okay. She is confident in who she is, opinionated and forever loyal to her friends. By following her simple-minded way of life, we all have a chance at our very own Central-Perk fairy tale.
Featured Image via screengrab of Friends.