9 Ways Being Called “High Maintenance” Is Actually A Compliment

When it comes to dishing insults, a lot of guys like to stick to the same three or four adjectives. One such adjective is “high maintenance.” I’m not really sure when, how, or why being high maintenance became a bad thing, but it did—at least in the eyes of most men. Here’s why it’s actually really awesome.

  1. It means you have standards. For some reason, standards are a bad thing for certain guys. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because deep down, they know they can’t live up to the standards that most women have or because they wish they had standards themselves. Either way, having standards is what protects our hearts and keeps us from settling for less than we deserve.
  2. It means you give a damn. Whether it’s how you look, the causes you’re involved in, or the galas that keep you out late at night, people who are high maintenance give a damn—and giving a damn is really important. If more people actually took time to care about the world and humanity as a whole, this place wouldn’t be the disaster that it is.
  3. It means you appreciate the finer things. While you may be able to eat cheap pizza and drink $2 beer with the best of them, you still have an appreciation for the finer things in life, and that’s not a bad thing! From fine dining to visiting the best museums in the world to that pair of Louboutin heels that you technically don’t need but loved and had to buy, that’s just who you are and there’s no shame in it at all.
  4. It means you’re complicated. Oh no! Here comes another complicated woman! Run! (Just kidding.) Human beings are complicated, complex, and a whole boatload of wonder by nature. While there are those who are far more complicated than others, it doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing. Whoever said to themselves, “I really wish I were small-minded and simple instead of complicated and occasionally a mess!”? No one, I can promise you that.
  5. It means you pay attention to the details. Life is about the little things and the little things can be found in the details. Being meticulous and homing in on what needs to be done correctly is a talent that not everyone has. Many people don’t have the patience to look at the details but you do, so good for you.
  6. It means you like things your way. “Your way or the highway” is in no way an insult. It simply means you know what you want and that’s how you’re going to have it. If you want to pull a Sally Albright from When Sally Met Harry and order everything on the side? Do it. You want your coworker to start wearing deodorant for a change because you can’t stand the stench anymore? Say something. You only come around this way once, so you should have it your way. If that makes you high maintenance, high five! Welcome to the club.
  7. It means you have pride. While pride may be on the list of the seven deadly sins, it’s hardly deadly and hardly a sin. Pride is what makes people hold their head high even in the direst and most awkward of situations. It’s a strong sense of self and believing in oneself that is paramount to the success of someone. To be prideful is to know your worth, and to know your worth is beautiful.
  8. It means you don’t give up. Having dreams is great but having goals is better. What’s even better is working toward those goals every single day, giving it 100%, and not giving up until you reach the finish line. Then, once you reach that finish line, you push toward the next one and the one after that and the one after that. When we don’t have something to look forward to or a goal we want to reach, a part of us dies. Suddenly you’re standing there wondering what you have to live for and what you have to look forward to. If that answer becomes nothing, that’s a tragic state of affairs.
  9. It means you have zero intention of settling. Ever. People settle day in and day out. You don’t have to look very far to see someone settling and doesn’t it just make your skin crawl? High maintenance people, on the other hand, refuse to settle. They simply won’t stand for it. In a world where you can have the very best and have what you want if you really go ovaries to the wall, there’s no reason to settle. You know that—and you should never forget it.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.