So why am I talking about This Is Us? I happen to be a super fan of the show to the point that I even include it on my About Me page. And as I finished watching season 3 recently, I considered how many life lessons can be learned from This Is Us.
When I started this blog a year ago, I had to reprioritize my schedule to make time to learn all things blogging. I rarely ever watch tv shows anymore, but my one holdout is This Is Us.
I love the show and my sister and I watch it together. When we can’t be at the same house watching, we make sure we start the episode at the same time so we can text our reactions to each other.
SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched through the end of season 3, pin this and come back to it later. I don’t want to spoil anything for you ;).
So here we go. These are the life lessons I’ve found watching This Is Us.
Life lessons from This is Us…The Big 3:
See what I did there? These first 3 lessons from This Is Us are what I’ve found to be the most overarching and important themes in the show. I’ll go into detail talking about these and then include a secondary list just for fun.
1. Communication is key
One thing I love about this show is how relatable the characters are. You feel like the characters are real people. You see how communication breaks down in relationships at times and how they work through it.
I’ve never liked movies or shows where you know the characters are keeping secrets from each other and it is a painfully slow process to watch the truth come out. This show doesn’t do that.
For the most part, the characters communicate their thoughts and feelings openly and honestly. Not everything is always said in the most controlled or kindest way, but that is often the case in real life too.
Sometimes miscommunication happens. As I mentioned in another post, there was that time when Kate mistook Toby’s box with DNS on it for donations (when he meant it to mean Do Not Sell). We aren’t always going to hear each other correctly. That’s why continuing to communicate to reach understanding is important.
2. Forgiveness is integral
Forgiveness is such an important part of relationships. So many movies and shows depict unhealthy relationships. While not everything is sunshine and roses (you see disagreements with pretty much every couple), This Is Us shows couples working through rough spots and forgiving each other and moving forward.
Relationships are hard and can be messy. No one is perfect. You won’t always feel like loving those closest to you. Love is a choice and an action. This show depicts making mistakes, learning, and forgiving.
Beth and Randall are the best example of this. I like how they show them ending a conversation when it gets heated to prevent saying very hurtful things to each other. That clearly didn’t happen soon enough in episode 16, but it could have gotten even uglier had she not left to calm down.
That last episode with Randall and Beth was quite a ride! My sister was convinced it was going to end poorly. I was optimistic and I’m glad I was right on this one. There is something about them as a couple that makes you adore them and root for their relationship.
The writers have done such a good job of showing them as flawed people who love each other intensely. There was a lot of tension to work through and the need for forgiveness, but they make the viewer feel like they are always going to find their way through. (I hope!)
3. Family is important
I love the way that This Is Us demonstrates the importance of family. The couples on the show have mostly healthy relationships that they put time and effort into. They are also loyal and supportive of each other (well mostly…that city council race win was a doozy).
The show is also full of examples of great fathers who love their kids. You see them involved in their children’s lives and doing their best to love their kids well. It’s refreshing to see healthy role models and intact families (although I am suspicious that some of this will change in the seasons coming).
I really enjoy watching the sibling relationships on the show too. They are always there for each other and show up in the good and bad times (from graduating celebrations to staying too long in the hospital waiting room). They aren’t without issues or some complicated relational history, but they still love each other and always have each other’s backs.
I love seeing how adoption has been woven into their family story. You see how that has been complicated at times for both Randall and Deja, but you also get to see how they’re deeply loved.
It’s been interesting to see how some previously estranged family members have come into the picture as well. With William, Randall almost immediately brings him into their home despite not knowing him his whole life. They care for him in his final days because he is family.
With Nicky, it is unclear where they will be taking that storyline, but it looks from the flash forward that he will continue to have a relationship with the family as well. They are fiercely loyal family.
Other life lessons from This Is Us:
- Make sure your kitchen appliances are in good working order
- Grief will happen; don’t try to stuff it
- Don’t let your plans get in the way of your life
- Sleep is important for productive conversations
- You have to be intentional to break patterns or family cycles
- Lying never has a positive outcome
- Ask early on in a dating relationship if your partner wants kids
- Pursue your passions and don’t be afraid to change directions
I’m sure there will be more life lessons coming as This Is Us continues for at least 3 more seasons! And you can bet I will be watching each one of them with my sister as we comment on all the things. You’d laugh if you read our text messages.
Update After This Is Us Finale
I wrote this post a few years ago now. Since that time, three more seasons came and went and the show ended recently. I still think what I wrote above stands as the core lessons that came from the show.
This Is Us was well written and very well acted. It was impressive how much the different aged actors looked and acted similarly!
Although the writers did occasionally mess with us to an unacceptable degree (every couple sure went through some major stuff). In the end, there is only one thing they did that I loathed…Katoby. The way they ended that and having Kate end up with Phillip was a major fail for me.
All in all, though, I loved the show and was sad to see it end. The interactions on the show felt so real and raw. Life gets messy at times, but the people you love are worth fighting for and it’s important to be intentional in your relationships.
Thank you This Is Us for the life lessons and for the tears you made us cry and the smiles you brought to our faces. My husband may never understand why I loved a show that made me cry so much, but if you’re a fan, you get it.
Are you a fan of the show? Anything you would have added to the list of life lessons from This Is Us? Leave it in the comments section.
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