High Maintenance

What does high maintenance mean?

Requiring a lot of attention

High maintenance describes a person who needs a lot of attention, typically in the form of emotional or financial support. It may also be used to refer to a person who does not like to compromise when it comes to his expensive taste in clothing, food, homes, cars, etc.

You will most likely see high maintenance applied to females, although there are plenty of males that fit the description. Also, a high maintenance person is often in his or her most needy state while in a romantic relationship. The partner usually enables the behavior by giving the person the attention he or she seeks.

High maintenance may also be abbreviated as HM both when spoken and written.

Types of High Maintenance

  1. Needs emotional support - This is the most common and demanding type of high maintenance. An emotionally needy person is very sensitive, typically wearing his heart on his sleeve and may be high-strung, dwelling on past or present wrongs. He requires a constant stream of frequent compliments, reassuring statements, and doting acts or else he will self-destruct.
  2. Needs financial support - This is the most costly type of high maintenance. A financially needy person wants, or even expects someone to throw money at him, which is fueled by his expensive taste in clothing, cars, food, homes, travel, etc. This type of high maintenance person expects to be pampered with the finer things in life.
  3. Needs to look perfect all the time - This is the most vain type of high maintenance. The person doesn't want to leave the house without feeling and looking her best. She would never go out in public wearing sweatpants or without her makeup on. And while outside, she absolutely does not want to get her hair wet, break a nail, get dirt on her clothes, etc.
  4. Needs to be clean - This is probably the least annoying type of high maintenance because it benefits other people. This person is very particular about the cleanliness of her environment, even how other people clean. Think Monica Geller or Danny Tanner. She or he is not afraid to tell you how messy or disgusting your habits are. And don't even think about not using a coaster around them.

Is High Maintenance Good or Bad?

Most people see and use the term "high maintenance" negatively, but being high maintenance is not entirely a bad thing. After all, you have to have a pretty high opinion of yourself to receive the "high maintenance" label. And good self esteem is important, especially in the age of cyberbullying and trolling, right?


I can't believe he's going out with her
Yeah, she's so high maintenance
When trying not to appear high maintenance backfires
When trying not to appear high maintenance backfires

Related Slang


Updated June 8, 2018

High maintenance definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the slang term "High maintenance" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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