How to Handle Demanding People

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Most people at some point or another must come into contact with or interact with a demanding person. This may be a one-time encounter or it may be on a regular basis on the job, in the workplace, or within some other organization or group. And there seem to be more and more demanding people now than ever before. This is probably due to cultural influences leading to some people becoming self-absorbed and developing a need for instant gratification. A demanding person can certainly cause frustrations to surface, but with the right positive attitude there are efficient ways to deal with demanding people. This article will offer steps on how to do that.

Recognize the characteristics of a demanding person: he or she is rarely satisfied no matter how much others do for them.

A demanding person always expects more and always thinks something could be just a little bit better.

Some demanding people may act rigid, strong and angry - if they don't get what they want then they unleash their anger on to others in order to threaten or force compliance with their wishes.

Other demanding people, however, may act pitiful and weak - this type of demanding person will whine and complain in order to try to get others to meet their demands; they use self-pity to try to get what they want.

Demanding people may also be manipulative and good manipulators. They'll do whatever it takes to get what they want (anger, rage, self-pity, whine, complain, attack, withdraw, tears, mixed messages, etc.). Their demands are direct attempts to control others. This stems from the fact that deep down a demanding person is an insecure person.

Now that you know the characteristics of a demanding person, you need to know how to effectively and efficiently handle and interact with a demanding person. First and foremost, remember that their demanding behavior comes from their personal, and almost always hidden, feelings of insecurity.

Know that if you give into the demands of a demanding person, you are actually hurting them more and condoning and reinforcing their behavior.

Try to understand what drives the demanding person. Why are they behaving this way? Think back to the characteristics. And then make a decision not to give in to their behavior. Be able to say "no". When confronting the demanding behavior, say something like "I don't think it is in your best interest or mine to do what you want me to do." If you continually point out demanding behaviors to the demanding person, you may foster positive change in that person over time (but also remember that these are ingrained behaviors).


Remember to always keep a positive, optimistic, and happy attitude and frame of mind. Don't let the demanding person bring you down. Don't take verbal attacks personally. Speak calmly and clearly to a demanding person.


Be prepared to be called "selfish" by the demanding person if you don't give in to their demands.