Children often pout when they don’t get what they want. Sometimes stomping around in a huff or sitting in the corner, bottom lip protruding.
As teenagers it’s the silent treatment or the small shrug accompanied by the lowered eyelids and a “nothin’” verbal response.
Age appropriate behaviour from someone under the age of 15.
But when an adult does the same it can be the most annoying of all behaviours. A sad attempt at emotional manipulation. Eliciting a response from some of “OOOOh, what’s wrong?”
Or “Are you ok?”
Or, (because the only possible rationale you can come up with for the pouters behaviour is that maybe YOU did something) “ Are you mad at me?”
I don’t understand it. I don’t have patience for it. In fact, I’m embarrassed for you.
If you’re angry, say you’re angry. Punch a wall, go for a walk, have a good loud argument with someone who can hold his or her own BUT DON”T POUT.
If you’re sad, say you’re sad. Stay home and have an epic, phlegmy cry. Have a good cathartic conversation with someone you trust, or someone with a psych degree, BUT DON”T POUT.
It’s a behaviour that honestly does nothing but create annoyance and irritation in the rest of us. We don’t feel sorry for you. We want to run away and associate with someone who lives their truth aloud. Most of us haven’t enjoyed melodrama since grade 10 and definitely have no patience for it now.
There is, however, a difference between being pissed off and pouting. When you’re pissed off you’re angry. There’s been an injustice. You stew in hostility until you figure out how to emotionally handle whatever you’re dealing with. Sulking or pouting episodes last days. Sometimes weeks. Or they occur more days during the week than not. People don’t start conversations or phone or want to hang out with you because they probably have enough drama living their own life without being sucked into yours.
Now, if I have EVER pulled a pout with any of my friends I publicly apologize for it now.
Most of the time, when life throws some unpleasantness at us we may be at a loss as to how to deal with that unpleasantness in a grown up manner. Let’s face it, even as an adult we’re tempted to have temper tantrums, and pouting sessions, and pants peeing episodes of laughter. But we’ve learned (most of us) how to manage our behaviour. If at any time you don’t know what to do, and you’re teetering on the precipice of a sulk fest,
find someone you can go to for a hug,
or a kick in the ass
and get on with life.