Absolutely. Too bad a lot of folks don’t seem to understand that.
And some of the students I’ve had to deal with really needed to learn this lesson. I’ve had students who didn’t agree with me over the grades I gave them or with the way I taught the class, but some of them just didn’t seem to understand that when they approached me with a rude attitude, they had already lost whatever chances they might have had of persuading me to see things their way. The same was true when I worked in call centers. People would call up and complain about something or other, but blowing up at us (and sometimes resorting to what was outright verbal abuse) was largely counterproductive. The problem seems to be, in many cases, that people have the mistaken idea that anger/aggression equals assertiveness. But that’s wrong, because there’s a huge difference between proper assertiveness and throwing a “cornbread hissy fit” (as my father likes to call such tirades).
It can be very disarming to be treated with kindness when we expect an angry confrontation. Someone who actually listens to us, has earned a good measure of respect, as well as a hearing of his own.