How do you deal with adults sulking?

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vauxhallastra

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My mum used to sulk, she would be sullen and uncommunicative for days (impressive, for a drunk), and somebody else close to me who is smaller and more wife-shaped also does this. You probably know the kind of thing I mean, responding to you in monosyllables if at all, not eating, sighing loudly, sleeping on the couch, pretending you're not there when you enter a room.

It always surprises me when adults do this, because it's so childlike. It always seems to be when the person is mad at you and wants you to know it, but their rationalisation is a bit flimsy, so they can't yell at you. In a way it's kinda funny, and in a way it's annoying AF.

My tactic has almost always been to try and ignore it, which probably doesn't help, but if somebody acts like a child, my attitude is, I don't have the energy for this, if they want to sulk, go ahead.

Anybody deal with a sulker? What do you do?
 

ringwood

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My mum used to sulk, she would be sullen and uncommunicative for days (impressive, for a drunk), and somebody else close to me who is smaller and more wife-shaped also does this. You probably know the kind of thing I mean, responding to you in monosyllables if at all, not eating, sighing loudly, sleeping on the couch, pretending you're not there when you enter a room.

It always surprises me when adults do this, because it's so childlike. It always seems to be when the person is mad at you and wants you to know it, but their rationalisation is a bit flimsy, so they can't yell at you. In a way it's kinda funny, and in a way it's annoying AF.

My tactic has almost always been to try and ignore it, which probably doesn't help, but if somebody acts like a child, my attitude is, I don't have the energy for this, if they want to sulk, go ahead.

Anybody deal with a sulker? What do you do?

I agree - completely childish. And I have a similar tactic - ignore it. But also mention to the person that when they're ready to start acting like an adult and discuss what the issue is and why they're acting as they are, you'll be around to talk.

Until then, I don't have the time, energy or inclination to cater to whiny adults.
 
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Compassion! We are not all made the same and some people dont neccesarily have all the 'tools' they need to get pass the tribulations in thier life.

I've been around people who are great communicators where they speak to their siblings/parents almost every day - sharing everything in thier lives. Beautiful to see. But then there are those who are more introvert and sensitive and just cant reach that level of communication. It is beyond them.

I learned can never compare two people. Some people can stand on thier own two feet.... others can struggle with motivation to get off the couch.

Have a little compassion and just recognize the person is struggling. You need do nothing more.
 

ringwood

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Compassion! We are not all made the same and some people dont neccesarily have all the 'tools' they need to get pass the tribulations in thier life.

I've been around people who are great communicators where they speak to their siblings/parents almost every day - sharing everything in thier lives. Beautiful to see. But then there are those who are more introvert and sensitive and just cant reach that level of communication. It is beyond them.

I learned can never compare two people. Some people can stand on thier own two feet.... others can struggle with motivation to get off the couch.

Have a little compassion and just recognize the person is struggling. You need do nothing more.

Sorry, have to disagree with you on this point. There's a huge difference between what vauxhallastra is describing—deliberate sulking—as opposed to an inability or difficulty to communicate.

I've known many, many people over my life who have difficulties communicating, myself included. I'm an introvert and very sensitive - when I'm overwhelmed with emotion, I will often 'shut down' and not be able to express my thoughts in a clear and rational way. I need space. (One of the reasons I so love writing - gives one time to express and gather their thoughts). I've also known many people who love to play games, play up their emotions and are deliberately dramatic in order to get their own way - those people I don't have compassion for, sorry. I can't stand being manipulated like that. It's disrespectful.

It's the latter example that I think vauxhallastra is referring to.
 

randomguy

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I used to love it when my ex wife was sulking, I could play Muddy Waters songs all day on my guitar without her asking me to stop, she hated the blues with a passion .... unfortunately during most of our marriage I very rarely felt like playing anything else.
 
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I'm not around anybody else so I don't know what I would do. But, at this point in my life, I think I would just quietly walk away and be glad the person is ignoring me.
 
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I've also known many people who love to play games, play up their emotions and are deliberately dramatic in order to get their own way - those people I don't have compassion for, sorry. I can't stand being manipulated like that. It's disrespectful.

It's the latter example that I think vauxhallastra is referring to.
Ah yes.. agreed. Experienced such types in the past and tend to to turn a blind eye forgot them all together.
 

vauxhallastra

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Sorry, have to disagree with you on this point. There's a huge difference between what vauxhallastra is describing—deliberate sulking—as opposed to an inability or difficulty to communicate.

I've known many, many people over my life who have difficulties communicating, myself included. I'm an introvert and very sensitive - when I'm overwhelmed with emotion, I will often 'shut down' and not be able to express my thoughts in a clear and rational way. I need space. (One of the reasons I so love writing - gives one time to express and gather their thoughts). I've also known many people who love to play games, play up their emotions and are deliberately dramatic in order to get their own way - those people I don't have compassion for, sorry. I can't stand being manipulated like that. It's disrespectful.

It's the latter example that I think vauxhallastra is referring to.
Yes, this is exactly what I'm referring to - not difficulty communicating, that's slightly different, I'm an introvert and really struggle with communicating, but what I'm talking about is when an adult behaves in the childlike way of deliberately and pointedly ignoring you in order to be the centre of your attention.

I do take the point that you should try and have sympathy for a sulker (and everyone), because really, it can't be fun digging yourself into that hole, I think they start off ignoring someone because they're pissed off but can't say so, because their reason is too petty, and then........what are they going to do? Suddenly act as if they *weren't* doing that?
 

Lady Grey

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I would acknowledge your mother's sulking. You can ask her why she is upset, and you are willing to talk about it when she is ready; I am sure this is very frustrating. So sorry you have to experience this.
 

vauxhallastra

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I would acknowledge your mother's sulking. You can ask her why she is upset, and you are willing to talk about it when she is ready; I am sure this is very frustrating. So sorry you have to experience this.
Unfortunately my mother died many years ago, but yes, I think you're right, I think it is best to just try and get the person to understand that you are ready to communicate when they are.
 

knt

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My husband does this. Just stops talking when he is upset. It is so childish. I used to be very disturbed by it and would chase him to try to make him not upset. Haha…not anymore. That just makes it worse. The longest it went on was for a few days. I learned to let that person have their moment until they snap out if it and not bother with them.
 
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