Culture,Life & Love


 Sulking is a habit and a negative personality trait for many people. They understand the menace but cannot pull themselves out of that dark, dingy emotional vault. Do they draw pleasure out of it, or do they try to make the other person feel guilty? – ‘Please cuddle me and pull me out of my sulking mental abyss, if you can.’

Sulking is a state where the person is trying to be calm, bearing a forced plastic smile to show pleasantness to the world. A fire of anger simmers inside of what the other person has done.

Sulking is a habit and instead becomes an addiction. There is a nihilistic feeling and an unfathomable emptiness with a solid urge to sulk at the person responsible.

The sulker may use uncouth and unsocial language and sarcastic anecdotes to convey his unhappiness and emotional discontentment. If the unfortunate receiver doesn’t respond to the sulker’s absurd demands, the sulk grows manifold. There is a vicious cycle – the more the receiver’s callous attitude, the more grumpiness there is.

Sulk is the result of a whiff of anger that cannot be revealed for fear of losing the relationship. The sulker is profoundly hurt and annoyed. He is frantic to vent his infuriating mental state but is afraid to show it openly. He is unsure of the other person’s reaction and prefers to stay mum. Sulking is mainly for those who are adored, loved or revered. No one would waste emotional energy on an unfamiliar and insignificant person. The more emotional depth of a relationship, the more it will sulk – directly proportional.

Sulking devastates confidence and makes the person look like a meek lamb begging for tender love and care. There is a feeling of timidity, helplessness and guilt. Eventually, sulking doesn’t help because the sulker returns to reaching harmony with the other, becoming a loser, needy and even clingy.

Sulk makes a person vulnerable and an all-time dud in people’s eyes. Prolonged episodes of grumpiness become a personality trait leading to social ostracism. People start avoiding or having meaningful dialogue. Who wants to see a sickening and melancholic face hanging on the pivot of a crooked neck when there is amusement and fiesta all around?

Sometimes the sulk is short-lived, situational or action-oriented. The person turns fidgety and whimsical and wants things to be done his way – when they don’t comply, he sulks and simmers with wrath. We survive and tolerate people grumbling over trivial things in their daily chores.

There is a thin line between sulking and ‘throwing a tantrum’.

“Grown-ups sulk: Children throw a tantrum.”

Throwing a tantrum is therapeutic because the anger is vented out – but, in a sulk, there is a seething pain. What to do when an adult throws a tantrum, causing others to sulk?

My father was a hardcore disciplinarian but had strong whims as well. He was against frivolous dancing and boozing in the “Baraat” processions. During a cousin’s wedding, he threw a tantrum while watching young boys dance with whiskey glasses during the ceremony. There was furor and verbal ruckus as my dad didn’t budge, creating a nasty situation for the rest of us. Later his tantrum was ignored and set aside by his nearby family, and he was disrespectfully hushed about leaving the ceremony. The event, however, continued with the same flavour and gusto, shoving my sulking father into a room of his own volition. Now, who was the loser?

SEVEN WAYS to overpower the sulking —

*Take your eyes off the problem. Focus your intellect on the solution, and don’t brood on the jilt or insult.

*Focus your emotions on that person’s positive and loving past. Try concentrating on your good times with this person – the sulk will melt, remembering the ardent warmth you have experienced.

*Have a dialogue. Instead of brooding in a corner with a cursing mind — face the situation and confront the person revealing your moods.

*Don’t pamper your anger. Just vent your wrath, weighing the situation and place. If that person loves and respects you, he will willingly lend you his ear without judgment.

*Move out of the situation. Just get out of the nasty ambience and find a better rendezvous, postponing the sulk to the next day. You will heal yourself.

* Do introspection. Ask yourself – ‘Do I need to sulk?’ Remember –” Some people create their storms, then get upset by the rain.”

*Ignore the person without being annoyed. Try drawing happiness from others. You will feel better – it’s time for the other person to sulk.


Take home message – Don’t sulk over your spouse’s misadventures, children’s irrationalities or relationship’s follies.

It’s not about them – about the times we live in, where –LOYALTY is a tattoo: LOVE is just a quote, and LYING is a new truth.”

So, stay happy and don’t simmer unnecessarily in your juices without an eloquent harvest.







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  1. KKParolia says:

    Well written Dr Anuj.While’ milder ‘sulks can be resolved,depending on the coping skills of the afflicted,the ones that are intertwined to the ..,I,Me and Ego are difficult to resolve ;
    Can therefore create deep relationship fissures,cause heartburns,and eventually subsume even close bonds of near and dear ones!

    1. Dr. Anuj says:

      Hello, Kk parolia. It’s a pleasure to read your views. I appreciate your last line– sulking creates deep fissures in relationships.
      thanks dear.

  2. Dr Ashok Kumar Ojha says:

    The blog “I love to sulk-Am I angry at myself? Seven ways to fight” painstakingly is appreciable on account of hidden love and affection that trys to ooze out, nevertheless,hinders. Sulking during childhood, was mainly due to angerness either against parents, siblings or even friends. Probably an iota of painstakingly fear prevented to shout at or grumble against them, may be to avoid souring of relationship. Grumbling or throwing a tantrum receded as we grew older.Nevertheless, sulking is never perished.You have rightly enumerated preventive steps to avoid sulking and development of an untoward situation. The way is to have a dialogue with the concerned so as to avoid drifting of relationship to a threshold. We are encapsulated with ego and complexes that deter a process of reconciliation.During my school days, our talking terms snapped with my dearest friend Anil.Suddenly,I came to know that he has burnt his hand due to explosion of an anaar in his hand.On hearing, I immediately rushed to his residence which just above my house and inquired about his hand.Then we were friends again. We know that it’s painful to live without talking to a close friend.And it’s how sulking gears up.
    Too good Dr Anuj.

    1. Dr. Anuj says:

      Hello Ashok bhai. You rightly quoted the example of Anil Lal bhai. I also remember similar things with Rajiv Mehra, my childhood friend. Love supersedes everything but also gives the nasty taste of sulking, as I mentioned in my blog. We all go through this in our lives, but at times deny to accept it. If we accept, then we also work for it.
      Thanks for the detailed feedback. Its a treat, indeed

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