What the Trolls Movie Taught me About My Relationship

Recently I’ve been going through a really tough situation. Last week I got broken up with after a fight with my former boyfriend that ended somewhere along the lines of realizing that we were really bad at talking and listening to each other, even though we thought we were doing fine.

I want to start out by saying that my heart goes out to all of the people who are in similar situations to me right now. With finals happening, the semester coming to an end, and the strict social distancing rules, breaking up with my significant other was definitely not on my list of things I was ready to handle this week. Please know that you are not alone and that there are many people who would be willing to talk to you about what happened and comfort you. Don’t be afraid to seek help.

Now I have a little sister, aged seven, who absolutely has been begging my family to watch the new trolls movie with her and so we finally sat down and watched it. I promise I won’t spoil anything, but if you couldn’t tell already the theme of the movie seems to be about racism and coming together despite people’s (or trolls in this case) differences. 

As funny as it sounds, the two main characters of this movie, Poppy and Branch, really spoke to me through their relationship dynamic as they tried to save the world of the trolls, yet again. As close as the two are, they do have some fundamental differences in the way they think and process the problems that are going on in their life. Much like my former S/O and I. 

While one is a very hands on fixer, the other tends to err on the side of extreme caution and wallow over the worst case scenario. As someone who suffers from extreme anxiety, I tend to be more on the latter side. As you can see, these two different methods of dealing with problems can cause a lot more problems when the two stop listening to each other. Neither of these ways of problem solving are inherently wrong, but both can lead to dangerous coping like throwing yourself into a scenario you can’t handle for the sake of fixing it or avoiding the problem so much that you don’t fix it at all. 

There is always a middle ground. 

A lot of the times humans can be super stubborn and not want to listen to anyone else’s suggestions or advice, thinking that their solution is certainly the right one. We think we know how to deal with our own problems, after all we’ve been solving our own problems for years and that’s been working out fine, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a better solution or a healthier way of solving the problem.

A quote that stuck out to me during the movie was “good harmony takes lots of voices… different voices” and sometimes that means listening to suggestions you never would have thought would work for you in the past. You never know if you don’t try it. That also doesn’t mean you have to stick with it, but listening to others helps people feel heard and builds trust between two people. If you’re never willing to listen, why should the other person?

“You have to learn to listen to others. Even if they don’t agree with you”, because that’s the beauty of getting to know and love other people. You never truly know someone until you see just how their brain works for yourself. Plus, the best solutions come from multiple people putting their minds together and using all their collected knowledge to best approach a tough situation.

Listening sometimes takes more than just the act of listening, it’s also about understanding and being open to the things the other person is choosing to share with you. You aren’t really listening if you actively choose not to take someone’s advice, especially if you’re only avoiding it because it scares you. 

Listen to your friends, your family, and your partner(s), because I promise you they aren’t going to suggest anything that is going to hurt you. You may think you know what’s best for yourself, but sometimes having an outside view of the problem can bring new insight. Take a leap against your fears and you may find yourself surprised by what comes out of it.

And also watch a few kids movies, they know what they’re talking about sometimes.