SULK is a "manifestation of boredom or bad mood that is revealed by gestures, by a stubborn silence or by avoid looking to who allegedly caused it."
Defined like this, it may look normal and harmless. But it is not. In fact, it is one of the most destructive scenes of relations between people, whether they are children or adults.
A personal testimony, to frame the subject.
My dear old father, who I have lost unexpectedly two years ago, had the bad habit of sulk. I still remember, with great discomfort and some uprising, family meals where he, angry with my mother or with any of the children, ate in silence, his head bowed, and answered in monosyllables. Child and adolescent, I often thought that nothing justified that behavior. Why make that scene? Why affect all with that? Why cause the desire to be elsewhere and not watch that scene? Why force everyone to pretend nothing is happening, relating artificially, as a misrepresented play?
The truth is that I became allergic, and even today, I run away of those scenes. Between couples, between parents and children, between siblings, between families, between friends, between co-workers, between supervisors and employees. No way, I cannot bear out!
But I looked for the reason of my discomfort. And I found some plausible explanations. Take a look.
First, who is sulking uses a kind of a “bright sign” advertising all I AM ANGRY. This advertising assumes that all should be interested in the subject or in his anger. Selfishness, egotism, narcissism, and lack of respect for the patience of others. I would say, if he is angry, take a pill, or go for a walk, and DO NOT DISTURB!!!!
Second, and far more serious, sulk causes what psychologists call "non-recognition". Not recognize someone is telling “you do not exist, you are transparent, I do not see you, you're not important." Because that's exactly what happens. When someone well-intentioned approaches a grumpy and asks "what happened?", the answer is the turn of the face, a deafening silence or an abrupt leaving. And what the well-intentioned feels about this reaction? He feels that is presence was not recorded, it is not important, which is so low that does not deserve a response. But he will insist, because he wants to solve the problem, and he will be “not recognized” again and again ... It really hurts. And weakens and sickens who goes through this. Now imagine when this scene is made on a child ...
Well ... but it gets worse. Because sulk is a role model that is copied, it's contagious as a virus that passes from father to son, and runs even within a company. That is, a child who has parents that sulk, he learns sulking too, and there goes the virus....
Either we caught it, or we are running some risks. Here's a Portuguese humorous video - The Minister sulking. Seriously?