University of Vermont

Division of Student Affairs
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Health and Safety

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 comfortable and safe.
  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 to the student.
  6. Request that they treat you with respect.
  7. Address and contain the disruptive behavior that impacts the class, study groups, etc.
  8. Be aware of manipulative behavior.
  9. Refer student to resources that can address their needs.
  10. Contact the Center for Student Ethics and Standards (656-4360) to report disruptive behavior, which can include harassment and intimidation.
  11. Contact The Wellness Program for assistance if you are feeling personally impacted (800-828-6025)
  12. Contact the Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity (800-656-3368) if you are feeling harassed and it has a sexual or gender related harassment to it.


  1. Argue with the student
  2. Accommodate inappropriate requests.
  3. Ignore the problem and the impact it has on you and other students, staff, or faculty.

Last modified July 01 2014 08:59 AM