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:
- When possible, talk to the student in a place where you feel safe and comfortable.
- Remain calm and in control of the situation.
- Set clear limits and hold to them.
- Directly and clearly explain to the student the behaviors which are acceptable and unacceptable.
- Be clear about the time you will give the student.
- Request that he or she treat you with respect.
- Contain disruptive behavior that disturbs the class, study group, etc.
- Be aware of manipulative behavior.
- Refer the student to resources that can address his/her needs.
- 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.
- 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.
- Argue with the student.
- Accommodate inappropriate requests.
- Ignore the problem and the impact that it has on you and other students, staff or faculty.
- Adjust your schedule to accommodate the student.
- Feel obligated to take care of him/her.
- Feel guilty about not doing more.
- 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