Some people turn sulking into an art.
Yes, it’s a perfectly human emotion. When things don’t go our way, it’s easy to pout and get grumpy. But in this post, I’m referring to people who sulk (due to real or imagined causes) and then get so carried away with their grievances, that they forget to step out of the sulking phase.
The definition of friendship is different for everyone. For me, it signifies open channels of communication and empathy. Friendship is a 2-way street. Sometimes, one friend sulks and the other cajoles. BUT if only one party is making all the effort all the time, it’s perhaps time to re-assess that friendship.
So, why this post?
A few days ago, I met a young woman who told me that a close friend of hers suddenly stopped talking to her without any explanation. Annoyed about the behaviour, this young woman decided to do the same so she too sulked and went silent…and so, just like that, a beautiful friendship ended.
Unfortunately, these things happen. And a proactive approach may not always work, but it’s worth a try. If a good friend begins ‘sulking’ and you have absolutely no clue why, you deserve to know the reason. So, ask her for more clarity on the issue.
Now, all well and good up to this point. But guess what I discovered over the years? Sometimes, even if you do your best to find out what’s bothering the other person, some people will insist ‘all’s well’ and still move away from you. That’s the bit I don’t understand. That’s the bit I cannot condone.
Two friends, however close, are seldom completely identical in thought and behaviour. We may unknowingly end up hurting someone by something we say or do. But if that’s the case, every person deserves the opportunity to explain, clarify or apologise.
In my life, I decided to move away from certain friends because they kept refusing to recognize that sulking cannot be a permanent state of mind. Yes, I tried to set things right. Yes, I tried to find out what went wrong. Yes, I tried to bring things back on an even keel. And the response? “Nothing’s wrong!”
Well, then, if ‘nothing’s wrong’ and there’s ‘nothing to fix’ despite things being far from normal, it didn’t make sense to keep trying to rescue those friendships. Because THAT’S where friendship being a 2-way street comes in. If despite your best efforts, the other person ‘chooses’ to act strange, it’s time to assess whether it’s worth holding on to such a 1-way relationship or it’s time to move on. Yes, you may have said or done something unknowingly that she’s not happy about. Or maybe she’s over-sensitive and you never meant it that way. Either way, friendships can only be rescued if there’s open communication. If someone doesn’t allow you to mend things, it’s a ‘choice’ they’ve made.
If something is broken, of course we must try fixing it, instead of tossing it away.
But, equally, when certain friendships reach the end of the road and refuse to be retrieved despite everything you’ve tried, it’s best to let go.