The Incredible Sulk


Who is the Incredible Sulk?

Unsurprisingly, he or she is a Mid-Range Narcissist. Lesser may occasionally sulk but it is rare, they are far more likely to explode with heated fury, either lashing out at your by name-calling or windmilling fists. The Greater may also sulk, but that is a very rare occurrence as the Greater regards such a passive-aggressive behaviour as beneath him and would rather use threat and intimidation as the expressions of his heated fury and escalate them from that point.

The Mid-Range Narcissist utilises passive aggressive behaviours in order to draw fuel. Chief amongst those behaviours are pity plays, cold shoulders, baleful glares and silent treatments. There is however a particular manipulation that some Mid-Rangers will use and this is when they become the Incredible Sulk. What are the main features of the Incredible Sulk?

  1. It is a Present Silent Treatment. The Incredible Sulk is never an Absent Silent Treatment. This is because the Absent Silent Treatment serves two functions. The first is to draw fuel from you as the main victim by making you worry where the narcissist has gone and also to have you trying to effect contact which in turn provides fuel to us. The second function is that it usually (although not always) enables the narcissist to focus on seducing someone else. Accordingly, that two week disappearance or two day vanishing act is being used to upset and anger you, but at the same time this will be used to draw somebody else in. It stands to reason therefore that if the charm et al is being used against someone else there cannot be an Incredible Sulk taking place. Even if (unusually) this absence is not being used to seduce someone else, there is not a sulk in progress. The Absent Silent Treatment is a   Cold Shoulder whereby the Mid-Ranger is being more aggressive in his ignoring of the victim.
  2. The Incredible Sulk occurs when the narcissist remains present to the victim for the whole purpose of enabling the victim (usually the IPPS but will also include family member  Non-Intimate Secondary Sources “NISSs”, family NISSs and sometimes colleague NISSs). When the Incredible Sulk is in progress, it is not just a case of the IPPS being singled out for the silent treatment and the narcissist speaking with everybody else, not at all. The Incredible Sulk is with everybody.
  3. The Incredible Sulk is a manifestation of cold fury. The Mid-Range Narcissist will have been criticised (usually unintentionally) and this has then ignited his or her fury, leading to the silent treatment.
  4. Whilst it is criticism which is the catalyst for the Incredible Sulk, one of the defining features which remains at the heart of its operation is envy. Just as the Incredible Hulk went into Hulk mode by turning green, the Incredible Sulk is also green, but it is with envy. Huge, visceral envy for others and how they are outflanking, outgunning and outperforming him or her. The Mid-Range Narcissist who is prone to engaging in the Incredible Sulk is one who has a huge envy issue. Envy is a common theme for all of our kind, but especially so for some and if they are Mid-Range it manifests as the Incredible Sulk. The Mid-Range Narcissist will be envious of something said and/or done by the victim (usually the IPPS) and whilst this is part of the criticism it is this envy which is perpetuating the Incredible Sulk. The narcissist will be envious of the victims prowess in some regard, for instance if the victim has passed an examination or secured a new and prestigious job, been given a significant pay rise, been complimented by somebody or has achieved an accomplishment. The spotlight (even if not asked for by the victim) is on the victim and the narcissist hates this. It underlines to him how mean and cruel the world is, how unfair his life has become and it is of course all the fault of the person that the narcissist envies.
  5. Whilst engaged in an Incredible Sulk the narcissist is sullen, uncommunicative, self-pitying and doleful. There is no baleful glare directed at anybody. There is no curled lip in readiness for a snarl. There is no blackened look. Instead, the Incredible Sulk will stare at the floor as if willing it to open up and consume him. He will gaze with wistful angst from the window or pick up some personal object and fix his eyes on it as he turns it over and over in his hands, depicting how wrought with dejection he is.
  6. The Incredible Sulk is maintained for a considerable period of time. This is not a fifteen minutes or two hour present silent treatment. This will last for at least a day and most likely longer. Any attempt to communicate with the Incredible Sulk will be met with him or her not responding at all, shrugging or fixing the recipient with a hangdog expression as if every woe in the world is pressing down on and being experienced by the narcissist.
  7. The Incredible Sulk wants everyone to be looking at him, flocking around him, asking what is wrong, suggesting ways to break this state. He wants his IPPS trying to establish whatever is the matter. He will expect his children to be pulling on his sleeve asking “Dad, what’s up?” If the children are young, their uncomprehending tears will only add to the fuel. He does not care for their upset. In the narcissist’s mind, he feels only dejection, rejection and self-pity. He knows the world does not care about him, but it should and this state is a representation of how he knows the world regards him. Even if the IPPS invites friends, family, colleagues around to try and break this almost catatonic state that the narcissist has entered, those trying to inject a smile or at least some kind of positive reaction in the narcissist will only be met with the doleful stare of the narcissist which seems to be saying “There is no hope for me anymore”. It is an instinctive response of the Incredible Sulk and is designed to draw yet more fuel through consternation, bewilderment and redoubled efforts to help.
  8. There are two reasons why the Incredible Sulk operates by involving everybody around him or her, rather than say the IPPS (which is the usual outcome of a Present Silent Treatment). The first is that the more people which are responding to the Incredible Sulk, the more fuel is available The second reason is that if the IPPS becomes fed up of trying to elicit a positive response, there will still be others (children, friends, other family members) who will keep trying and thus the fuel continues to flow.
  9. The Incredible Sulk wants fuel from this behaviour. He wants to be fawned over, mollycoddled, told how much he is loved, apologised to and made to feel special. Even when the wound that arose from the criticism has been healed, the Incredible Sulk will keep this behaviour going because it is so effective at drawing fuel. He also regards it as his right to do this – the world owes him it. It should be lauding him, respecting him and idealising him and its failure to do so means that instead he is entitled to withdraw (yet remain) and drink up all of the consequential fuel from the appliances affected by the Incredible Sulk.
  10. The Incredible Sulk is unlikely to eat (again for effect by making it appear as if there is something seriously wrong), they will miss certain activities they would usually engage in (for instance not going out with friends) in order to draw more fuel appliances into the catchment of the Incredible Sulk and will give the impression that he or she has entered some kind of depressed state. There is no such depression but the Incredible Sulk is content to make it appear so as this will generate more concern and fuel.
  11. He or she will sit for hours on end in a chair, staring at the television, apparently not really taking in what is going on. Mealtimes will be ignored and even food brought to the Incredible Sulk will be ignored or just picked at. He or she will walk slowly, moping about, emitting occasional sighs of dejection and flopping listlessly into bed or onto the settee.
  12. The Incredible Sulk has no difficulty in maintaining this state because he or she is initially wounded and then the huge envy that this particular Mid-Range Narcissist suffers from will perpetuate the behaviour over several days. Work will be missed with a concerned spouse calling in on behalf of the narcissist, doctors will be consulted and the Incredible Sulk will continue as of course this is all fuel.
  13. The only way to break the Incredible Sulk is to ignore it wholesale. This means everybody in the vicinity. Nobody ought to pay the Incredible Sulk any attention At first this will cause the Mid-Ranger to respond by trying to draw more attention through loud sighs, slumping, holding his or her head in her hands, muttering under his or breath. These are just further manipulations and should be ignored. Once the Incredible Sulk realises that this showcase silent treatment is not having any effect any more he will slowly emerge from it. He or she will not just snap out of it, but rather emerge like some kind of hibernating creature. Once this happens, resist the urge to ask “what was all that about” as you will only be fuelling the narcissist. Act as if it never happened. This will be difficult to do and offend your sense of empathy to assist someone and establish what was going on, but once you recognise that an Incredible Sulk is in hand you will know how to address it.
  14. The Incredible Sulk is not just rolled out at home. It might appear in a social setting whereby the Incredible Sulk will suddenly just not speak with anybody and will sit staring at his or her drink, looking through people and appearing as if ‘not there’ in order to garner attention. It might be during a meet gin with colleagues where the narcissist will just look out of the window as if pre-occupied before giving a dejected and puppy dog look at someone as if to say “I am so troubled and you have no idea.” It is all about garnering sympathy and pity. It is not an aggressive sulk that is telling people to stay away, not at all, it is one which is designed to draw people and thus their fuel as they try to work out what is wrong and help.

Thus this is the Incredible Sulk. Just be thankful no shirts or trousers were ripped in the process.

19 thoughts on “The Incredible Sulk

  1. mollyb5 says:

    Yes I ignored him for days . He is usually pouting , sulking because someone at work texted him a criticism . He does custom work for builders …designers (nice houses ). They will tell him a measurement is off or they have changed their mind on something …..something isn’t what they agreed to etc … he is raging at every single day now ….he will take it out on me. Xanax is how he is handling his rages everyday now. Now he sulks and sighs continuously non stop .

  2. mollyb5 says:

    Yeh this has been going on since Christmas break . He’s in a chair and flipping channels in the bedroom …legs tucked in like a little kid. The first day in pjs and only eating food made and brought to him…or saying no he’s not hungry. Not usual. He continued to have me buy the gifts for everyone ….I enjoy it. He sulked like a Scrooge until yesterday . Sat in the same chair …I got him out to a hockey bar for lunch. He got to stare at young girls so he was happy looking all festive in his pea-coat . Uug

    1. MB says:

      Mollyb5, is ignoring him not an option? I like that, “his pea coat”.

      1. mollyb5 says:

        Mb savior empath comes out .

  3. George says:

    Is this what you would call a narcissistic collapse? I have witnessed this and it sure wasn´t pretty…I could feel the narc´s toxic energy from 30 feet away, I think due to the bond that was created between us! She sulked big time but was back on her feet a few days later as abusive as ever just like nothing had ever happened…

    1. HG Tudor says:


  4. Marina says:

    Hi HG. Regarding mid rangers, is it unusual for a somatic to not have a IPPS? I’ve know this guy casually and flirtatiously for years(we frequent the same bar) and although he makes a big talk of having many lovers, I have never ever seen him with a woman. I recently became romantically and sexually involved with him but it didnt last longer than 6 weeks because he very quickly went from seduction to devaluation and I got out of there quickly. I guess he overestimated his clout with me, or perhaps it was that I called him out. I actually called him a narcissist after his first insult to me. I don’t think he has any self awareness though and I didn’t know until finding your blog recently that self aware narcissists exist. I have known about your kind from a previous relationship so I saw the red flags once he started the classic abuse. I LOVED the sex though and decided to see if I could manipulate him with flattery into continuing the sex with me. I enjoy a dominant partner and a little roughness so his trying to devalue me in that way just made it more exciting for me! Once he realized I enjoyed it he withdrew and I got the silent treatment, so I just bailed and went no contact. Next time I saw him at the bar he was so enraged he could barely contain himself! But back to my question, is it because he is not very good at seduction or doesn’t give it enough time the reason why he never has a IPPS?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is unusual for a Mid Range Somatic to be without an IPPS however it can occur where

      1. There is a non-intimate partner primary source; or
      2. The MR is MMR or UMR and has numerous IPSSs

      1. windstorm says:

        That fits my Moron in Munich to a “t”. His sister is his primary and he has multiple secondaries online.

  5. Michelle says:

    HG, do you have any articles that have more to say on the use of children as fuel? I know that many narcissists dislike children, but I feel like some I’ve known have seen them as an ideal fuel source and some of the examples in this article, e.g. asking a parent what is wrong, reminded me of situations I’ve witnessed.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Not specifically, but you are correct that children are a source of fuel, either NISS and sometimes NIPPS (possibly even intimate in instances of incest/child abuse thus becoming IPSS or IPPS).

  6. 69Revolver says:

    Oh. My. GAWD! Memories!!!!
    If I never witness this childishness again, it’ll be too soon. The man had the emotional deftness of a Neanderthal. God help him if we ever breath air in the same space again.

  7. Candi says:

    I do believe my former N might be the king of the incredible sulk.

    The wealth of information you provide serves as the closure the victims of narcs will never receive. Thank you.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  8. MB says:

    HG, did your mother sulk in this way?

    It does have a way of causing tension in the air and “walking on eggshells” when it is underway at work. I like that he’s staying out of everybody’s way but I must admit, I wonder if I’ve said or done something to upset him. Now that I’ve found HG, we’d both die before I ask him what’s wrong.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It was more icy silences and removing herself to her study where we were not allowed to enter than sitting with a sulky face.

      1. WW says:

        I am fighting myself as we speak to stay present and engaged with my children. I want the wreckage to end with me. I don’t know what I am. I thought super empath then lesser narcissist then even greater at some point. I don’t know. I have strong narcissistic traits. I had to be a chameleon and fend for myself from a young age. I don’t see anybody as normal, I need to retreat sometimes because if I can’t say something nice I might as well say nothing at all.
        I know you see IP addresses so I won’t bother using a different email address or name. Please don’t post this. It is healing for me to reply on your blog even if nobody sees it.

      2. K says:

        Keep reading. You are doing fine. Initially, I thought I was a Super Empath and then a narcissist and that is normal. We all have narcissistic traits to varying degrees and “normal” is different for everyone.

        HG Tudor
        SEPTEMBER 14, 2018 AT 16:45
        Basically, if you think you are a narcissist, you are not, because narcissism does not allow the Lesser or Mid-Range any recognition of that fact in order to ensure the defence mechanism works and remains intact.

  9. MB says:

    I work with an Incredible Sulk. Sometimes he goes all day without speaking to anyone. Those are good days 🙂

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