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Types of Personality Series: How to deal with sulkers and the passive aggressive

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Sulkers and the passive aggressive are persons who express anger, frustration, or otherwise disscontempt through passive aggressiveness instead of direct expression. Life with a sulker can be very difficult because sulking makes communication impossible. When a sulker doesn’t get his way, he doesn’t try to communicate his feelings by words. Instead, he uses passive tactics such as “the silent treatment” to express his anger and aggression and coerce their perceived opponent into doing what they want, while at the same time acting like they did nothing. Sulkers and passive aggressive people fail to see that passive aggressiveness is actually an action, and that it is as hurtful, if not more, than active aggression.

1- Try to understand

Although sulkers may seem like evil masters of hurt, they are in fact victims. Sulkers are people who cannot express their emotions through healthy communication, and therefore use passive aggressiveness and sulking to express their emotions. This inability to communicate emotions had usually developed due to their fear of vulnerability. It takes courage to express sensitive emotions because it involves being vulnerable. More often than not, sulkers have usually developed this fear of vulnerability because they were deeply hurt before. It is imperative to understand the sulker and be able to seem them as victims in order to avoid getting aggravated by their hurtful actions.

2- Ignore Actions

When you’re working (or, much worse, living) with a sulker, it can be very easy to be drawn into a vicious war of mutual hurting. Be aware. This is exactly what the sulker wants: to draw you into their play field, in which they are very well experienced and adept. Most sulkers know exactly where to hit for maximum damage, and you will be no match for their masterful passive aggressiveness. Instead, avoid being drawn into this cycle and try to ignore their passive aggressiveness as much as possible. The actions of sulkers are reflexive and almost completely uncontrollable. Any attempt at coercing the sulker into different modes of behavior will only make them feel more threatened, and therefore, more aggressive.

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