Don’t become the incredible sulk!

Outside an open heart surgery unit: ‘Agar dil khol lete apna yaaron ke saath, toh aaj kholna na padta auzaron ke saath...’
Open your heart to friends in order to avoid stress.
Open your heart to friends in order to avoid stress.
Updated on Apr 25, 2016 08:15 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

If I start an ‘either-say what’s wrong-or-don’t-make-a-face’ movement, do you think United Nations would support? Arrey, why are you getting worked up? I know they have bigger, better causes to fight for, but trust me, this problem is lethal. Log munh bana lete hain...aur batate nahi kya problem hai. Now tell me, is it any less stressful to cope with such stress-gifters?

I’ve written about this topic earlier as well but I’m expressing my thoughts on the subject again because I continue to get mails from so many of you who are troubled on account of sulking, or the tendency of a person to withdraw and stay aloof. It could be one of your friends or family members whose face and behaviour tells you that they are bothered about something but they won’t share. It could also be you who sulks often, and you don’t feel like opening up with anyone because you feel they won’t understand. Either way, it causes tremendous stress.

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It’s easy to sulk but what we must remember is that unless we tell, others will keep repeating.
It’s easy to sulk but what we must remember is that unless we tell, others will keep repeating.

So, whether someone supports or not, let us start our own campaign — that of eradicating sulking from our country by 2050. Let us, please?

1. Remember, if you won’t tell, we’ll keep repeating: If you suffer from this disorder (please lemme call it that, how can making a long face and not sharing your problem be normal?), the biggest disadvantage is that those who have done or said something to upset you won’t even know, and will continue to repeat the offence, knowingly or mostly, unintentionally. When in college, there was this guy, Sarfaraz Ahmed, who friends used to tease by calling Naraaz Ahmed. Because he would always be quiet and sulking. In order to not distress him with extra work when he was feeling low, classmates didn’t involve him much in presentations and activities. One day, much later into the session, he confessed to a friend that he hated talking to anyone because he felt left out. He thought that the city kids didn’t want to befriend a small town boy. It came as such a rude shock to us. If only he had said so earlier, we wouldn’t have got into this vicious circle and kept repeating what was, in fact, bothering him.

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The same holds true, later in life, for sulking partners or spouses. If you won’t tell your girlfriend that something as silly as her wearing a certain dress upsets you because its too short (whether right or wrong is another highly debatable subject), she’ll happily continue to do it, while still fretting about why you don’t seem your usual self. Then one day during some fight, you’ll end up saying nasty things that’ll hurt her forever. Just.Not.Fair. If you don’t like something, say it upfront. Then figure out how to deal with it.

2. We will ask only twice: Dekho yaar, we want sulkers of the world to get one thing straight. If you seem upset, we will ask — once, twice. But if you’ll keep replying, ‘I’m fine. Nothing’s wrong’, we will take your word for it. And won’t keep asking again and again. Don’t you then turn around and cry, ‘no one cares for me’. Because we do, and we asked, but you chose to play the ‘all’s well’ false-card. So, deal with it.

3. It never hurts to speak up: This one’s for those who prefer to go into a shell when something bothers them. See, the thing is, life’s already pretty short and we all know it. I don’t think you should risk shortening it further by torturing your poor heart with all the mundane matters of life. Let it do its own work, pumping blood is no mean task. Every doctor in the world will tell you that not giving an outlet to your worries and tensions will make you mentally... and physically unwell. Problems are there in everyone’s life. If you think Mukesh Ambani or Shah Rukh Khan have a peaceful sleep every night, you, my dear, are a sweet, innocent idiot. (It’s another thing that if everyone has problems, I’d any day prefer to cry sitting in Shah Rukh’s Rolls Royce than on an autorickshaw, but let’s not deviate from the subject). I’m not saying become a crib machine and keep venting in front of everyone you meet, but surely you have someone in your life who won’t mind lending an ear. If you have money to spare, there are some who will charge for it and do it happily (you can mail me for my number, thanks). If not even that, there are bartenders, barbers, maids who have no choice but to listen to your woes. Get it out of your system. Now. Don’t wait to share your troubles with the nurse at the hospital. She’ll give you a sleeping injection mid-way. Mind it.

(Sonal Kalra is writing to the PM for an anti-sulking bill. All those good souls who will sign the petition, mail at Or on Facebook at Follow her on Twitter at

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    Sonal Kalra edits the daily Entertainment & Lifestyle supplements, HT City/Cafe; writes the weekly column ‘A Calmer You’

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