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Any suggestions on how to stop someone from sulking?

(25 Posts)
woolymum Mon 18-Aug-14 11:06:35

No useful advice here other than to say some of the other posters have some good advice about notes and displays of kindness.

Just wanted to say that the sulking was an early sign of my dad's slow appearing dementia. His behaviour definitely started to mirror that of my toddler's and he wasn't very rational about why things would upset him.
I am now very wary about any elderly person that develops toddler tendencies and I would suck it up and ignore any behaviour just to get communication going.

If the notes for supper fails and she continues to refuse to answer the door I would seriously consider getting her GP to check up on her.

Once she lets you back in you can always say then that her shutting you out concerns you and even if she doesn't want to talk to you that's fine but you need to know she's ok, and do whatever it takes to cajole her into giving you a spare key for emergencies.

ReigningQueen Mon 18-Aug-14 10:50:22

What if you bought her some flowers and apologised for anything you'd done wrong?

FernMitten Mon 18-Aug-14 10:46:53

I mean to say, show her you care, it possibly seems to her that you have everyone and she has no-one. Not to suggest you are at fault btw.

FernMitten Mon 18-Aug-14 10:44:31

I agree to kill her with kindness, something she can't ignore like flowers. She's probably miserable, especially if she's on her own.

I'm currently in a bit of a sulk with my sister and it's filling my every waking moment sad

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Mon 18-Aug-14 10:31:58

Thanks, vanitas...I don't think my aunt would agree grin!!

Dark - sorry your DM is the same...I think mine has the potential to go a similar way.

I sway between wanting to leave her to sulk and trying to find out what the problem is.

darksideofthemooncup Mon 18-Aug-14 02:13:32

Sounds just like my Dm. Its horrible OP and you have my sympathies. I think you have to give it no quarter though, no notes, no pandering to her behaviour, I would be inclined to lean on her doorbell till she answers and then bustling in as if nothing has happened.

VanitasVanitatum Mon 18-Aug-14 02:02:42

Just have to say hiccup you sound bloody lovely and she's lucky to have you!!

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Mon 18-Aug-14 01:52:07

Thanks for the replies smile

She doesn't have children, just my dad and my two sisters.

I'll give her a call tomorrow and put a note through the door.

Dementia is something that concerns me. Also, one of her friends is very poorly and I was worried that she'd taken a turn for the worst but I can't help if she won't let me.

The childish behaviour/imagined slights are not new things. She's acted this way for many, many years. However, the silence has never lasted this long before.

AcrossthePond55 Mon 18-Aug-14 01:23:41

Kill her with kindness. Won't answer phone…leave her a voice message (or a note on her door) to stop round for supper because you're fixing her favorite. Write her a letter in which you say you are afraid you have offended her (even though you haven't) and are truly sorry if you have.

She could very well be jealous of your mum. But she also could be starting to have dementia. Imagined slights and childish behaviour are not unusual. Does she have any children or are there other nieces/nephews she stays in touch with? It may be worth a phone call to them. At 78, even in good health, she is vulnerable and needs family to be there to keep an eye on things.

I think you're lovely to be concerned about her.

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Mon 18-Aug-14 00:08:05

She has type 2 diabetes but it is well controlled with medication. The last time she sulked like this, I was away for the weekend and when I got back, had to take her to a&e because she had pneumonia and hadn't eaten (or drunk anything, she says) for 4 days.

She lives independently but will come to us for tea a few nights a week.

As far as I am aware, I haven't done anything offensive...I think I'm generally quite nice to her grin.

I'm starting to think there is something going on in her head and she has convinced herself of I don't know what!!

The other thing that has been suggested...my step father passed away two months ago and both of my sisters have moved in with my mum to help her. Mum and aunt have a love/hate relationship and my sister thinks my aunt might be jealous because of all the attention mum is getting.

TeamEdward Mon 18-Aug-14 00:04:34

In the words of the Penguins of Madagascar, "Smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave."
I think you just have to kill the sulk with kindness, be bright and cheery, keep up the contact even if she doesn't reply or respond initially.

treaclesoda Sun 17-Aug-14 23:59:13

oh, I didn't realise it was quite that bad sad

That's horrible for you. Sorry.

winkywinkola Sun 17-Aug-14 23:58:10

Is she okay? I mean, physically well and mentally strong?

Otherwise I would just carry on. Bright 'n' breezy. Drop for a cup of tea. She ignores you? Ah well, see you soon. Drop in again.

Unless you have done something really offensive in which case you should chat to her about it.

SparklyFooted Sun 17-Aug-14 23:58:08

I don't think you can win here, she'll tell them you were rotten to her whatever you do.

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Sun 17-Aug-14 23:57:11

Treacle - I can't even get as far as being able to ask. She keeps her front and back doors locked (since stopping talking to me), won't answer the phone and won't reply to emails.

SparklyFooted Sun 17-Aug-14 23:56:22

There's nothing you can do other than carry on as normal. nice if you want.

She's punishing you for a (perceived) wrong. Which could be understandable, or not.

Whatever, be nice, be respectful but be assertive where necessary.

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Sun 17-Aug-14 23:55:33

What if she never snaps out of it?!

I know it shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks but I don't want her telling her friends how we've all been rotten to her and are now not talking to her (this is exactly how she'll manipulate things).

treaclesoda Sun 17-Aug-14 23:52:33

Ordinarily I'd say ignore it, I hate adults sulking.

But with her age and the fact that she is sulking with everyone, I'd be tempted to just ask outright 'what are you sulking about?'.

If she says she's not sulking, then she can't realistically go on ignoring you. And if she tells you what's wrong then you'll know.

And if she's still sulking after all that, tbh I'd leave her to it.

Spinaroo Sun 17-Aug-14 23:50:57

Agree- ignore!

McButtonwillow Sun 17-Aug-14 23:49:28

grin cakes my first thought was tickling too until I saw the age of the op's sulker.

Can't stand adult sulkiness, personally I just wouldn't be around her until she snaps out if it.

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Sun 17-Aug-14 23:45:05

I have been trying to act normally for the last two weeks but doesn't seem to be having the desired effect.

Also, I think the sulk might have started earlier than I'd realised but can't quite pinpoint when that might have been.

Toddler tantrums, I can totally deal with!! grin

cakesonatrain Sun 17-Aug-14 23:13:22

Hmm, the sulkers I know are a toddler (solution = tickling) and my husband (solution = well, quite similar to tickling, I suppose...)

Don't think that's much help in your situation though!

Yambabe Sun 17-Aug-14 23:11:02

what biscuit says, breeze in with a cheery greeting like nothing has happened.

Act entirely normally and pretend you havent noticed grin

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Sun 17-Aug-14 23:07:46

My aunt lives next door. She's 78 and has always been a bit difficult.

Three weeks ago, she got cross with me and hasn't spoken to me since.

I left her be for a few days (was away anyway, which she knew and was part of the problem, I think) but have tried many times to communicate with her and she is actively avoiding/ignoring me.

She is also ignoring both of my sisters, my dad (her brother) and my ds (on his birthday).

I can hear her making food in the kitchen so I know she's up and about and she's been out in her car.

I just don't know how to resolve this sad

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