Demanding Behavior

Demanding students can be difficult to interact with because they can be intrusive and persistent; these students may demand a lot of time and attention. Demanding traits are sometimes associated with anxiety, agitated depression, and/or personality disorders, but also occur in the general population.

Characteristics of demanding students include 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.

If a student is demanding:

Do

  • 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 boundaries and enforce them.
  • Directly and clearly explain which behaviors 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 or her needs.
  • Contact the Office of Academic and Community Conduct, 906-487-2212, for assistance if you feel harassed or intimidated and/or the student’s behavior is disruptive.
  • Contact Institutional Equity, 906-487-3310, for assistance if you feel harassed by the student and the harassment has a sexual or gender-related aspect to it.

Don't

  • 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 the student.
  • Feel guilty about not doing more.
  • Allow the student to intimidate you.

References