So are we men supposed to be bastards? If we're too nice, we're considered a wimp. I personally suffer from this dilema myself. See, I'm not one of those guys who screams at the McDonald's minimum wage employee because my grease-coagulated, diarehha inducing .99 cent slab of Grade D beef didn't arrive at the counter in 30 seconds. I'm not the asshole who insists on being in the middle lane, then holds up traffic to get onto the right-hand off-ramp because I couldn't be bothered to wait like everyone else.
Nope, see I was brought up that despite how wrong someone might be, (nearly) everyone is deserving of respect. I really hold this to be true of people at work. I almost always call that poor schlep serving me my Big Mac "sir" or "ma'am". I always say thanks to every waiter or server, even when they're in a pissy mood. Again, I understand how shitty it is to work in a customer service environment, especially for some of the most arrogant cocks on the face of the earth.
One problem with my easy-going demeanor is that some people, especially ML, will consider this a sign of weakness. Granted, there are times when being a complete asshole will get you a bit more. However, I always find that when you're an arrogant prick, people tend to remember that more than anything. So, if you're getting an attitude about that $6.99 steak at Applebee's, just remember that the cook in the back is already pissed off about making minimum wage, and then you send food back!!! You're asking to have your stuff spit in (that "special" glaze on your chicken is pretty ... uh ... special).
See, I always believe that while being a pushy bastard may have short-term dividends, people tend to remember that. For instance, as an attorney, I might be asked for a continuance by opposing counsel for a really good reason (i.e. death in the family, etc.). I could be a bastard and say "no". I might even win that trial .. but paybacks are a bitch. In law school, plenty of our professors warned us about this (especially those who had been judges). Sooner or later, you will need a favor from that attorney or his law firm. Think about whether you're going to get that favor .....
Also, I was never one of those guys who could fuck over a girl and walk away like nothing happened. However, women want the prick bastard while the nice guy gets shit on by an angry woman or he nevers gets a shot at all. It's the classic dichotomy: you know what's good for you, but you don't want it. You want what you know is bad for you .... and I'm exactly the same way