Sometimes you find yourself working with someone and no matter how kind and compassionate you try to be, you still think they are a jerk. Maybe they yell all the time or they are condescending or a back stabber. It might be tempting to yell at them more loudly than they yelled at you or to answer them with sarcasm or to plot your revenge.
And remember, when you act like the jerk everyone talks about it, you know why? Because you aren’t usually the jerk and so it makes the office headlines.
You want people to remember you as the person who can handle the jerks. You are the person who gets along with the difficult people. Remember, you are the adult professional, they are the jerk. In fact sometimes actually using this as a mantra (to yourself, not out loud please) can be helpful. It calms you down, helps you keep your cool and delays your response. It is always good to put some time in-between the words or actions of a jerk and your response. That way you can avoid doing or saying something that you might regret later.
If later what you regret is that you were too nice, fine. You can send me a nasty email or call me up and vent. Better to regret being too kind than to regret being too harsh.