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Demanding Behavior

Demanding students can be difficult to interact with because they can be intrusive and persistent. Demanding traits can be associated with anxiety, agitated depression and/or personality disorders, but also occur in the general population.

Some features associated with demanding students are 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; persistence after hearing “no”; dependence on others to take care of them; and a fear of dealing with the realities of life. These students may demand a lot of time and attention. When dealing with a demanding student:


  1. When possible, talk to the student in a place where you feel safe and comfortable.
  2. Remain calm and in control of the situation.
  3. Set clear limits and hold to them.
  4. Directly and clearly explain to the student the behaviors which are acceptable and unacceptable.
  5. Be clear about the time you will give the student.
  6. Request that he or she treat you with respect.
  7. Contain disruptive behavior that disturbs the class, study group, etc.
  8. Be aware of manipulative behavior.
  9. Refer the student to resources that can address his/her needs.
  10. Contact the Dean of Students Office (801.422.4771) if you are feeling harassed, intimidated and/or the individual's behavior is disruptive. A campus incident report can be made through this office.
  11. Contact the Title IX Coordinator or the Equal Employment Office for assistance if you are feeling harassed by the individual and the harassment has a sexual or gender-related aspect to it.


  1. Argue with the student.
  2. Accommodate inappropriate requests.
  3. Ignore the problem and the impact that it has on you and other students, staff or faculty.
  4. Adjust your schedule to accommodate the student.
  5. Feel obligated to take care of him/her.
  6. Feel guilty about not doing more.
  7. Allow the student to intimidate you.

Other Resources/Suggested Reading:

The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists
Children of the Self-Absorbed
Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed
I Hate You--Dont Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality
Walking on Eggshells: Taking your Life Back
The Borderline and the Buddha
The Happiness Trap
The Illustrated Happiness Trap