Don Schapira
Q.MED, PM, CDS

Green Needle or Brainstorm: Hearing What we Choose to Hear

In May 2018, an audio clip went viral on social media, sparking a debate among listeners about whether they heard the word “Yanny” or “Laurel.” The clip was originally posted on Reddit by a user who asked fellow users to identify which word they heard. As the clip went viral, people were shocked to learn that others were hearing something entirely different than what they were hearing.

Now this is where things become weird.  A recent viral Tik Tok video allows you to hear one sound differently depending on which word you choose to look at, ‘Green Needle’ or ‘Brainstorm’. What do you hear? 

A recent viral Tik Tok video allows you to hear one sound differently depending on which word you choose to look at, ‘Green Needle’ or ‘Brainstorm’.

So What Do We Hear?

The Green Needle or Brainstorm video offers a great analogy for how we hear what we want to hear in conflict. It inspired us to review this in the context of a divorcing couple. Just like how people heard one of two words in the audio clip, divorcing couples often hear what they want to hear or what they expect to hear.

During a divorce, emotions run high, and couples often have differing opinions on how to handle various aspects of the separation, such as property division, child custody, and alimony. Each spouse’s biases and personal beliefs can affect the way they perceive and interpret information during these discussions.

For example, let’s say a divorcing couple is discussing custody arrangements for their children. One spouse may strongly believe that they should have sole parenting time of the children, while the other spouse believes that equal time would be in the children’s best interests. During their discussion, the first spouse may only hear things that support their belief that they should have sole parenting time, while the second spouse may only hear things that support their belief that equal time is best.

Listening is the Key. 

In a divorce, it’s important to recognize that our biases and perceptions may be clouding our judgment. We need to actively listen to the other person and be open to their perspective, even if it doesn’t align with our own. By acknowledging our biases and actively working to overcome them, we can move towards a resolution that is fair and beneficial for all parties involved.

This is where a mediator from Fresh Start Mediation can be extremely helpful. A mediator is a neutral third-party who can facilitate communication and help both spouses work towards a resolution that is mutually beneficial. The mediator can help identify the underlying interests of each spouse, clarify any misunderstandings, and help the couple come up with creative solutions that address everyone’s needs.

By having a mediator from Fresh Start Mediation, both spouses can feel confident that they are being heard and that their interests are being considered. The mediator can help create a safe space for open and honest communication, which can be difficult to achieve when emotions are running high. With the help of a mediator, the couple can work towards a healthy agreement that takes everyone’s needs into account.

The Green Needle or Brainstorm video clip reminds us that perception is subjective, and that we all bring our own biases and interpretations to every situation, including a divorce. In a divorce, it’s important to be aware of these biases and to actively work to overcome them in order to reach a resolution that benefits both spouses and any children involved. With the help of a mediator from Fresh Start Mediation, the couple can work towards a healthy agreement that takes everyone’s needs into account.

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