Any time you start demanding others to bow to your desires, you show them your aggressive nature. Dictating how others will behave cloaks an aggressive streak and leads to unnecessary stress and conflict. It often causes hard feelings that can last a very long time.
For example, Ophelia doesn’t like to wait. When stopped at a red traffic light, she honks her horn the instant the light turns green again to make sure the people ahead of her in line pay attention. Typically, this delays a response from others as they sit there wondering if there is a traffic problem they need to heed. Her focus on getting on the move again prevents her from seeing that everyone is sitting there longer than they would had she been less demanding.
Impatience Shows Up Everywhere
This type of aggression happens on the road—a lot. People rush from one place to another, totally focused on their personal mission with no thought for the drivers around them. You have probably seen a driver fly down the interstate in the left (high speed) lane, demanding everyone to clear a path for them when they reach their exit. Tailgaters are yet another example to the problem, demanding people move faster.
Demanding drivers often create dangerous situations. For example, wanting to jumpstart as soon as a traffic light turns green risks a collision with someone running a pink light.
Demanding behavior often flourishes in the workplace as well. People push to meet deadlines, compete for resources and vie for sales in a tough economy. They demand others drop everything to attend to their needs, often with no prior warning.
Homes and other places are not immune. Any place people show up has the potential for demanding aggression and the related problems.
Demanding Is Disrespectful
Demanding people cater to your wishes happens when you over-focus on yourself at the expense of others. You expect others to bend to your demands with no regard for what the other person have in the works. It might be understandable on rare occasions. When it happens regularly, it leads to resentment, conflict and other problems.
When we over-focus on ourselves we don’t leave room to see the people around us. They feel unimportant and perhaps used and abused. Everyone wants to be seen. Seeing people recognizes their inherent dignity and value. When we feel seen, we feel good about ourselves and rise to our best.
Stop Aggressive Demanding
When over-focused, impatient or otherwise pushing hard, it pays to stop, breathe deeply a few times and look around. Understand the amount of time available will not change. Ask yourself who might offer help if asked politely. Let others whose help you need know as soon as possible that you will call on them; let them know what you will need and approximately when. Remind yourself, you have an urgency that others do not share. Above all, know that your behavior affects others and demanding, aggressive behavior requires cleanup actions later.
An old saying offers good advice: “A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part”. You benefit when you maintain respectful relationships at all times. The others didn’t cause your problems and don’t deserve to be treated badly.
It serves you well to remember—and see—those around you.