Why You Should Stop Sulking With Your Partner

Picture this: you’re walking with around the mall with your significant other. You expect your SO to be paying close attention to the things you point out inside a store. But, they’re a little busy on their phone. Another scenario: you wanted to spend the evening with your SO and your friends, but they insisted that the evening be just the two of you. When these scenarios happen, you could end up sulking. Sulking is that  raw feeling when we keep our emotions inside and refuse to be happy or just not angry because we’re bothered about something that another person has done. We get disappointed for what tends to be something small or not that significant, but for some reason, it is for us at that moment. The result of all this dilemma is silence and the questions: “What is the problem?” or “Are you alright?” and the instant reply of: “Nothing” and “I’m fine.” Sulking is disappointment with a refusal to give explanations. But why does this happen?


Our Parents Are To Blame… Sort Of

Sometimes, we refuse to tell our partners what’s wrong because we think that they’re supposed to immediately know what’s up. Small problem here: unless your partner is Doctor Strange, they can’t read minds. This conception of not saying what you feel and what you need can come from our parents. When we were babies and got upset, we manifested that discomfort by crying. Our parents (and only sometimes!) would automatically know what was wrong with us. There was no need for us to explain, and even if they didn’t exactly know what we needed, they would guess. It wasn’t so hard to guess anyway. The answer was probably one out of four options: diaper change, food, sleep or attention.


But what about now? We aren’t babies anymore, yet sometimes we want to be treated like ones (even if it’s just your subconscious). We want to be taken care of, loved and understood easily. We expect our partners to know exactly what we need without explanations. I feel like it’s completely ridiculous to expect from anyone. How can a person know exactly what’s wrong by just looking at you? Yet we think this could be possible because our parents made it possible in our infancy. Moreover, when we were babies, we didn’t have to attend our parents' needs, they just needed to attend ours. It seems almost impossible to believe that a one-year-old could possibly be integrated, for example, on economic situations within the household. So, we were only expected to exist and be loved, but not necessarily give love and comprehension as feedback.

What should we do then? Talk it out with your partner and leave that pride to the side. You are a more complex being than when you were a baby. How could your SO know that it secretly bothered you when he didn’t look at that thing you pointed out in the mall, that you wanted to see your friends tonight because you haven’t seen them in a month and one of them is moving away or that a particular subject does mean a lot to you and “this” is why or perhaps that you just want his or her attention because you’re feeling down, you watched The Notebook and you feel lovingly, or because we are just simply socially attached creatures that need proximity with those who matter. Do not keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself, because partly that’s why you choose to be with your partner. You want someone to be there for you, to listen to you, respect you and love you for who you are. And I know it might be hard for some people to express what is in their minds, but with a little bit of courage, therapy or practice it can make it possible.

Communication is key! So, the next time you think about sulking as the immediate solution to the problem, stop and reflect upon the nature of that automatic action you were just about to do. It really makes no sense at all. The best thing you could give to your partner are explanations on who we are with all the strangeness, uniqueness and beauty that it implies.