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Demanding Behavior

Demanding people can be intrusive, persistent and demand a lot of time and attention. Traits can be associated with anxiety, agitated depression, and/or personality disorders, but also occur in the general population.

Some signs of demanding people: a sense of entitlement; an inability to empathize; a need to control; difficulty dealing with ambiguity; a strong drive for perfection; difficulty respecting structure, limits and rules; dependence on others to take care of them; fear of dealing with the realities of life; and persistence after hearing “no.”

  • When interacting with a demanding person:

    1. Practice the following advice.

    DO

    • If possible, talk to the individual in a safe and comfortable place.
    • Remain calm and in control of the situation.
    • Set clear limits and hold to them.
    • Clearly explain which behaviors are acceptable and which are unacceptable.
    • Be clear about the time you will give the person.
    • Request that they treat you with respect.
    • Contain disruptive behavior that disturbs the class, study group, office, etc.
    • Be aware of manipulative behavior.

    DON’T

    • Argue with the person.
    • Accommodate inappropriate requests.
    • Ignore the negative impact it has on you and others.
    • Adjust your schedule to accommodate the person.
    • Feel obligated to take care of them.
    • Feel guilty about not doing more.
    • Allow the person to intimidate you.

    2. Refer the person to resources that can address his/her needs. The following resources are available to help.

    3. Submit a CARE Report.

    Submit a CARE Report

  • If you know someone who is struggling with a demanding person:

    1. Practice the following advice.

    DO

    • If possible, try and talk to the individual in a safe and comfortable place.
    • Listen. Let the person talk about their feelings regarding their experiences.
    • Be supportive and reassuring.
    • Respectively focus on the relevant information.

    DON’T

    • Devalue the information or minimize the person’s concern.
    • Don’t judge or express personal bias.

    2. Refer the person to the ‘STEPS I CAN TAKE’ tab on this page or the resources below for further assistance.

    3. Submit a CARE Report.

    Submit a CARE Report