Pouting and Sulking

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Pouting and sulking are people’s attempt to get their own way. Pouting is selfishness. Have you ever been around people who sulk or pout? Most of the people I counsel are adults and many are experts at pouting. If I say something in a counseling situation that they do not like, they show their displeasure by protruding the lips.

The Look

What does pouting look like? 1. To exhibit displeasure or disappointment; sulk. 2. To protrude the lips in an expression of displeasure or sulkiness. You can recognize it in others. At what age is it acceptable to pout when you don’t get what you want? It is used by children and adults alike. People pout and continue unacceptable behavior because it has worked in the past. The real reason people use this as acceptable behavior is because of their sinful nature. Carnality keeps you from understanding spiritual things.

Sighing or sulking is a little different. Have you ever watched and heard someone take a deep breath and release it in a “Woosh?” You tell a kid to do something they don’t want to do and they blow a breath at you. It is not even a word! What does it mean? It means many things. You can read a lot of things into the use of it. Sighing or sulking is showing your displeasure for someone who has challenged your value or belief. It is selfishness.

Good Sulking Techniques

Here are some pointers to being a good sulker, or how to transform into the incredible sulk:

  1. The real trick with sulking is to make sure it’s noticed. You have to do it with such force that people will notice you are upset.
  2. There’s nothing worse than putting in two or three days’ hard sulking, only to have your partner not notice that you were sulking.
  3. Remember one’s aim is to hang around the house like a dark cloud, an evil smell or, if you prefer, some sort of creeping fungal growth. Don’t forget the next and most important tip…
  4. If your partner seems oblivious to what you are up to, try humming appropriate tunes, such as “I Fall to Pieces” or “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” to draw her attention to the major sulk that is under way.

Sulking is an expression of your spirit. You must make a decision with family and friends ahead of time to ignore those who are sulking. To give attention feeds their reason to keep sulking. Whether a child, visiting family member, or your spouse, you must ignore pouting. There is nothing that defeats a sulker more than ignoring them. Do not give attention to selfishness because selfishness is carnality.

Paul stated,

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” 

1 Corinthians 3:2-3

A born again believer may stray from his walk with God becoming carnal by attempting to live the Christian life the right way, without his heart being right. It is like walking to a location because you need to be in a certain place but you don’t enjoy the journey getting there. You want to enjoy life in Christ but do not want to do what it takes to build a relationship with Christ. You become lazy–spiritually.

This person becomes carnal or worldly minded. They do what they want to do by their own standards. If anyone challenges them, they simply say, “What is wrong, I am reading my Bible, praying, and attending church?”

It does not matter whether you think you are spiritual or carnal, it matters how God evaluates you. Paul states that when there is envy, strife, and divisions, then, there is worldly living.

Evaluate your life this week by those three words: envy, strife, and division.

Carnality develops a spirit of pouting and sulking. If you see this inconsistent pattern in your life, of sulking and pouting, when you don’t get your way, it is not because you have a deep character quality of walking with God. The problem is you have a deep character quality of walking with self.


Copyright © 2013 by Kerry L. Skinner