Signs that a marriage will end in divorce.

April 17, 2008

I just found this article and thought it was interesting enough to share. I don’t know much about the rest of the site or what it’s worth, but there is plenty of truth in the article by Shanel Yang, a lawyer and writer:

4 Signs That A Marriage Will End In Divorce

“Experts found that there are four quick and easy, but reliable, signs that a marriage won’t last…

When all four of these signs exist, chances are very high that your marriage won’t last. And, these clues can be found in even the briefest arguments between married couples…

We can all improve our communication skills, especially when it comes to arguments. We can’t avoid all arguments, and we shouldn’t try. Relationships grow the most from conflict and healthy conflict resolution…” (source)

There have been studies done on the topic, and this article features a fairly calm and collected newlywed couple that exhibit the kinds of habits in their arguing (however brief or trivial) that tend to lead to the breakdown of relationships. And they aren’t necessarily violent, loud and dramatic habits.

I don’t want to give away the whole thing here, so this is just a summary of the four signs:

1. Defensiveness

2. Stonewalling

3. Criticising

4. Showing Contempt

There is a brief list of counseling tips at the end. Communication is the ultimate key to a quality relationship, and this would be a great place to start to get enlightened.


Conducting mediation online: Tips?

February 25, 2008

There is a possibility I might be able to start a project online, mediating/guiding for a group of people who work together. The group of people themselves work together online on a communal project and from time to time, as is human nature, there are feuds and communication issues.

I wrote a paper on Online Dispute Resolution about two years ago. I will dust that off and take a look. I’ve also been looking on YouTube for videos of mediation sessions, even though they aren’t online (it’s still fun for me to watch those).

What I really need is a mentor to help me get started. I need to be able to be some kind of internet-community liaison. For now, I’ll research the area, but I do wish there was a professor at my university who knew what the internet was. Ok, that’s harsh. But I  just need to know who/where to turn to for a bit of guidance.

Suggestions welcome!

Israeli student representatives mingling in Qatar.

January 29, 2008

Here’s a little contact theory for y’all on a dreary Tuesday:

Israeli, Syrian high school students meet in Qatar

“A delegation of Israeli high school students attended an international convention in Qatar, simulating the United Nations…

The 30 Israeli students, along with their peers from other countries, got a taste of real-life international politics, as the UN-Model had them “represent” different countries around the worlds in various political and diplomatic situations…” (ynet)

Reading things like this used to make my stomach churn. Israeli representatives? Within this crowd? But it seems the students made quite an impression:

“The Israeli delegation reportedly made an exceptional impression, showing great proficiency in debates mimicking Arab League meets and US Security Council sessions, as well as excelling at describing the Israeli-Palestinian reality and issues involving the Iranian nuclear program, winning eight awards by the time the convention came to its end.”

Apparently the Israeli delegation was one of the largest, which is nice to hear. The article continues to describe relations between the Israeli students and their counterparts from what are considered ‘hostile’ countries – especially Syria and Lebanon. It seems at first, debates were heated and very political, but as time went on (and contact increased) the students engaged in other forms of conversing – gadgets, soccer – and relations warmed somewhat:

“Undoubtedly, a large part of the convention took part on the sidelines of the official debates: The Israeli students soon befriended their Jordanian, Palestinian, Gulf and Lebanese peers, and eventually even the Syrian ones, as the heated debates soon turned from politics to soccer and electronic gadgets.”

I always wonder, if to some degree, world leaders do the same when they meet. Of course, I don’t just mean the friendly ones. Is there a point where they are worn down enough to crack a joke? To make a comment about the upcoming Olympics?

Anyway, back to our students:

“‘With everything happening between the Israelis and the Palestinians, what happened here is very important… Arab teens found out first hand that the Israelis are not monsters, but people, just like them,’ [said Israeli commerce attache Roi Rosenblit]…”

Well, good for them! Pats on the back all around. I hope to read more stories like this more often.

Professor of intercivilizational conflict resolution.

January 27, 2008

A professor of mine was interviewed for a piece in the Bangkok Post. The article details Dr. Ben Mollov’s work in intercivilizational conflict resolution and conflicts in the Middle East:

Working for Peace

“A professor of social sciences at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, Mollov has made the study of managing and mediating conflict through cultural and religious dialogue the basis of his life’s work.

A prolific writer and lecturer on the subject, Mollov was in Bangkok last week en route to a conference in Malaysia, where despite the lack of Israel-Malaysian diplomatic relations (Malaysian passports read “valid in every country but Israel”), he was invited to speak about moderating intercivilisational conflict. He also spoke there in 2005, when, in his first visit to the country, he was pleasantly surprised to be received by audience applause, a prominently displayed Israeli flag and inter-faith bonding with Muslim conference participants over the troubles in finding Halal and Kosher food when traveling.”

Dr Ben MollovIt’s nice to see some positive, enthusiastic work coming from my department’s faculty, as well as some major steps taken to ‘speak outside the box’. What I mean by that is Dr Mollov’s work spreading to Southeast Asia – Malaysia, especially – as opposed to just keeping within the Israeli/American/Anglo academic scenes.

I’ve been critical of my program, but I think with a little open-mindedness and patience, I can really learn a bit more from my professors’ actions in addition to their words. If we can’t all learn one-on-one, the least we can do is watch from a distance and pick up what we can.