[The Vampire Diaries](series:200853) is sometimes criticized for it's depiction of destructive relationships and violence without consequence, but despite it's faults, the show also has some valuable lessons to teach us.
Just because something is classed as entertainment, doesn't mean it can't have educational value too; and to prove it, here are the top 6 things that the Mystic Falls posse have taught me over the years.
6. Being an Ex Doesn't Have to Mean Being Excommunicated!
Like many groups of close knit friends, the Mystic Falls crew's friendship circle has got a little incestuous over the years, but that doesn't mean anyone has been excommunicated from the fold.
[The Vampire Diaries](series:200853) demonstrates that even though a break up is inevitably a time of pain and heartbreak, that things don't always have to be that way.
After all, there is a reason you fell for that person in the first place, and with the help of the soothing balm of time, an ex can be a close friend and ally forever.
Just look at Elena and Stefan's inspirational friendship, despite their turbulent past.
5. Blood Is Thicker Than Water
We have all had times where we want to trade our siblings in at the pound for a nice, gentle kitten instead, but they are irreplaceable and we know it in our heart of hearts.
Anyone with brothers or sisters will know exactly what I'm talking about, and The Vampire Diaries really does demonstrate how blood is thicker than water a lot of the time.
Damon and Stefan might end up nearly killing each other at least once almost every episode, but when Damon was trapped in 1994, his younger brother totally fell apart.
It's obvious that Elena cares for Jeremy with a love that is deeper, and more unconditional than she has ever shown for anyone else. Sure, she might want to shake his head off with frustration sometimes, but that's what little brother's are for.
4. Running Away from Your Problems Never Solves Anything
I'm looking at you Stefan Salvatore! You can't hide under than car on your own forever...
The Vampire Diaries consistently shows us that refusing to acknowledge your problems or legging it in the opposite direction of your troubles is never an effective solution.
As Tyler's shown us time and time again, something will always draw you back to the place, or thing, that you were running from, and when you get back, the problem will be exactly where you left it.
Unfortunately, the only way to deal with the shit that life throws at you, is to deal with it.
3. Nobody Is All Good, or All Evil. We Are Multi-Faceted Beings
Even the most seemingly perfect person has a dark side, and somebody who seems like an absolute nightmare can demonstrate acts of great kindness.
Take Klaus for example. On the one hand he is a murderous bad guy with no feelings apart from bloodlust. On the other hand he is a sensitive dude with daddy issues who is just looking for love... And part of one of The Vampire Diaries' most popular ship!
Pretty much everyone on the show has committed some heinous acts, but we can see the motivations behind their actions and understand what drives them with compassion.
That is a lesson that can be invaluable in real life.
2. Trust Has to Be Earned... And Given with Care
No matter how much you want somebody to trust you, you can't just ask for it - you have to earn it.
Take the case of Damon and Bonnie. For years this pair have never seen eye-to-eye, but now they finally have a cause to trust each other, they've embraced it instead of falling back on past grudges.
Of course, that doesn't mean you should trust just anybody who rocks into your life. The Vampire Diaries has taught us that you shouldn't pour your heart out to somebody just because they are fun and have a nice smile. Falling blindly for shallow charm is never a good idea.
Knowing who your friends are is invaluable.
1. People Can, and Do, Improve Themselves if They Really Want to
Remeber when Damon was just pure evil without a compassionate bone is his, albeit hot, body? How things have changed in his desperate search for Bonnie, eh?
The Vampire Diaries is all about people's ability to change and evolve through their own self-direction and life experience.
One of my favorite examples is Caroline Forbes. When the 'Vampire Barbie' was first introduced to us she was shallow, insecure and, quite frankly, irritating as hell. Fast-forward a few seasons and now Caroline is probably the most sensible, true to herself and well rounded character on the show.
People can, and will, change for the better if you give them a chance.