In life, we are all faced with any number of awkward or embarrassing social situations. Frenemies become friends (and then enemies and then acquaintances and then are forgotten before the cycle starts all over again), manipulation and betrayal ruin (or strengthen) relationships, social standing is put in jeopardy – you know, the usual day-to-day problems of an average person.
The TV adaptation of the hit Gossip Girl book series has taught me everything I need to know to handle any situation life tosses my way.
Your friends will love you no matter how many times you screw them over
Perhaps the most important lesson the show has given me is no matter how many times you sabotage your friends, they will understand you were doing it for the greater good and will ultimately forgive you. Serena Van Der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf scheme against each other for the whole series and remain best friends even after their worst exploits (which include but are not limited to ruining relationships and stealing boyfriends, spilling secrets to all of New York via Gossip Girl and a number of schemes which I’m pretty sure were at least a little bit, if not entirely, illegal). Basically, this show makes it known that you can treat your friends like garbage and they will still love you.
The best way to get what you want is manipulation
Knowing that your friends won’t hate you for stabbing them in the back makes the next Gossip Girl lesson easier to swallow: the best way to get what you want is to scheme and manipulate other people. As you get deeper and deeper into the series, it’s clear that Blair and Chuck Bass are meant for each other. They prove it by constantly using each other as pawns in their various plans to get ahead in society or get revenge on their enemies. Serena and Blair are almost constantly either helping each other plot revenge on a third party or plotting against each other. Likewise, Jenny and Dan Humphrey are masters at manipulating situations to get what they want.
Manipulating other people to join your cause helps take some of the blame off your own shoulders if your plan backfires. Blair and Jenny demonstrate this many times when their schemes blow up and they promptly point fingers at others they convinced to join their causes.
All is fair in love and war
As mentioned earlier, it’s also completely fine to go to any lengths to get what you want. Are you a politician? Gossip Girl teaches you that it’s fine to stage events to get voters on your side. Are you a journalist? The show demonstrates that stealing people’s phones and hacking into their private information is a justifiable way of finding stories. Maybe you just want to blackmail someone into being your friend again. In that case, Gossip Girl shows that sending them cryptic and inappropriate gifts (such as porn and massive quantities of alcohol) is a great way to get them on your side. Or, if you just want to get someone to notice you, creating a website that spills the secrets of everyone you know and using it to draw attention to yourself is probably the best way to do it.
Money will always get you out of trouble
The characters in Gossip Girl are almost all extremely wealthy, and it just goes to show that if you have enough money, you can do anything you want. People in the show have disappeared and popped up later with new names and identities, accidentally killed people, committed fraud and stolen.
Being rich clearly provides some level of diplomatic immunity. Serena is constantly drinking underage and was known as a huge party girl when she was 16-years-old, but the authorities didn’t seem to mind. Even when she confessed to being part of a pretty nasty situation that caused her to flee the country, no one batted so much as an eyelash. Her wealth and social standing combined with the fact that she admitted to being involved in the first place were enough for people to forgive her without questioning anything.
Some people might see this show as fluffy or as a soap opera for teenagers and, well, they wouldn’t be wrong. But there is so much that can be learned from it! The overall theme of Gossip Girl boils down into one easily digestible concept: if you’re manipulative enough and have enough money, you will go far in life.
If those aren’t words to live by, I don’t know what are.
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Hi! I’m Abbie. I’m a Wisconsin girl who just completed a degree in journalism, which I hope will help me achieve my goal of reading books and writing about them for a living. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching Doctor Who and hanging out with my boyfriend and his two cats.
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