Not every jerk you meet is a bully. Sometimes, they are just being cranky.
One of the reasons I encourage people to be compassionate with bullies is because not everyone who is bullying you is a bully. Sometimes they are just people using aggression momentarily for some reason. If you don’t know the person, it’s not easy to tell the difference between momentary bad behavior and habitual bad behavior.
This is why it’s important to have compassion for people behaving badly. Getting cranky back at someone who is cranky doesn’t help anyone. This doesn’t mean you let people bully you, just because they are being cranky. You don’t. It’s best not to reward cranky behavior with compliance. Instead, hold your ground and calmly remind them to be respectful.
This technique is compassionate non-compliance and it does work. It’s based on the same techniques I teach on how to deal with bullies. You don’t reward the bad behavior. You reward the respectful behavior. And doing this, you train the person to be more respectful to you.
Even if they are habitually horrid, this technique will work because you will be teaching them that acting horridly doesn’t work with you. Even the most horrid of people are capable of learning this. And by being respectful and calm you will be “modeling the behavior you want instead of justifying further horrid behavior.