The Conference has been organized by the Directorate of Education, Culture and Higher Education in the Ministry of Human Development and Public Services and supported by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Culture Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The National Education Conference brings together high level education policy makers, planners, academics, the private sector, NGO representatives and members of civil society as well as international partners. They are discussing ways of building an education system that is participatory, inclusive and responsive to regional needs and Somali-owned.
In addressing the participants, the Prime Minister, H.E. Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid, stated emphatically that “education must be at the heart of every civilized country’s agenda and Somalia is no different. Now that peace has returned to Mogadishu, we urgently need to re-establish our educational system, which has been devastated by two decades of fighting. Today is a hugely important day for Somalia. Seeing all these education experts here today makes me proud to lead a country emerging from traumatic times. I commend your devotion to improving Somali lives and I congratulate you for making this conference happen. With your help we will build a solid educational foundation in Somalia – from primary school to university – which will be the bedrock of our children’s brighter futures. They deserve nothing less.”
Dr Maryan Qasim, the Minister of Human Development and Public Services, under which responsibility for education falls, asked conference participants to “identify clear goals and objectives for Somali education, building on the lessons learned already in the country” as well as to “come together in the spirit of partnership around those Somali values which unite us as a people and upon which our own distinct heritage as a nation rests.”
Dr Qasim further stated that the Ministry’s aim is “to build a Somali education system that produces capable, skilled and empowered citizens who can turn Somalia into the just and prosperous nation of our dreams.”
UNESCO Representative Mohamed Djelid stressed the need “for Somalia’s education to progress along a path that Somalis decide, within a sector-wide vision supported by partners within a framework of acceptable norms and standards in education.” He added that “Somali educational authorities should expect to enjoy the same standards of educational support as in other countries.”
UNICEF Representative Sikander Khan said that previously many families could not send their children to school although many had wanted to. “With the improving security situation and renewed international commitment, Somali children finally have a chance of a proper education. They have been the innocent victims for too long and we must seize this opportunity to give all Somali children the chance to go to school. We need to create human capital through education as well as through good nutrition, health care and an end to the unacceptable number of preventable deaths of children under five. Now is the time to make the investment in the children of Somalia and its future.”
“Education can be the means for present and future generations of Somali citizens to fully participate in the reconstruction of their country,” said UN Resident Coordinator, Philippe Lazzarini. “Getting Somali children into school has the potential to be one of the most important elements of peace building that has been committed to in the New Deal. The United Nations is here to support the Somali education partners and institutions moving forward with these ambitious goals.”
The Conference concludes on Thursday 20 June 2013 with a plenary session in which all major commitments, decisions and initiatives raised during the working sessions will be summarized. The Conference will agree on a “2013 Somali Education Declaration”.
The Human Development Ministry, which has responsibility for education, has already launched a wide-ranging and ambitious Go to School Programme aimed at getting one million Somali children and young people into school, train teachers, provide classrooms and build the capacity of the relevant ministries.
The Somali education system has suffered from the years of conflict. Only four in ten children aged 6 – 12 go to primary school with far fewer in the South and Central areas. The number of girls at school is even lower. There is a dire shortage of trained teachers and a distinct lack of unified curriculum in the country.View:16]]>
The conference, which will be held in the second week of August, will be co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya, Somali and UNHCR with the International Organization for Immigration (IOM) being invited.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed Monday revealed that a group of international organisations are already mapping out safe places for the refugees to resettle; saying the exercise will be conducted in the most humane manner.
Ambassador Amina said that currently there are over one million Somali refugees, of which 600,000 are formally registered.
She said that the organisations have already compiled documents and reports on the places of origin for the refugees, a half of whom he added crossed the border to Kenya in the last two years.
“What I am happy about is that 50 percent of these are willing to voluntarily return but we want to do it in an orderly and most humane manner which upholds the dignity to our visitors,” the minister said.
She was speaking at a Nairobi hotel where the ministry hosted a breakfast for envoys from Asian countries who are accredited to Nairobi.
Ambassador Amina took the opportunity to lobby the Asian countries to lender support to Kenya’s efforts of repatriating the refuges some who have called Kenya home in the last two decades.
“We are seeking your support in ensuring we have an appropriate level of support to enable them resettle peacefully in their homeland,” she told the ambassadors.
Somalia has been without a stable government for over twenty years now following the ousting of dictator Said Barre with Kenya bearing the brunt of its neighbors’ instability as refuges fled into the country.
Kakuma in Turkana and Daadab in Garissa refugee camps are some of the biggest in the region, hosting hundreds of thousands of Somalia and Sudan nationals. Another significant number of Somalirefugees live in Nairobi.
By GEOFFREY MOSOKUView:40]]>
Kismayo is home to a contingent of militiamen and warlords, and five clan leaders now have all declared themselves president including a leader who is backed by Kenya.
At the heart of the divide in Kismayo is Kenya’s desire for a friendly buffer zone near its border with Somalia, one of the main reasons Kenya sent troops to Somalia to fight al-Shabab militants in late 2011.
Though not backed by the weak federal government in Mogadishu, Ahmed Madobe is the key power broker around Kismayo. Madobe, who enjoys the support of Kenya, is the leader of the Raskamboni brigade that fought alongside Kenyan forces who took Kismayo from al-Shabab.
Madobe formed a local administration without giving much of a role to the central Somali government and was named president of the body. Adding to the chaos, four other clan leaders also have declared themselves the president of the region, though none is supported by Mogadishu.
Violence between the clans has left at least 10 people dead in recent days, drawing the concern of the United Nations Security Council.
The Kismayo crisis “puts Kenya and Somalia on a collision course,” said Abdi Aynte, the director of Heritage Institute for Policy Studies, a Mogadishu-based think tank. “Kenya has legitimate security concerns, but its attempt to mitigate those fears through a buffer zone is imprudent.”
To an extent civil war already has restarted in Kismayo, Aynte said, and more violence is possible.
Fears of more warfare may have prompted the U.N. Security Council on Thursday to express concern at the deterioration of the security situation in Juba, the wider region that encompasses Kismayo.
The Security Council urged all parties in the region to refrain from action that threatens peace and to engage with the Mogadishu-based federal government, and it urged “neighboring countries” to help decrease the tension.
On Friday, Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shrirdon said the U.N. statement showed strong support for the reconciliation process that the government is championing.
But the central government has little power in Kismayo. Madobe’s militia has prevented Mogadishu government officials from visiting the town, forcing the officials to spend long chunks of idle time at the airport before returning to Mogadishu empty-handed.
Speaking at the African Union summit in Ethiopia last month, Somalia’s president accused Kenyan forces in Kismayo of mistreating a committee he sent to the town to initiate negotiations. And Dahir Amin Jesow, a member of Somalia’s parliament, accuses Kenyan forces of backing the Raskamboni brigade against its rivals.
“Kenyan troops were in no way neutral. They sided with Raskamboni against others, including government forces, which is very unfortunate,” said Dahir Amin Jesow, a member of parliament.
Col. Cyrus Oguna, Kenya’s military spokesman, called the allegations unfounded. He said Kenyan forces are part of the African Union mission in Somalia, and are not taking sides. “Kenyan Defense Forces have been very neutral,” he said.
While Kenya seeks a security buffer, Madobe and others appear to be interested in the economic engine of Kismayo. Its port generates large and reliable income, and has been the export point of Somali-made charcoal made illegal by the U.N.
SOURCE: Associated PressView:25]]>
Qoraalkaas oo uu cinwaankiisu ahaa “Why Kenya and Ethiopia ought to annex and divide Somalia?“, ayaa waxaa sanaddii 2008 qoray qoraa Keenyaan oo la yiraahdo Donald Kibkorir, kaasoo kusoo baxay bogga hore ee jariidadda Daily Naiton ee dalka Kenya.
Qoraalkaas oo dhan markii laga eego qowmiyadda umadda Soomaaliyeed meel ay joogtaba si weyn loogu gafay, ayaa haddana dhanka kale sida aad hoos ku arki doontaanba waxuu qoraagu horay usii odorosay in ay Kenya iyo Itoobiya waajib ku tahay in dhulka beylahda ah ee Soomaaliyeed oo aanay jirin cid ka hor taagan ay qeybsadaan kuna kala darsadaan dalalkooda.
Waxba yaanan hadalka ku dheeraane, waa kuwaan hoose qoraalkaas oo aan turjumay iyo asaga oo Ingiriis ku qoran ee kii aad rabto kaga bogo nuxurka uu xambaarsanaa qoraalkaas jaa’ifada weyn xambaarsan, dadka Soomaaliyeedna ku tilmaamay in ay yihiin wax aan jirin oo u baahan in la qeybsado, dabadeedna masrax siyaasadeedka adduunka lagu matalo:—————————————————————————————————————————————————————
Anigu waxaan taageere u ahay qorshaha siyaasadda arrimaha dibadda xataa haddii uu naga horkeenayo wadamada aan cadowga nahay ee ku kaca falalka sheydaanimo ee ay xukuman kaligood taliye-yaasha sida Khartuum. In la caawiyo dowladda Koofurta Suudaan ee aan qorshaha fog ka leenahay waa lagama maarmaan, in aan sidaas yeelnana ka xishoon meyno.
Runta jirtaaye waxay tahay, maadaama aan nahay xulufada reer Galbeedka, Kenya waxay cadow ku tahay wadamada Carabta oo ay Suudaan ku jirto. Haddaba in la’isku balaariyo Soomaaliya waxay ka mid tahay qorshe daneedkeena, waana in aan sidaas yeelno hadda inta uu socdo bur-burka dhaqaale ee ay indhaha adduunka naga sii jeedaan.
Soomaaliya waxay dal ahaan un uga muuqataa maabka adduunka, waana dal fashilmay. Waa dal u kala jajabay unugyo badan oo ay tiiba iskeed u madax banaan tahay iyo jifo-jifo. Xubnaha 90-ka ah ee uu golahooda howl-wadeenada ka kooban yahay waxay astaan u tahay tirada unugyada rasmiga ah. Wadankaan Geeska Afrika malahan dowlad shaqeysa. Waxa loogu yeero dowladda ku meel gaarka ah ee uu hogaaminayo Cabdulaahi Yuusuf Axmed, waxay xabsi ahaan ugu jiraan ayaga oo dhiban dhismaha madaxtooyada. Ma jiro ciidan taagan iyo mid fadhiya iyo nidaam xeer ilaaineed toona.
Arrinta marka dhan walba laga eego, Soomaaliya waa god modow marka la eego xeerka caalamiga ah. Marka la raaciyo Afganistaan iyo bakistaan, dhamaantood waxaa loo yaqaan dhulka tababarada iyo gabaadka argagixisada caalamiga ah. Kenya waxuu dhib weyn kasoo gaaray falalka argagixiso-nimda, taasoo u hor seeday in ay qarka u fuusho bur-bur ku yimaada ilaha dhaqaale ee dalxiiskeeda.
Ma awoodi karno in aan mar kale wajahno weerar sidaas oo kale ah. Waxaan leenahay awood aan ku hormarino dalxiiskeena si aan ula tartano, haddiiba aanan ka dheereyneyn dalalka Masar iyo Koofur Afrika. Laakiin sidaas ma sameyn karno haddii ay Soomaaliya sii ahaato dowlad la’aan. Soomaaliya waxay daris yihiin dalalka Kenya, Itoobiya iyo Jabuuti. Waa run, in ay Itoobiya iyo Kenya kaliya yihiin kuwa danaha gaarka ah ka leh Soomaaliya.
Jabuuti wali waxay ku nooshay noolal badwi ah, waana xarun un wax lagu keydiyo ama laga dhoofiyo oo aanan xataa awoodi karin in ay biyo siiso dadkeeda oo gaaraha 600,000 oo qof, kuwaasoo lagu qasbay in ay cabaan biyo Faransiiska laga keenay ama Kooka Koola. Haddaba, Jabuuti waxay banaanka ka tahay baaritaanka loogu jiro sidii xal waaraa looga gaari lahaa mushkiladda Soomaaliya.
Kenya iyo Itoobiya waa in ay kala gooyaan Soomaaliya oo ay kala qeybsadaan, ayada oo ay qeybtana ka bilaabmeyso loolka darajada 4 halka uu ka gooyo, ayada oo uu dal walbana qaadanayo dhulka loolkaas ka sareeya ama ka hooseeya. Qeybtu waxay labada wadanba ku kordhineysaa dhulkooda qiyaastii 300,000 sq km iyo dad ay tiradoodu gaareyso shan milyan.
Markii ay Kenya iyo Itoobiya u diraan ciidamadooda wada socda Soomaaliya oo ay ku dhawaaqaan isbalaarintooda, waxaan ku matali doonaa dunida, xaalkuna waxuu noqon doonaa mid dhamaaday oo aanan dib looga wada hadli doonin. Sanadkii 1845, dalka Ameerika waxuu isku balaariyay oo uu dhulkiisa ku darsaday gobolka Texas oo uu ka boobay dalka Mexico.
waxaana lagu qasbay sharci dejiye-yaashii gobolka Texas in ay sharciyeeyaan oo ay aqbalaan sharciga cusub ee gobolka lala wareegay. Isku fidintaas iyo ku darsashadaas gobolka Texas ilaa iyo manta waa jiraa oo waa dhaqan galay, si aad si fiican arrinka ugu sii fahanto, madaxweyne George W. Bush waxuu ku faraxsan yahay in uu yahay nin u dhashay kana soo jeeda gobolka Texas.
Kenya iyo Itoobiya, markay sharci dejie-yaasha Soomaalida ogolaadaan oo ay meel mariyaan qeybta dalkooda iyo sida aan dalalkeena ugu kala darsanay, isbalaarintu wayba dhaqan gashay. Mar kastaba, inta badan, haddii aanay mar walba aheyn, sharci dejiyeyaasha Soomaalida waxay joogaan Nairobi.
Waxaan isugu geyneynaa mid ka mid ah Hoteeladeena waxaana u qeybineynaa sharcigii lagu kala qeybiyay dalkooda. Markii ciidamadii huwanta ay Jarmalka ka xoreeyeen Fuhrer Adolf Hitler, waxay u direen sharcigii Berlin. Qarashka nooga baxayo isku fidinta Soomaaliya waxaa laga bixin doonaa Muqdishu. Sida la ogyahay, Soomaaliya waxaa dhex ceegaaga saliid fara badan, gaas dabeeci ah, macaadinta uranium-ka iyo iron ore.
Wax yar kaddib un markaan isfidino, waxaan macsuumi doonaa saaxiibadeena aan isku ujeedada nahay ee wadamada dibadda (fadlan, maya china) in ay yimaadaan oo ay qeyraadka noo soo bixiyaan. Keenyaatigu waa in ay ogaadaan, in kasta oo ay Soomaaliya tahay dal bur-burburay ama fashilmay, haddana waxaa jira meelo ay ku fiican yihiin oo soo jiidasho leh.
Ayaga oo aanan laheyn hanaan dhaqaale oo degsan, haddana marka la xisaabiyo dakhliga guud ee dalkooda (its gross national income per capita is) waa US$600 (Sh40,000), halka uu kaayagana ka yahay $550 (Sh36,800). Jaamacadahooda oo aanan qarash loogu tala galay laheyn ee ay mileeshiyooyinka hubeysan waardiyeen, saddex ka mid ah waxay Afrika kaga jiraan 100-ka ugu horeeya.
Sharciga adduunka waxuu mamnuucayaa in ay dowladi xoog ku gasho xuduud uu dal leeyahay iyo kuwo siyaasad ahaan u madax banaan. Soomaaliya labadaas midna malahan. Laakiin, sharciga sidoo kale waxuu aqoonsanayaa in aan dib loo celin karin howl dhamaatay sida wadamadii ka go’ay USSR iyo Yugoslavia, iyo isku balaarintii ama isku fidintii gobolka Texas.
Qawaaniinta caalamiga way neceb tahay in dib loogu noqdo howl soo dhamaatay, waa haddii la rabo adduunku in uu hagaago. Hadaanan isku fidin Soomaaliya hadda, waxaan noqon doonaa kuwo uu dhib kasoo gaaro dowlad la’aantooda oo ay yada la degto, mana noqon doono kuwo gaara qorshaho siyaasadeedkooda arrimaha dibadda ee ay gobolka ka leeyihiin, ama hanashada goolka aan rabno in aan hiigsano sanada 2030. Waqtigii Soomaaliya la’isku fidin lahaa oo la kala qeybin lahaa waa hadda, haddii aan sidaas yeelnana, dowladaha Mareykanka iyo Ruushka aad bay raali uga noqon doonaan.
Kismayo is under the control of this man famously known as Ahmed Madobe, a former ally of the Al-Shabaab fighters and now the leader of Ras Kamboni brigade, a militia group that enjoys the support of Kenyan forces who are part of the African Union Mission (AMISOM) to the war-torn nation.
Both the United Nations and the African Union have expressed concern over the renewed clashes in Kismayo. The UN special envoy for Somalia has called for a political solution and called on the Somali leaders to embrace dialogue to resolve the latest Kismayo standoff.
The recent fighting in Kismayo, Somalia’s third largest city has already stoked fears among locals of a return to the clan wars that two decades ago tipped this country into anarchy.
The Inter Government Authority on Development IGAD said that Mogadishu will soon hold a reconciliation conference in Kismayo as agreed upon by African leaders in Addis Ababa in May. The United Nations has however expressed great hope and satisfaction in the new government while at the same time promised its full support in rebuilding wartorn Somalia.
For now analysts say that the recent fighting and the Jubbaland standoff will be a litmus test for the new Somali administration that is trying to establish authority throughout the country.
Xaflad si wayn loo soo Agaasimay ayaa ka dhacay xaafada islii gaar ahaan Hotel shariifka oo ku yaala xaafada Jum Street ee magalada Nairobi.
Xafladaan ayaa u jeedada loo qabtay waxay ahayd in lagu soo bandhigo Hotel shariif ama Hotel Golf Place Hotel oo lagu soo kordhiyay Xarun Cusub oo lagu sameeyo Fern Checking oo ah mid sanadihii la soo dhaafay caalamka ku soo kordhay, balse Noqonaya tii ugu horeysay ee laga furo xaafada islii.
Dadweyne aad u badan marti sharaf ayaa ka soo Qeybgashay Xafladaas, waxaana amaan loo soo Jeediyay maamulka Fern Checking oo sheegay in dhawaan ay Xarun Cusub ka Furi doonaan wadada 12-ka.
Waxaa halkaas ka hadlay C/naasir shariif Haashim oo ah Madaxa Fern Checking ee magaalada Nairobi.
Haashim ayaa sheegay in ay magaalada ku Leeyihiin Xarumo badan balse ay ka fureen xaafada islii, Fern Checking oo uu sheegay in ay xarumo kale ka Furin Doonaan.
“ Walaal waxaan Xarumo ku leenahay meelo kale oo aan ka samaynay Fern Checking, waxaa laga keenay ama laga isticmaalaa caalamka sida UAE, Malesiya, Baxrayn Singabur, Kenya iyo meelo kale, Kenya waxaan ka furaynaa Xaruntii Sadaxaad Hotel shariifka, waxaan kale oo aan ku leenahay Weslan, iyo meelo kale magaalada”ayuu yiri C/naasir shariif Haashim oo ah Madaxa Fern Checking ee magaalada Nairobi.
“ Waan Ognahay in aysan ku Filnayn Meeshaan oo kaliya dadka Dagan islii, balse waxaan rabnaa in aan ka furno wadada 12-ka xarun kale oo Nuucaan oo kale ah”ayuu markale Yiri C/naasir shariif Haashim oo ah Madaxa Fern Checking ee magaalada Nairobi.
Sidoo kale waxa uu sheegay C/naasir shariif Haashim oo ah Madaxa Fern Checking ee magaalada Nairobi in ay Qiimo dhimis ku sameeyeen Qiimaha Fern Checking, balse marka la gaaro iidaha iyo xafladaha ay dhimi Doonaan si ay u Qanciyaan Macaamiishooda.
Xaruntan Cusub ee Fern Checking ayaa waxay tahay xarun Cusub ee ugu horeysay ee laga Furo islii, taasi oo dadka soo jiidatay, waxaana xalay la arkayay Hotel shariifka oo dadka isku dilayaan, kuwaas oo feel ugu jira in ay Ciinaan ama Take away ku soo qaataan Fern Checking.
Waxaa ka mid ah Erayada ay ku dhawaaqayeen macaamiisha iyo lamaanaha soo doontay Fern Checking waxaana Dilay in aan Matato u Raacno KFCC tagno laba saac aan u sii socono, anaga oo aan fresh ahayn ka soo laabano, waxaana Leenahay maamulka Fern Checking noo Badiya Xarumaha Fern Checking, Naguma filno meshaan oo kaliya ayaa ahayd dadka waxay ka Codsanayeen maamulaha Fern Checking.
Isku soo Duuboo Feelka iyo jumka laga Dareemayay xalay Hotel shariifka ayaa imaanaya Xili saacado uun laga Furay xarunta Cusub ee Fern Checking.
In Part One of this two-part essay, I offered a few common reasons that men stop talking in relationships. Then, being a man, I ran out of things to say. I’m back now, and I’d like to discuss a way to approach problems like this one.
But first, here’s a short quiz for women to see how well you understand us men. For each of these questions, see if you can figure out how an average guy might respond:
1) A man becomes frustrated because he and his wife or girlfriend are repeating the same argument they had last week. Does he:
A) Suggest that they consult with a therapist in order to resolve this problem before it becomes a destructive pattern.
B) Try his hand at identifying the underlying feelings on each side of the dispute so that they can resolve the heart of the matter.
C) Cut bait and hit the Xbox before he paints himself into a corner.
2) A man is experiencing a sudden rush of affection for his wife or girlfriend. Does he:
A) Stop what he’s doing, take her by the hand, and profess his feelings.
B) Whisper sweet nothings without making too much commotion about it.
C) Think to himself, “I’m pretty sure she knows how I feel.”
3) It’s late at night, and both are in bed. The woman says, “Can we talk?” Does he:
A) Say, “I was hoping we could, but I was afraid to ask.”
B) Admit that the question makes him anxious because he wonders how long the conversation will last, and he worries that she will ultimately express anger or disappointment toward him.
C) You know what’s great about being a man? Not only can we fall asleep instantaneously, we can do it preemptively.
Some men are able to consistently respond with As and Bs, but I suspect the Cs are more common. In fact, I know that some men use silence as a tool for all occasions, and that leaves their partners trying to guess what he is thinking and feeling. As one woman told me, “[men] can be happy and silent, angry and silent, sad and silent, and I have a difficult time determining the emotion.”
Although male silence can seem cruel, I believe that in most cases silence is a form of problem-solving behavior. Seems crazy, right? How can a person solve a problem by not talking? Let’s look at how they might solve the problems that I described in Part One:
1) “Men aren’t supposed to talk.” If a man has been trained (as many of us have been) that conversations about relationships or feelings are effeminate, then silence solves the problem of being perceived as less-than-masculine. You might not like us if we’re not masculine, we might not like ourselves, and we may not know how to act any other way. Silence solves the problem of feeling like we might lose our masculinity.
2) We feel outmatched or that we cannot win. Feeling defeated is obviously unpleasant, and it can damage the relationship by decreasing trust. Silence can serve as a last-ditch effort to protect ourselves and the relationship from a sense of defeat and resignation.
3) We’re silent because we’re angry. Manhood has its conundrums. We are taught to treat women with respect (the good men are taught that, anyway), and yet we are expected to communicate even when we are so angry that we don’t feel capable of communicating respectfully. Silence helps us keep our manners. It prevents us from saying something regrettable, it prevents us from mistreating you, and it keeps us from causing greater damage to the relationship.
4) Arguing with you is painful for us. As I mentioned in the earlier post, you women sometimes fail to understand how important you are to us men, or how deeply your moods affect us. When you are unhappy, we are unhappy. Silence can be a way to avoid experiencing the pain that your unhappiness or disappointment can bring.
5) Our history is driving us. Sometimes the problem we’re solving is very old and outdated. In the previous post, silence was Andy’s attempt to solve a problem that no longer existed. No matter your gender, it can be quite difficult to recognize when history is driving behavior. It’s equally challenging to find new ways to respond to old history. (My current bookhas an entire section about human minds working on outdated problems, and what to do about it.)
I am not suggesting that silence is an ideal solution to most problems, but it often must be counted as a means of at least trying to make things better. Unfortunately it often has the opposite effect.
Perhaps the most damaging outcome to silence is that, by it’s very nature, silence leaves the recipient guessing. And when a human mind is left to fill in the blanks, rarely will it paint a rosy picture. Viewing silence as problem-solving behavior, rather than a personal attack, helps to soothe the sting.
Before going any further, I must acknowledge the fact silence is not always problem-solving behavior. Some people use silence to punish or manipulate. That is the reflection of a character problem, and relationships can’t be fixed when character is damaged. But in my experience, damaged characters—the type of people who routinely manipulate, use, or mistreat the people in their lives—are the minority.
More likely, silence from a man is an indication that the two of you have fallen into a destructive pattern, and he has run out of other options for repairing it. The best time to identify and describe a problematic pattern is when the two of you are not in the midst of it—and the worst time is when you are engulfed by it. In other words, don’t wait until the problem appears before you try to talk about it. Be strategic, and be a team.
Here are is one way to approach such a pattern:
1) Define the problem
Assuming he recognizes that there is a problem, and assuming that he is invested in correcting it, the two of you might pick a time to discuss these questions: What problem is he attempting to solve by going silent? What problem are you trying to solve by getting him to talk? How does your behavior affect him, and vice-versa?
Your strategy should include an escape plan in the event that the pattern emerges when you attempt to talk about it. You might simply agree to take a break and come back to the discussion after an agreed-upon cool-down period. You might also consider alternate communication methods. For example, it might be easier for him to email his thoughts about his silence to you. Any constructive starting point will do.
2) Focus on the pattern, not the person
Nearly every couple I’ve worked with has fallen into the trap of believing something like this:
YOUR behavior is the problem with our relationship. Everything would improve if YOU would change.
Because we are on the receiving end of other people’s actions, it is natural to notice their behavior before we notice our own. Unfortunately, couples who can’t see past that way of thinking about their relationship have a poor prognosis. The more they try to change each other, the more entrenched their patterns become. That’s what happened to Meg and Andy in the previous post. He retreated; she pursued. The more they practiced the pattern, the more efficient they were at repeating it.
People frequently resist examining their own contribution to a destructive pattern because doing so feels like capitulation or an admission of guilt.Why should I change when HE is the one who shuts down every time I try to talk?
I humbly suggest that is the wrong way to look at it. Most couples would take a team approach to any other problem, be it a leaky roof, an illness, or a zombie apocalypse. No one with a modicum of survival instinct would say, “those zombies at the door are YOUR problem, jackass.”
If teamwork is good enough for fighting zombies, it’s good enough for communication problems. The pride and righteousness that prevent teamwork are often a mask for feelings fear and vulnerability. It’s a very bumpy ride when those emotions are in the driver’s seat.
3) Interrupt the pattern as early as possible
Habits are easiest to change when we learn to interrupt them as early as possible. For example, people who compulsively overeat improve their chances of resisting the habit when they physically separate themselves from temptation. When that plate of hors d’oeuvres passes under their nose, the best response might be to step outside before eating one and decide how to respond to the challenge.
Awareness and insight into our own behavior is difficult to develop, and so it is easy to fall into old patterns before we realize what’s happening. It takes practice, but couples can learn to take a break at the first sign of trouble, before they find themselves lost down that old, painful road.
The “safe word” is a technique that works well for many couples. As soon as either partner senses that they are beginning to fall into an old pattern, he or she says a mutually agreed upon word like “aluminum” or “green bean” which means “let’s take a break.” (Or you could just say “let’s take a break.”)
In order to use that technique, both partners should agree beforehand that they will immediately stop talking and go to separate corners, where they can each assess their thoughts and feelings. They also agree to resume the conversation after an agreed upon period of time so that the safe word doesn’t become one more avoidance mechanism. Many couples also find it helpful to do some writing during the break to organize their thoughts and reduce the influence of destructive emotions.
4) Be patient and willing to practice
When a couple returns to the conversation after having interrupted the pattern, there are usually two things to discuss: the issue that caused the discord and, more importantly, the emotion that was triggered. For Meg and Andy, it might look like this:
1) The issue: the dog ate the bread. Annoying, but trivial.
2) The emotions: Meg felt hurt and fearful because the incident reminded her of her concern that they are increasingly unable to communicate, and that led her to question the strength of the marriage. Andy felt ashamed and fearful because he also noticed their inability to communicate about small things and felt ineffective at calming her fears.
Ironically, their shared fear about losing each other was leading each to behave in a way that drove a wedge between them. The act of naming and accepting each other’s experience often relieves a great deal of pressure.
That sort of efficiency takes practice, and it often helps to enlist the help of a professional. In my experience, patterns reassert themselves repeatedly as the couple comes back together to discuss the matter. If Meg and Andy were to attempt this approach, I would fully expect Andy to feel overcome at some point with a desire to retreat and fall silent, and for Meg to feel compelled to fall into her old pattern of pursuit. The trick is not in preventing the urges, but acknowledging them and preventing them from taking over.
If you found this interesting, you might pop over and “like” my facebook page where we have had some interesting discussions on male-female relationships and other psychology-related business.
And, if you have a few moments, I’d love to hear your thoughts about the opposite sex in this survey I’m conducting for my upcoming book (more info after the jump). Many thanks to all the men and women who have already participated. I will be discussing the survey responses before the book comes out, so be sure to check back.
I’m talking about going silent, of course. It seems that men are most prone to it during a conflict: she wants to talk and he has checked out. I should of course point out that women sometimes retreat when men want to talk. But let’s be honest: unwillingness to communicate is mainly a male behavior. It causes no pride to admit that I struggle with it myself. You would think a psychologist would know better.
Going silent is the kind of relationship behavior that can feed on itself until it becomes a pattern that seems to engulf the couple. The natural response from many women is to force a conversation when her man goes silent. But that can make it even more difficult for him to speak. Which leads to more forcefulness. Which leads to… Well, you get the picture. That’s precisely the type of pattern that Meg and Andy fell into. Theirs is a typical story.
After five years of marriage, Meg was beginning to wonder if their relationship was doomed. She loved Andy, but he had changed. He was generally sweet to Meg, until they got into an argument. That’s when he seemed to completely withdraw from her.
One of their arguments concerned the dog. When no one was home, the pup stole a loaf of bread that Andy had left sitting too close to the edge of the counter. Meg came home to discover a broken plate, crumbs on the floor, and a shame-­faced dog hiding in the bedroom.
Meg was angry, partly because of Andy’s absent-mindedness, but mainly because they had lost their ability to communicate about little things like this. She worried that this rather trivial incident would lead to another difficult conversation, and she was angry that Andy had put them in this position.
Sure enough, Andy sensed Meg’s anger when he arrived home. Rather than greeting her as usual, he avoided her. When she eventually confronted him about the bread, he withdrew completely. She tried to talk to him but, as usual, that only seemed to make things worse.
Andy’s behavior left Meg feeling isolated and anxious. She was beginning to feel that she had been shortchanged in her marriage. Where had her kind and caring husband gone?
There was a time when Meg and Andy would have laughed at the stolen bread incident. Now trivial incidents brought misery, and that was the most frustrating thing for each of them. They didn’t understand how their relationship had become so embittered.
Retreat and Pursuit
This pattern of retreat and pursuit is one of the more common that I see in couples. The more she pursues, the more he retreats. It feels awful to both of them, and it gains strength with repetition. With each new iteration, the emotions become more intense and more difficult to resist.
The retreat-pursuit pattern is particularly anxiety provoking for the person on the receiving end of the silence. It can leave her feeling abandoned and discouraged. Meg may have been thinking, If Andy and I cannot communicate about a loaf of bread, how will we ever handle more difficult problems? What is the point of our relationship?
It is unpleasant for the man, too. Most men in Andy’s position realize that their silence only makes things worse. So why do we do it? Here are some of the more common reasons that men have reported to me through the course of my work with couples:
1) Men Ain’t Supposed to Talk
This may be the most obvious reason for male silence. Many men are at a disadvantage in discussions about relationship dynamics because, in general, women are simply better trained at it. Throughout their development, girls tend to talk about relationships more than boys.
To put men at an even greater disadvantage, many of us have been taught that it is effeminate to discuss… that stuff. As boys, we faced ridicule if ever we ventured too far toward feminine discourse. Those experiences stay with us, and it can be remarkably difficult to break those ingrained gender rules.
2) We Feel Outmatched
A surprising number of men have admitted to me that they feel outmatched during arguments with their wives or girlfriends. They have said things like this:
These men tend to believe that anything they say will get them into trouble. Talking makes them feel vulnerable to criticism or shame, and so they do the only sensible thing: stop talking.
3) We Get Angry
It’s true, sometimes we clam up because we’re angry. For many men, anger is the default response when we feel wounded, criticized, disrespected, isolated, or even sad. It often takes time for us to realize what has prompted our anger. Until we’re ready to discuss it, silence may seem like the safest option.
4) It Pains Us to Argue With You
I don’t think many women realize just how important you are to us men. (The good men, anyway.) An unhappy woman is a painful experience for many men. When the same old arguments show up repeatedly, we start to feel powerless about keeping you happy. That’s when some men give up and go silent. Passively making things worse is more tolerable than speaking and making things worse.
5) History Drives Us
Generalizations about men are fine and useful up to a point, but individual factors are more important. Men are just as vulnerable as women to their own unique histories.
Meg and Andy’s story is from my recent book, The User’s Guide to the Human Mind. It comes from a chapter on the ways in which the mind uses past experiences to drive current behavior.
The book reveals that Andy’s silence was driven by experiences much earlier in his life, when he learned that conflict was dangerous. His safest response in those younger days was to retreat from conflict. The strategy worked well back then, but it no longer serves him. Behaviors that once kept us safe are some of the most difficult behaviors to change. It takes special effort to understand and transcend history.
Next: Breaking the Pattern
This is getting long-winded, and I have heard that men should not talk so much. So I will continue this post later with some thoughts on how to break problematic routines like the retreat-and-pursuit pattern.
In the meantime, I’d like your thoughts on the biggest communication problems between men and women. If you have a few moments, please consider taking this short survey for my next book (more info after the jump). In return for your opinion, I’ll discuss the survey results here before the book comes out. Don’t hold back! I can handle the truth.
He was hacked to death while trying to protect his shop from looters. The area has seen three days of protests marred by looting and arson.
On Friday, police searched residents on the streets and randomly conducted house raids. They confiscated drugs, petrol bombs and knives. Residents say police need to focus on what started the tension. They’ve complained about gang violence in the area.
Meanwhile, learners returning from school say they were happy that there’s relative calm now. They are, however, worried as they’ve lost three days of schooling in the middle of exams.
Meanwhile, the Somali man who shot and killed two people in Diepsloot on Sunday has been described as being trigger happy. SABC News has learnt that he was involved in another shooting in November last year. No-one was arrested and the case was subsequently closed.
Unidentified attackers shot Abdikadir Abdirasak Sofe — also known by his nickname “Jijile”, a reporter for London-based Royal TV – as he walked home after work late on Wednesday.
“Two men, one of them armed with an AK-47, opened fire,” said Ali Mohamed, a witness.
The reporter, who reportedly had several bullet wounds to his upper body, was rushed to hospital.
Two men were later arrested for the assassination attempt, but it was not immediately clear what their motive had been, said Mohamed Saleban, a Somali military official in Kismayo.
Somalia is one of the most dangerous places for journalists, with at least 18 media workers killed last year.
“We condemn the shooting of our colleague in the strongest terms possible,” said Mohamed Ibrahim, from the National Union of Somali Journalists.
The attack on Sofe follows the murder of at least four reporters this year.
Somalia has been ravaged by conflict since 1991, but a new UN-backed government took power last year.
However, the attack on Sofe took place in the southern Somali port of Kismayo, under the control of a self-declared regional “president”, who is allied to Kenyan troops with the African Union force in the region.
Al-Qaeda linked Shebab insurgents were driven from Kismayo last year by Kenyan and allied Somali forces, but still regularly stage attacks on the city.
However, multiple rival clan militia forces also operate in the southern Jubaland region vying for control.