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 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 concern 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, resists 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 now 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.

44 thoughts on “The Incredible Sulk

  1. Narc noob says:

    HG, is there a MRN who doesn’t/wouldn’t show the incredible sulk? The one I have in mind would think it’s beneath him.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      All MRNs may use the IS. Some may not at all and some may do so frequently.

      UMRN are least likely to use it at all or if they do, they do so sparingly.
      LMRN are next with regard to lower likelihood. If they do use it, is is uncommon.
      MMRN A and B are likely to use it most and more frequently.

      1. Narc noob says:

        Thanks HG, that is interesting. Ie: The MMRN using the Incredible Sulk more frequently.

        Why not the LMRN? Do you know why they do not use the IS much?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          More aggressive

  2. EyesWideOpen says:

    A narc colleague recently organised a work saturday night out (actually somebody else organised it but she claimed it as her own), ironically only six out of about twenty people turned up. Enter the Incredible Sulk… Monday and Tuesday she had a face down to the floor, she was then off sick Wednesday and Thursday!! Just as you said HG

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Indeed EWO.

  3. AR says:

    “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“

    Another great article. It happened quite often with my dad. I would open the door and greet him with smile but he rarely smiled back.

  4. EmP says:

    Aww, isn’t little Incredible Sulk cute?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      He’s a twat. Like all Mid-Rangers, EmP.

      1. EmP says:

        Ha ha, true.

      2. Pati says:

        The other one look like George Michael in Wham

      3. Pati says:

        HG ,is twat a similar word to twerp.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          No, stronger.

          1. Bonnielou says:

            I once called my golden child (adult) brother a Twat in front of our Matrinarc. She went balistic at me! 😂😂

          2. HG Tudor says:

            Potty mouth. Wash it out with soap and water.

          3. Pati says:

            More like flush the toilet these are bathroom words that’s what one teacher told me when I was little . My Narc bring on all the bad words your giving me Fuel

        2. Alexissmith2016 says:

          Awww pati, that’s such a cute question. A twat is similar not quite the same as a C word. It’s considered slightly less vulgar than the C word so used more frequently but has a slightly different meaning. I would use it a lot when I talk about mids.

          1. Pati says:

            I can use other words too but not on the blog. Lol

      4. Lorelei says:

        They are twats (mid range ones) but some so convincingly normal. What is the time frame it would take you to work one out in say an office setting? Not a particularly obvious one HG?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          A few hours if that.

          1. Lorelei says:

            How in a few hours?!

          2. HG Tudor says:


          3. alexissmith2016 says:

            Would you agree though that you can pick up who some of the mids are within about five minutes of speaking with them, some take a little longer?

            How long would it take you to work out who a greater is?

          4. HG Tudor says:

            Under 30 minutes.

          5. alexissmith2016 says:

            A greater! Wow! That’s impressive! Though expected, naturally.

          6. HG Tudor says:

            Years of expertise, AS 2016.

          7. alexissmith2016 says:

            It’s astonishing truly astonishing! Well, you are. I’d love to see inside the mind of another greater, I don’t believe any have this as honed as you do, not even close.

            With the mids, I’ve noticed a difference in the intensity and frequency of their messages within this group of 20. They would all have an equal vested interest, but there are two in particular who message far more incessantly. One is definitely a mid who thinks he’s a greater, the other I’m not sure yet. Would that be a reason for increased frequency and intensity? Could it be the others are more ‘victim like’?

          8. HG Tudor says:

            Difficult to say without more information, AS2016, what I would state though is that the frequency of messaging is hoovering and therefore there are clearly more HTs and the HEC are being attained more often resulting in the electronic hoovers.

          9. Lorelei says:

            I think you may not be full of shit on this HG—I really think you could walk into my work and give me an analysis and I would be floored. I’d love to finesse my own ability (and it would never be a great one) but just fitness it to be better in this regard. It’s an extremely useful skill to pick up on things instead of blindly bumbling in the dark. Are there non-verbals you tune into?

          10. HG Tudor says:

            I am never full of shit you cheeky bugger!

            There is a lot of information which I pick up on, verbal and non-verbal.

          11. Dolores Haze says:

            What about identifying the empaths and whether it’s a standard, codependent or super? How quickly do you diagnose them?

          12. HG Tudor says:

            5.2 seconds on average.

          13. Pati says:

            HG you must have a stop watch 5.2 seconds wow!

          14. Lorelei says:

            Did you ever think I was a Svengali Machiavellian Narcissistic Psychopath demon HG?

          15. HG Tudor says:


          16. alexissmith2016 says:

            ‘5.2 seconds on average.’ agh I hate that!

      5. santaann1964 says:

        Haha I used that word many times. Yup definitely a mid ranger. Better word then the other alternative! Lol

        1. Pati says:

          Or he is a big suck .

        2. Gypsy Heart says:

          Midranger was definitely a twat. I saw the great sulk when he was competing for an IPSS with another guy in the social circle. The other guy ended up with the girl. He was so obvious even his wife knew what he was sulking about. He would sit on the outskirts of the group and get really drunk.

          HG, have you competed for an IPPS with other guys in your circles? I imagine you delighting in the great sulk as you flaunt the relationship in front of him.

          1. HG Tudor says:

            They may have sought to compete with me, but from my position, there was no competition.

          2. alexissmith2016 says:

            love that story GH!

  5. Liza says:

    ahhh the looking at the ground with the sade and decomposed face…. it is so heart breaking to look at, i don’t know how he manages to look so vulnerable that it makes you ready to do whatever it takes to ease his pain.
    PS: the baby hulk is awfully cute !!! i will steal the image.

  6. Pati says:

    I really do like this article. I realised that the silent treatment, pity plays ,sympathy is done strictly for fuel. I Ignore this childish behavior and he then switches to a different manipulation. He will cough loud,burp loud (rude) just to get my attention . The only thing I said loudly was can you please say excuse me you are so disrespectful.

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