One of the best characters ever in a sitcom (I dare the world to contradict me), is Chandler Bing, from FRIENDS. 

FRIENDS was a very successful show in the 1990s and has managed to stay relevant even today, with fans like me who can lip sync dialogues from all episodes. Chandler M. Bing (all fans out there, comment with the middle name), like his name, stands out from the gang due to funny one-liners, quirky anecdotes, and above all, a razor-sharp tongue dipped in sarcasm which he lashes to all and sundry. Some of his lines have become embedded in our lives (“I am not good with advice, may I interest you in a sarcastic comment? or “Hi, I am Chandler, I make jokes when I am uncomfortable.” 

Chandler’s conduct is a result of many emotional events in life (cross-dressing father, divorced parents, constant rejections), he thus developed sarcasm as a defense mechanism. Place him in an uncomfortable situation and his first response will be either a joke, a completely unexpected line, or possibly his best- a sarcasm filled, nullifying the problem-based response. So for example, when Phoebe (another amazing character) informs that “A client died on the masseuse's table today”, his instant reply is: “Well, that’s a little more relaxed than you wanted him to get”. A perfect way of making the atmosphere calmer, and then went on to console Phoebe. This act of his- making her laugh and then consoling her, makes him stand out in my eyes.  

These subtle actions showcase his wisdom, learning, and emotional intelligence. It is not just about being a wisecrack- but about mixing empathy, emotions, and care in the post joke period. Chandler remains the best friend to at least three remaining friends (Ross, Joey, Monica) and has a healthy relationship with their family members as well. To further add a feather to his cap, Monica’s parents completely trust him with both Monica and Ross- thus showing how he is seen as an emotionally mature person, who can be trusted with responsibilities. 

A learning, from the beautiful character of Chandler, is keeping things light, even in adversity. Modern researchers are now viewing humor as a character strength. Psychologists now note that humor can be used to make people feel good, get intimate and deal with stress. Combined with a pinch of empathy, a small helping of hope and a dash of honesty, humor provides an amazing way of living life. Chandler’s way of life signifies a good amalgamation of wit, humor, sarcasm, and (most importantly) an emotional intelligence, which is what the world needs today. Positive emotions, a little laugh is not a need of the COVID world today but has always been. 

Take a brief pause and recall a day/incident where you had laughed your heart out. If it instantly comes to you- you will find yourself smiling again. And with that smile, you will see your mood, your spirit, your performance getting a boost. In case you are not able to recall any such moment, I strongly suggest watching a small clip of Mr. Bing. If that doesn’t work for you- well there is a plethora of content available on the internet. Watch whatever makes you smile, recall that moment when you are down, and try to build it into your personality. Over time, you will see that you start turning into a humorous person, who even in difficult times, can manage well. An important caveat here, know where to draw the line. You do not want to overstep your boundaries- and have to be careful of the thin line between humorous and insensitive. Try mixing small doses of jokes, with a little caution and gradually you will be there. As Chandler puts it, “Can you BE any more calm!”

Disclaimer: Poor jokes (as some of you know), a proud hobby of mine is another great way of doing this. People will want to shoot themselves initially, but damn they are laughing at the end of the day!

All rights to the character "Chandler Bing: belong to the producer’s/publishing house. Character name and material used only for reference and paying homage to a very influential character!

The author's views are personal only.

This article was originally published here:

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Salil Srivastava
Author: Salil Srivastava
In the profession called 'People' | Budding Writer

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