A healthy banter for the soul

While happy couples often poke fun at each other, it's best not to overdo the jibes.

After almost six years of marriage and two children, Hollywood couple Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds don’t seem to fall out of love. While we may not be privy to what goes on in inside their funny relationship, but their Instagram and Twitter posts show the light side of the actors, with gentle bantering and trolling between them.

Up first Ryan had posted a picture of them, cropping his wife of it and captioning it ‘Happy birthday to my amazing wife’. This was followed by Blake putting up a picture of Ryan Gosling, captioning it ‘Happy Birthday, Baby’ taking a dig at her husband, who shares his first name with the La La Land actor.

Blake, who had been the target of many of Ryan’s jokes, has fast caught onto the game. On Tuesday, she posted another picture with her husband, as he looks towards her admiringly. She captioned it saying, “If there’s one thing I’m infinitely proud of in this picture, it’s the incredible hair styling that I did on myself.”

And relationship experts and life coaches say that this light-hearted fun poking is actually healthy for a relationship — especially when it’s done in limits.

Clinical psychologist and trauma expert Seema Hingorrany says, “When there’s a balance of everything and nothing hits below the belt, it’s all great. A couple may not necessarily be compatible across all parameters, but if you’re confident enough to handle it, you can definitely have a healthy relationship. Jokes and jibes like these, without pressing the wrong nerve or making fun are good for a relationship. Poking fun at each other can lighten up the atmosphere between each other, and that requires confidence. When that’s there, you know what your partner is doing and their intentions, and you know they’re not nasty.”

Counselling psychologist and psychotherapist Kashish Chhabria believes that sometimes partners may not have the best intentions, without even realising what’s going wrong. She warns, “Couples could often indulge in these jibes to fill in a vacuum or add spice to the relationship. Perhaps it could also be an underlying anger they’re trying to vent. Sometimes it could also be that they want their partner to become a better person by comparing them to others. So, if the person is emotionally intelligent, they will understand the scenario and take it in the right spirit. Or things could go out of hand.”

So, how does one keep the spirit of the humour alive, and ensure that they aren’t crossing the line while poking fun? While Seema believes that one knows it in their gut, Kashish is of the opinion that you only learn not to offend your partner through experience.

“Here the intent is very important. Are you bantering to insult or just fun? You need to know the boundaries by yourself. Be mindful of what you are talking. Don’t go far into sensitive topics, into wounds that haven’t healed. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes,” lists Seema.

Kashish sums up the entire experience, “You don’t want to cross the limit that defines the sanctity of a relationship or the things that come with it. A relationship requires falling in love with the same person again and again. If you can accept the goodness along with shortcomings only then is a relations is sustainable.”

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