To be demanding isn’t all bad, but there are many ways in which it can be unloving. It is one thing to be persistent in asking or requiring something, but excessively demanding one’s own way regardless of others’ rights or how they are treated indicates self-centeredness. Overly demanding people are not concerned with what others want because they are mostly concerned with themselves. And they can be very insensitive and uncaring when it comes to getting what they want. Demanding people are often forceful in trying to get their way. They might use manipulation, threats, or any other means to get what they want.

There is a controlling aspect in being overly demanding that actually leads to a lack of control. So the less control a demanding person feels in a situation or over someone, the more demanding they may become. Most people do not like to feel controlled or dominated. There is an old saying, “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.” Love requires that we give people freedom to be themselves, without any restrictions imposed upon them to meet our demands in our way.

Demanding people feel entitled to what they believe are their rights. They have certain expectations of people, and they disregard their boundaries if they are in their way. They have a difficult time taking “no” for an answer because the goal is to get what they want. As you can imagine, most people are not comfortable being around a person who is overly demanding. Their selfishness communicates a total disregard for the needs and desires of others. It is the opposite of love which is selfless and giving.

To be truly selfless is to enjoy giving others first place. Rather than demanding our own way, we can demonstrate love for others by considering their needs important and putting them above your own if possible. To be selfless is to put ours wants and desires aside sometimes and help others get ahead. It is to find true contentment and joy in considering what is in the best interest of someone else other than just ourselves. It is to seek their good. Selflessness also doesn’t impose its own expectations and desires on someone else. It allows people the freedom to make their own choices. Selflessness respects others’ decisions and loves them regardless of whether or not we agree. When selfless, we treat people properly and respect their boundaries. Selflessness is the essence of love. We cannot have love without selflessness.


What comes to mind when you think of someone who is overly demanding?

What do you do to get your way?

Has anyone ever described you as controlling or bossy? Explain.

Do you respect others’ boundaries? Explain.

How do you react when someone crosses your boundaries?

What does it mean to be “selfless”?

In what ways are you selfless?


The need to have our own way leads us to disregard the needs of others.

I can be open-minded and respectful of the needs of others.

I choose to be selfless and think of others' needs before my own today.

Love is selfless, yet it invigorates the self. ~Sue Atchley Ebaugh

Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life's deepest joy: true fulfillment. ~Anthony Robbins

Real love is when you become selfless and you are more concerned about your mate's or children's egos than your own. You're now a giver instead of a taker. ~Sylvester Stallone

Taken from The 10 Keys to Happy & Loving Relationships Part 8 (Love is Not Demanding) by Krystal Kuehn,

Copyright © 2006, 2010 Krystal Kuehn. All Rights Reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC is a psychotherapist, author, teacher & musician. She is the cofounder of New Day Counseling, a family couples counseling and child therapy center,, an award-winning, self-help and inspirational site where you can find hundreds of free resources, insights & words of inspiration to change your life, and where you can find beautiful baby poems, baby quotes, cute sayings & baby videos that will touch your heart & increase your joy & gratitude for the children you love & enjoy! Krystal is also author of several blogs: Give Thanks Journal, Be Your Best, Baby Poems blog and Words of Inspiration blog!