The tumultuous relationship dynamics displayed between the rapper known as “Blueface” and his girlfriend, reality TV personality Chrisean Rock, have sparked conversations among many Gen Z and Millennials who closely follow the couple on social media. Due to their large influence, the ups and downs of their relationship are often amplified on various platforms. As a practicing and licensed clinical psychologist, I know this can have problematic consequences on how our generation views relationships. For starters, being constantly exposed to a celebrity couple who frequently displays patterns of conflictual interpersonal dynamics may normalize unhealthy communication patterns. It is imperative to challenge such harmful patterns in partnerships and behaviors to prevent the adoption into our own relationships with loved ones.
In my practice, I often provide education on the use of fair fighting rules, which are a set of interpersonal conflict resolution techniques used to de-escalate disputes by using assertive and respective communication. This approach aims to address the issue at hand while avoiding unnecessary attacks or criticisms of the other person involved. Fair fighting involves active listening, stating one’s position and feelings clearly and respectfully, using “I” statements instead of “you” statements. It avoids blaming or name-calling and seeks a mutually acceptable resolution. In fair fighting, the goal is to work together towards a solution benefiting both parties, rather than to “win” or dominate the other person. Here are four ways fair fighting can be used to combat some of the common behaviors we see in relationships similar to Blueface and Chrisean’s.
From what’s been posted on social media, invalidation is a significant issue in Blueface and Chrisean’s relationship, where they constantly dismiss each other’s feelings, leading to harmful conflict. The opposite of invalidation is validation, and it’s essential in healthy conflict resolution. It involves acknowledging and accepting your partner’s emotions as their reality, which will make them feel heard and prevent arguments. I teach strategies such as being empathetic to partners, using reflective statements, and learning how to provide validation to increase the likelihood of an open discussion.
Avoid Harmful and Degrading Language
Name-calling appears to be prevalent in Blueface and Chrisean’s relationship, and it’s a significant rule against fair fighting. In a healthy conflict, it’s crucial not to use name-calling, harsh tones, or curse words, as it can cause an eruption and make the message unclear. Instead, it would help to stay focused on respectful communication that will encourage a positive outcome.
Stonewalling is where one person becomes overwhelmed with emotions and shuts the other one out, leading to an unhealthy communication cycle. It can involve giving the silent treatment or not responding to your partner, which denies them the opportunity to hear your thoughts or suggest solutions. To prevent stonewalling, it’s crucial to understand that if a conversation begins to take a negative turn, it’s okay to step away and revisit the topic at a later time. It’s important to recognize that when emotions are heightened, the human brain isn’t wired to communicate rationally. The focus is often on the emotions being felt, which can impact the words that are spoken. To avoid saying something you may regret, it’s best to distance oneself and take the time to process emotions and gather thoughts before reengaging.
Be Mindful of Non-Verbal Communication
Non-verbal communication is just as important as verbal communication. It can affect how your partner perceives your message. In Blueface and Chrisean’s relationship, I’ve noticed confrontational behavior, such as body language, eye-rolling, and harsh tones, which can make the other partner feel uncomfortable or unheard. It’s essential to be mindful of your tone, facial expressions, and body language when communicating with your partner to ensure that your message is clear and well-received.
Stay Off of Social Media With Your Grievances
There has been a trend of celebrities and influencers resorting to social media to publicly deal with personal conflicts and criticize partners in order to create a public dispute. As a psychologist, I examine the meaning and intention behind such behavior. While this behavior is not healthy and can harm both the individuals involved and their relationship, the underlying motive is often to seek validation and understanding from others. Seeking such validation on social media is not recommended. Instead, seek help from an unbiased mediator, such as a psychologist, a community member, or a respected and objective family member who can facilitate communication between the parties involved.
Toxic communication patterns can harm any relationship. It’s essential to combat them before they escalate into something more significant. Although Blueface and Chrisean’s relationship may not be the best example to follow, we can still gain valuable insights from their experiences and use them to make better choices in our own partnerships.