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Sulking - Why Do People Do It?

Written and reviewed by
Ms. Hemal Sanjay Kunte 92% (1524 ratings)
M.S. Counselling and Psychotherapy
Psychologist, Bangalore  •  8 years experience
Sulking - Why Do People Do It?

Different people have different anger reactions. Very few of us manage anger assertively. Some of us, shout, talk loudly, use abusive language, hit others whereas a few others prefer to stay quiet and not express their anger. People who do not want to talk about their anger, are either scared of ruining the relationship or are feeling helpless. These type of people are visibly upset. They may not show their anger outwardly but their body is tensed. They want to vent out their anger but for some reason are unable to do so. They are "sulking". It is important to understand that the person who is sulking, is very angry. A `sulker’ is unusually quiet because s/he is using `sulking’ to reduce the force of anger. By reducing the anger gradually, s/he is reducing the intensity of anger so as to avoid aggressive reactions.

When people sulk, they feel very sad and surprisingly, sometimes they don't even realize that they are angry. "Sulking" is a defense mechanism, may be chosen unconsciously. The "Sulker" chooses this mechanism to  maintain calm/peace. This defense mechanism has two definite negative consequences. Which are :

  1. Sulking invites ridicule and
  2. Sulking reveals the loser.

It is so true! When a person sulks, others imagine that this person is "weak", "timid", "helpless" and "someone who is at fault". Sulking does not help, because even if, after sulking a person goes back to make peace with the other, s/he appears like a fool, loser, needy and may be clingy. So instead of sulking, If people learn to express their anger without being aggressive, it can help them a lot. They will feel powerful, wiser, and certainly, they will not feel like a fool or a loser. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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