Overly Persistent Demands

Facts About Students Who are Demanding to an Unreasonable Degree:

  • Students who are demanding can be intrusive and persistent and may require excessive time and attention.
  • Demanding traits can be associated with anxiety; depression, personality problems and/or thought disorders, mania, and drug use/abuse.
  • Possible characteristics of students who are unreasonably demanding include:
    • A sense of entitlement
    • An inability to empathize
    • A need to control
    • Difficulty in dealing with ambiguity
    • Perfectionism
    • Difficulty with structure and limits
    • Dependency
    • Fears about handling life
    • Elevated mood
    • Drug use or abuse

What You Can Do

  • Talk to the student privately in a place that is safe and comfortable.
  • Remain calm and take the lead by making clear that it is a discussion, not an argument.
  • Set clear limits at the outset and hold the student to the allotted time for the discussion. Emphasize behaviors that are and aren’t acceptable.
  • Respond quickly and with clear limits to behavior that disrupts class, study sessions, or consultations.
  • Be prepared for likely manipulative requests and behaviors.
  • Call the Dean of Students Office 401.865.1782 for help with identifying strategies for dealing with disruptive behaviors.
  • Refer the student to Personal Counseling 401.865.2343 for counseling.

What You Should Avoid Doing

  • Arguing with the student.
  • Giving in to inappropriate requests.
  • Unreasonably adjusting your schedule or policies to accommodate the student.
  • Ignoring inappropriate behavior that has a negative impact on you or other students.
  • Feeling obligated to take care of the student or feeling guilty for not doing more.
  • Allowing the student to pressure or intimidate you to not deal with or to excuse the problematic behavior.