SHOW AIRED Friday March 12th 2010 9:00 PM Eastern

They are demanding, sometimes demeaning. They can drain you emotionally faster than a cheating spouse in some instances. They have a prima donna attitude, and demand through their actions that it be catered to. Along with the emotions they can stretch financial constraints to the snapping point among their families, friends, spouses, boyfriends and girlfriends. They’re loosely associated with bipolar disorder, and flirt with the narcissistic line often, however neither of the two distinctions can accurately incarcerate the definition of their behavior and attitude more accurately than what they truly are. HIGH MAINTENANCE.

Lets get started by looking at High Maintenance Low Maintenance comparisons in four relevant context.  Those contexts are Emotional, Social, Financial, and birth order.


Low maintenance people don’t make mountains out of molehills. They are not drama queens. They can handle the little annoyances and disappointments of daily life pretty much on their own. They’re usually comfortable living by themselves, even though they’d welcome a life mate. While a high maintenance person can, and usually does, handle  little day-to-day emotional issues just fine, a confidant to listen to him or her vent about them and make the appropriate sympathetic noises is more precious than gold. High maintenance people have a lot of crises – usually ones of their own making. They are nourished by positive attention like other people are nourished by an all-day buffet, and tend to crumble like a burnt flower at criticism or negative feedback. Low maintenance folks use the criticism

or negative comments as guidelines for improvement.


Low maintenance people prefer not to be the center of attention. A quiet evening at home with their loved one and one or two close friends is their idea of a really good time. A quiet evening with their loved one and a good book or two or a movie is even better. High maintenance people, on the other hand, are usually the life of the party. It’s all about going out and doing something – anything!


This is the one a lot of women get charged with. It’s also the one that gets confused with gold digging a lot. High maintenance people tend to suck at handling money, which is why they often don’t have any – and could you possibly lend them a few bucks until payday? Low maintenance people may be flat broke – but you’d never know it. Their bills tend to be paid on time, and they may be living on red beans and rice or ramen noodles. They may get their books for a quiet evening at home from the library or a used bookstore – but they will never, ever ask their family or friends for money.

Birth order

High maintenance people tend to have been the youngest child of the family or an only child. Low maintenance people are either the oldest or one of many.


High maintenance people require constant attention and approval. They crave to be the center of almost every conversation and will often become symptomatic (moody, resentful, loud, threatening) when they are not. You’ll find your “needy” types under this umbrella. They analyze every move, thought, word and action of

others, and then read more meaning into things (statements, looks, sighs, attitudes) than was ever intended. They are easily hurt, quickly offended, quick to rebuke when they do not get the kind of attention they think they deserve. Threats of withdrawal or desertion become a way of life.

High maintenance people are difficult, sometimes impossible, even in the most relaxed of circumstances. They pick fights, find fault, and personalize almost everything. They argue with people who are closest to them for no apparent reason. They often pick on strangers (waiters, helpers). They often live in a world of cut-off relationships where others are idiots and no one understands. In short, high maintenance people can be worrisome as a boil on your but and are often times not worth the trouble.

“What’s a person to do ?”

Dealing with High Maintenance People

High maintenance people are all around us. They are the ones who call at three AM because their cat hasn’t come home, or the ones who complain about everything under the sun even when you have tried your hardest to make the event comfortable. They feel nothing is ever good enough, something is always wrong, and the things you own are not fancy enough for their taste. Whether you are hosting them at your house or just trying to remain friends there are a few

things you can do to handle them and the drama that follows.

If you are dealing with a high maintenance family member you need to remember that these kinds of people will never change and worse yet, they will never leave the family. You are going to see them at family events, get Christmas cards from them, and maybe even an occasional phone call. The most important

thing to do is to accept them as who they are and move on. These people are, hopefully, not going to be involved in your everyday life and you will only need to associate with them around others who are going through the same thing as you.


High maintenance friends are the hardest people to deal with. You chose to be friends with them and you feel it is your responsibility to be at their every beck  and call even when they have dozens of other people to call. These friends can be especially draining of one’s time and energy. You need to really think about what you are getting out of the friendship before you commit to staying friends. Just because you’ve known each other since middle school does not mean you have to wake up at 3 AM to help her look for your cat. It does not mean you have to listen to her every complaint when she or he refuses to hear what your problems are.


These are quite difficult to deal with but are easier to communicate with. If your spouse or partner is becoming self absorbed and is overly demanding this needs to be brought to their attention. You will need to explain that their demanding attitude is causing family problems and if it can’t be resolved then you may need to think long and hard about whether or not they are worth spending your life with them. Some people are willing to change and you should be willing to work with them until you know if it’s a lost cause or not. These people do not know they are doing this and are going to be very defensive. You are going to have to be patient with them and try to understand where they are coming from.


1) He’s jealous of your mama, friends, and family

2) He’s constantly asking your opinion and doesn’t do anything without you

3) He’s overweight, and thinks its sexy, and you need to cosign it. watch out for these types they need food and attention to feel good about themselves

4) He has more than one drama queen that emerges from the past time to time

5) He owns a nervous, barking yapping dog (dog is actually sick of him too)

6) He’s definitely has some chauvinistic ways

7) He’ll wait 8 hours for you to get home to cook his meal . As if he can’t boil a hot dog or order out.

8) He’s loud in a crowd always holding court as they say..

9) He wants to have “talks” over things you said that you already forgot about that may have “bothered” him

10) He obsesses over his looks spending more time in front of the mirror than you


10: She wears hats (not baseball caps), especially of the wide-brimmed variety. Nothing screams Luvvy from Gilligan’s Island like a damn hat-wearing


9: She’s a chronic high end shoe junkie. Women are notorious shoe addicts no doubt, but if you’ve got one that can only spell Prada and Gucci..look


8: She loves to order wine with dinner. Listen, eating out is expensive enough; I don’t need you to add another $36 for a couple ounces of liquid that

you’ll inevitably complain about. Truth: the happiest alcoholic moments in any guy’s life have NEVER involved wine, so we obviously don’t need it. The only

reason we have it is to pretend to be sophisticated so high maintenance girls can like us.

7: She refuses to drink water that comes from a tap, even if its filtered. This not only demonstrates high levels of maintenance, it shows that she’s

basically an irrational idiot too.

6: She comments on what you’re wearing I’m not talking about the guys who wear threadbare clothing or mismatch colors or whatever– they need to be

called out on that. I’m talking about you wearing a nicely pressed shirt that you’re pretty convinced is cool, and she just crushes it with the ever-familiar “Um, what

are you wearing?” or my personal favorite, “Where’d you get that shirt?”

5: You’re always late wherever you go, mostly because she takes six and a half frickin’ hours to get ready,. Now watch out, because this one turns

passive aggressive quickly. Soon, you’ll start to notice that she’s *especially* late when you’re supposed to go somewhere with your family or your friends. But

tread with caution, because if you bring it up, you can expect a royal crushing since she’ll get emotional and say ‘How dare you! I’m just trying to look good for

your friends and family because I want them to like me!’

4: Everyone can get away with things, except for you. Her family treats her like crap? She’s still their lapdog. Her friends totally stand her up? No biggie.

But you, my dear friend, better *always* be *perfect*. If you ever bring this up, wear armor. She will say something about how she holds her boyfriend/husband to

a higher standard and then you’ll somehow look like a jackass even though you’re right.

3: You try to do something nice, and she totally misses the point and finds the one possible thing you didn’t do right. Surprise her with breakfast in bed

and she’ll bitch you out for not making her favorite toast. Get her flowers and she’ll make some comment about it being the wrong season for the ones you chose.

She can find some wrong in Jesus and the Mother Mary.

2: You have to constantly worry about her at social events. You can’t just walk away and chat with some friends without making sure she knows where

you are or comes with you. She won’t mix with anyone, and all of her conversations are superficial and your friend’s all come away thinking she’s cold and/or bitchy. You can’t even go to the bathroom without telling her, lest she start looking for you and not find you for five minutes. You don’t want that to happen as you’ll get the royal bitch-out on the car ride home and she’ll threaten to not come to events again. You secretly celebrate that option, but can’t show it.

Number 1: She rains on your parade. Not a drizzle either, but Noah’s flood. If you’re happy, your girl should be happy. If you’re happy and instead your girl finds

little snide remarks that on the surface seem supportive but over time actually dig at you, you have yourself a high maintenance girl.


Author: Geo Gee

I'm a curious one that finds politics, social issues, and diverse progressive solutions interesting. I believe information and education are the most powerful weapons one can arm himself with. Those two dynamics alone open the doors to opportunities. I also subscribe to each one teach one for a better world for all.


  1. I think before we are quick to call someone “high maintenance” we should look at the expectations we create through the words we speak.

    Communication is key in any type of relationship be it a friend, family member, coworker, etc. When words are spoken, an expectation is created. Is it unfair to expect the corresponding actions that support the words that are spoken? If you’re not willing to follow through, don’t say it.

    I think many people are incorrectly given the label of high maintenance for the reason stated above. This is especially true in intimate relationships. For example, if there’s somone you want to be intimately involved with, but you have a million things going on in your life and are unable to nurture that relationship at the time, that should be clearly communicated so the other party can decide whether or not they want to wait it out or move on. This is only one instance where a person is incorrectly labeled as high maintenance.

    One just can’t assume just because a person chooses not to deal with a particular situation they are to be labeled as high maintenance.

    The truth is, in many cases, the one who is quick to attach that label to others is the one who is truly high maintenance. They have these demands and “needs” that no matter what you do to try to accommodate them, it’s never enough. They hide behind labels such as “sophisticated” or “complicated” when they are in fact very typical and easy to read. They seek attention and love from all the wrong types of people as they thrive on the attention these people give them. When someone comes along who truly has their best interest at heart and tries to encourage them to be all he/she can be, the attempts at showing true love, encouragment, and concern are often reciprocated with anger and discontentment. They never take the time to understand the heart of the person who speaks the words.

    With all of that said, I think many of us should really reconsider what we call high maintenance. Granted, there are those who really are high maintenance. But we need to consider if what we call high maintenance is really an expectation based on words we have spoken. We should also take a good look at ourselves and consider who is really the high maintenance person in the situation.


  2. Other than ordering wine at dinner (#8) I am not at all high-end according to your list. However I am very, very stylish!
    I will buy Jimmy Choos but only if I find them at a vintage store. And the price is right.
    I will drink water from a tap or even a stream. BEFORE I dip (naked) into it of course
    I won’t mind if my guy has on a clean pressed shirt that he likes; I will be too interested in what is inside the shirt. His courage I mean.
    I’ll only be late when I sense my man needs to come early
    My man will never be perfect; not even Michelangelo’s David is that!
    Treasuring me for being me is better than trying to please
    My man’s friends adore me; but not so much so that he is nervous
    If it’s a fish and fries dinner; it will be on the beach, watching the sunset, sipping wine and anticipating the skinny dip to follow
    If my man is happy I am happy.
    Oh – my flaw – I am told I have silky soft skin. I want to keep it this way so I wear a hat. Wide brimmed. Get over it. I don’t say anything about the shirt!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s