Being Too Demanding With Yourself Leads to Unhappiness

Being too demanding, both with yourself and others only leads to problems.
Being Too Demanding With Yourself Leads to Unhappiness
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Written and verified by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Last update: 11 March, 2022

Naturally, you like things to go well. However, you know that your plans and aspirations don’t always turn out as you’d hoped. That’s because there are numerous factors and unforeseen events that are completely beyond your control. Nevertheless, not achieving the expected results can frustrate you. In fact, when demand demands too much of you, you can have a really bad time.

If this sounds like you, you’ve probably turned the attainment of perfection into an obsessive goal. This makes you feel uncomfortable and dissatisfied. Furthermore, your excessively demanding behavior and your intransigence with yourself and others can become a real problem. However, living in a competitive society often imposes unattainable goals on you. You need to know when you can demand a little more of yourself or when it’s time to take your foot off the accelerator.

Being too demanding

Woman stressed by her demand

If you’re excessively demanding with yourself, you’ll be aware of your failures and that you’re unable to achieve what you set out to do. This makes you feel bad. In fact, you blame and punish yourself and feel crushed inside. This attitude doesn’t benefit you in any way. It generates negative feelings such as dissatisfaction. This is often caused by imagined situations that don’t even exist. For this reason, you must accept that mistakes are part of everyday life and that not everything will always turn out as you expected.

Being so self-demanding isn’t virtuous. On the contrary, it can become a defect that brings you problems, both with yourself and others. It makes you uncompromising. This kind of attitude doesn’t lead to anything good. Because you can’t ask anyone for more than they’re capable of giving, nor should you expect others to be what you want them to be. Not all of us have the same abilities, tastes, and aspirations. Nor do we all see life through the same prism.

A self-esteem problem

Excessive demand generates stress and anxiety. If you’re self-demanding, you constantly seek perfection. Consequently, when you don’t achieve it you feel dissatisfied. This is a toxic emotion that leads to unhappiness. In addition, you tend to be susceptible and sensitive to criticism, whether constructive or destructive. For example, you can’t deal with anyone telling you how to do things.

The origin of this intransigence is generally associated with a problem of self-esteem. In other words, you don’t accept yourself as you are. First, you must learn to respect and love yourself as you are, with all your plus and minus points.

In order to stop demand from becoming a problem, your priorities and aspirations will have to change. Instead of chasing perfection, you need to be aware of your own limitations as well as those of others.

Projecting your demands on others causes emotional problems. If you’re a parent, you might frustrate your children’s happiness by continually demanding that they be perfect. This generates potential feelings of guilt and insecurity in your children since they’re made to feel that they never meet your expectations. Furthermore, they feel completely unable to do so.

Demand and relationships

Demanding woman with her partner

Excessive demand can also affect your relationship with your partner. Therefore, you must know how to measure the levels of intransigence to which you submit and with which you challenge your partner so as not to deteriorate or end the relationship.

When you’re in a relationship, you tend to project your expectations onto your partner. However, what happens when your expectations don’t match your partner’s behavior? You suffer and get angry. You may even blame them for being the cause of your unhappiness. That’s because your expectations haven’t been met. You might find yourself complaining “You weren’t like this before, you’ve changed”. Nevertheless, we all change over time. Otherwise, we’d be anchored to immobility which would prevent us from evolving. To love without demand is to love while also respecting the personal growth of the other.

Finally, being a demanding person doesn’t have to become something negative if you know how to manage it and set boundaries for yourself. As a matter of fact, demand can help you achieve goals and meet challenges. This improves your self-esteem. However, you must be aware that, even if you put all your efforts into doing things right, you won’t always get the expected results. Indeed, life isn’t perfect and neither are you.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.