What’s the difference between just having high standards and being flat-out demanding?
As a woman with plenty of clear boundaries, it’s a question I’ve often pondered.
I think it all comes down to what’s reasonable.
It’s perfectly okay to request respect and decency from the people in your life.
But demanding behavior crosses the line. It wants to take energy, effort, and resources that you have no right to.
These unreasonable expectations end up controlling and stifling people.
The tricky part is, that when we care about someone, we can end up trying to accommodate them in whatever way we can.
Have you got a demanding person in your life? Maybe you are the one with a demanding personality, and you don’t realize it!
Here are the signs to watch out for.
1) They insist on deciding the details
Demanding people can come across as pretty bossy.
They want to be in charge of all the details. But this organization feels more like micro-management.
They’re not keen on others using initiative or common sense. They prefer you to follow instructions down to the letter.
The details are always designed to suit them the most, regardless of other people’s preferences or ideas.
2) They don’t value your input
Deep down, demanding people don’t really trust other people.
That’s why they can’t relinquish the need for tight control.
They’ll rarely ask your opinion or thoughts on something, or if they do, they don’t take it on board.
For example, they might ask you what you think is best, but totally disregard your answer and choose for themself anyway.
This can leave you feeling like your thoughts and emotions matter less than theirs.
3) They are inflexible to change
…Unless it’s them who wants to make changes of course.
Demanding people tend to be quite rigid.
They hate relinquishing control.
Someone trying to come along and change the plan feels disruptive to them, so they are likely to resist it.
Rather than adapt to the new, they cling to what feels familiar, tried, and tested.
4) They’re pretty impatient
I hold my hands up and confess that patience is something I’m trying to work on.
I know that I can get irritated very quickly when things don’t go to plan.
People with demanding personalities also have a very short fuse when it comes to delays or inefficiency.
They seem to have an inability to tolerate shortcomings in others.
If you don’t meet their expectations they’ll openly express their dissatisfaction.
They’re intolerant of others’ slip up’s or errors, and in part, that’s down to the next thing on our list.
5) They’re perfectionists
And that’s what demanding personalities all too often mix up. They set themselves up for failure because they anticipate too much.
They set unachievable levels for themselves and others, leading to constant dissatisfaction.
It’s almost as if they feel let down by life or the people around them if everything doesn’t always work out exactly how they hoped.
That deep disappointment then has a habit of spilling out through their emotions.
6) They sulk, guilt trip you, or get mad if you break their “rules”
As we’ve just seen, the more we expect, the more we set ourselves up for discontentment.
All that irritation needs to go somewhere, and so it is filtered into negative emotions that are often spewed on whoever happens to be around.
Demanding people seem to be in a perpetual state of grumpiness.
If you have the misfortune of being on their bad side, you’ll know about it.
They may give you the silent treatment or employ some other passive-aggressive technique to let you know they’re not pleased.
Or they get mad at you, for failing to meet one of their unreasonable demands.
Without the self-awareness to see how they’re behaving, they don’t recognize their desperate desire to control everything and everyone.
7) They have a ‘my way or the highway attitude’
That excessive need for control means people with demanding personalities have a tight grip over everything in their lives, even people.
They insist on having everything done their way, and if you don’t like it, you can hit the road.
They don’t seem to accept hearing the word “no”, and usually push back when they do.
They’re prepared to manipulate a situation if it means getting their own way, and they don’t even think there’s anything wrong with that.
That’s down to their misguided notion that special rules should apply to them.
8) They have an entitled approach to life
There is a clear sense of entitlement involved when it comes to demanding people.
They act like they deserve special treatment or privileges.
For example, they’ll expect others to cater to their needs. In fact, they often have a dependence on others to take care of them.
So much so that they may become irate when they feel they are not receiving the preferential treatment they believe they deserve.
Yet they don’t feel obligated to dish out any of the consideration they receive.
9) They find it difficult to compromise
If we’re honest, I’m sure most of us would admit we’d rather have our own way.
But that’s not always realistic, and it’s definitely not always fair.
We have to think about other people — their preferences, their needs, and their wants.
A total inability to compromise is one of the clear hallmarks of a demanding personality.
It’s selfishness to the extreme.
They don’t want to find common ground or consider alternative viewpoints. They want everyone to go along with them.
This refusal to negotiate or make concessions often leads to strained relationships and conflicts.
10) They expect others to mind-read
Not only does a demanding person often expect you to meet sky-high expectations, but often they expect you to do so by reading their minds.
Rather than lay out what they want from you, they leave it to guesswork.
Your only clue that you have failed to pass a test they’ve set for you is their disappointment and disdain afterward.
A lot of their expectations are silent ones, so it’s hard to even know where you stand.
11) Any good deed they’ve ever done for you is lorded over you
If you can avoid it, it’s best to never feel indebted to a demanding person.
If they do one small gesture or favor for you, you’ll never hear the end of it.
They will constantly remind you of how they put themselves out and imply that you owe them.
12) They cross your boundaries
Demanding personalities are often hypocritical without realizing it.
They create ridiculously strict rules and boundaries that others are expected to adhere to.
Yet they will happily cross yours whenever it suits them.
This double standard often comes from the combination of entitlements along with a lack of self-awareness.
They can be quite pushy, and not take no for an answer. Even if they know you don’t like something, they’ll keep doing it just as long as it suits them.
The next thing on our list is another way they are prepared to cross the line of what is appropriate.
13) They want to keep tabs on you
If you’ve ever dated a demanding person, the chances are they kept track of you pretty much all the time.
Demanding people often want to know where you are, what you’re doing, and who you’re with.
They don’t respect your right to privacy.
Trust isn’t a two-way street.
They expect you to trust them, but they don’t recognize that they should give that back to you through your right to freedom and independence.
14) They’re full of audacious requests
In the mind of a demanding person, nothing is too much.
You should want to be there for them and respond to all of their needs and requests.
Demanding people are ultimately very anxious and so often quite needy along with it.
Despite their attempts to look and feel in control, actually, they are scared of going it alone.
So they don’t take full responsibility for themselves and their lives, and try to pass the buck. This is what leads to their victim mentality.
They may make request after request. But as we’ll see next, the non-stop favors and special treatment still aren’t enough to keep them happy.
15) They always want more
The trouble with being demanding is that you’re never really satisfied.
Whatever you have or whatever someone gives you, there is an insatiable thirst for more.
The problem usually comes down to this:
Whilst they’re striving for more, they don’t stop to show appreciation for what they already have.
They don’t seem grateful for their blessings, instead, they just focus on what they feel like they lack.
The expression “too blessed to be dressed” simply isn’t a concept they’re familiar with.
Instead, what you often find is that they complain habitually. And that can create a very negative environment to be around.
Boundaries are your friend
When you are dealing with a demanding person, chances are you are dealing with an unreasonable person.
What makes it so difficult is how blinded they are to their inappropriate behavior.
That’s why bolstering your own boundaries is essential to protect yourself.
Be clear in your own mind about what is and isn’t acceptable. Be clear with them about what you are and are not prepared to do.
By being more aware of demanding behavior when we see it, we can develop strategies to more effectively communicate and establish healthy rules to shield ourselves from it.
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