My niece and nephew are nice kids.  They are cute, bright and have nice little smiles.  They laugh when you tickle them.  They come when you call.  They even dance on command.  Well maybe not on command but with a little coercion.  But like most kids, they can get a little irritable at times.  They can get fussy when they’re tired or hungry.  They can get a little sad when it’s time for them to go home.  And they always get kind of pissy at bed time.  But being adults we accept this sort of behavior to a degree because….well..they’re kids.  And while some concessions are made for kids just being kids we still try to steer them away from certain behaviors.  Talking back to adults.  Hitting and biting.  Yelling in the house.  And pouting when you don’t get your way.  But sadly, the older I get the more I realize that a lot of people’s parents didn’t really lay down the law on that last one.

Grown people who pout are a personal pet peeve of mine.  It smacks of childish thinking and manipulative practices that people use to force someone’s hand.  When we are kids we naturally pout when we are unhappy or when something does not go our way.  Frowning up your face and having your eyes well up with tears is as natural as being hungry or happy when you are like 2 years old.  But then somewhere around 4-5 we realize that this pouting thing might have some benefits.  We see the attention to our cause that it brings when people coddle our little sad faces and acquiesce to our whims.  So when we hit 4 we start to use pouting as a weapon.  And along with the pouting we bring out the big guns like folding our arms, stomping our feet when we walk across the hard floor and get to the next available door to slam as we walk through.  This is no longer a child showing a natural emotion.   This is a little bad ass child that need his or her ass whooped!  So if we can understand that it’s a con job when little kids do it, what in the world do we call it when a grown woman does it?  Normal?  I don’t think so.

No man wants to sit in the company of a grown ass woman who pouts and taps her foot on the floor because he doesn’t want to go along her plans for the day.  And while being disappointed is certainly understandable, the whole puffing your cheeks out, tapping your feet on the floor, walking extra fast to get my attention as your storm into the other room routine is not very cool.  Furthermore it’s childish.  It makes you look like a dick.  Like a hard to get along with, immature little brat.  And while you may find yourself dating a man who consistently caves into your whims, don’t take that as a Mission Accomplished stamp when you’re pouting gets you your way.  Because when a guy caves like that you are doing one of two things.  You are either building your own folder of complaints that he is cataloging as a reason to drop you on your head or you’re slowly eating away at his spirit bit by bit.  You are breaking him down and stealing away his joy.  And not that he get’s joy from not doing what you want to do, but rather you are making his household peace of mind be unfairly attached to always keeping you happy.  And for what?  So you can get your way?  Every relationship should be about compromise.  Women and men both have to share in the joys and interests of each other.  And do so without being resentful and without animosity.  (What’s the purpose in having a guy go with you to a play if he walks in dragging his feet with his lips poked out like someone just stole his bike?!) Here’s a thought.  Instead of pouting about things that are usually not even that serious.  Address them.  Tell him you really want him to do something with you and that it is important to you.  (And I don’t mean make a big deal out of telling him that you want him to drive him to the mall.  Guys view that as Bullshit!) And if he is not convinced by that after you have told him…GO..BY..YOURSELF.  Leave him!  Don’t let your joy be entirely attached to what he is willing to do with you.  Go without him and tell him how great it was.  A decent guy will usually respond when you express to him how important something is to you more that he will you pouting.  Strangely enough they also seem to respond to a woman entirely not really wanting them around.  But pouting…..never gets a good reaction.  I really can honestly only think of one thing that is more disgusting than a woman pouting to get her way…. A MAN pouting to get his way.

As much as I get disappointed by women pouting like children, that disappointment pales in comparison to the guys with the MAN-TUDE.  So much so that I would really start a national crusade against men who not only pout but use pouting as a manipulative method of getting their way. (this is part of the reason I have always had back and forth feelings about Kanye West and Terrell Owens) If you are a grown man who walks around your house purposely not speaking to your lady, slams a door at any time, allows your negative feelings to change the mood in a room, or embellish upon the extent of your anger so as to play the guilt trip game with your lady…….Knock it off! Get your panties out of a bunch and be a man.  It is not cute or sexy to your lady to see a grown ass man acting like a 10-year-old whose parents just took away his X-box.  If you have a problem, you can do one of two things.  Either speak on it and leave it alone or suppress it and hold in your frustration and die of a heart attack at 58.  I’ll let you chose.  But under no circumstances is it OK for you pull out the MAN-TUDE as a way to manipulate the situation.

We all have bad days.  Days we wish would just turn to night and bring us that much closer to another sunrise.  But pouting like a kid only heaps your bad feelings onto someone else.  It is a terrible tactic if you ever hope to establish any real sense of reciprocity, fairness or understanding in a relationship.  I use those words because those are the words that you use to describe any type of adult to adult relationship.  I use those words as oppose to coddling, pampering and appeasement.  Because those are the words that are best used to describe the sort of adult-child relationships that grown-ups would rather not have with their mates.