What is it that makes someone act like the biggest jerk alive? Is it their upbringing? Were they raised by a couple of jerks? Were their friends jerks? How can you befriend a jerk?
Maybe it's just a really bad day. I have been known to have bad days where, so help me, if one more jerkface says a crappy comment to me, he will feel the WRATH. And let's pretend this alleged "jerkface" says something like "hey, how are you?" and i take that to mean "hey, how are you, do you want to sleep with me?" and i bite his head off? He will see me as a jerk, I will be behaving like a jerk, all because I decided to be a jerk that day and assume everyone else was a jerk. It's not exemplary behavior, but I can excuse this more than just inherent jerkiness because sometimes we all have bad days, despite the good people we all are, deep down somewhere in there.
Except, maybe it's more inexcusable because they know better? And inherent jerks don't know anything different, having grown up in jerky ignorance. Hmm. Well, i don't know. People can change. But maybe I should just assume all jerky people are good people having bad days and unlucky me got the brunt of it. Maybe these jerky people have been exposed to nothing but jerks their entire lives. Maybe they don't have enough contact with nice people. Ok, the next time someone is a jerk to me I'm going to say, "you look really pretty today" in response. Unless it's a man. Well, unless it's a man who's clearly not a transvestite, where that comment would probably be acceptable and appreciated. If it's not a transvestite I shall say, "I like that color on you." Is a compliment on appearance not the best choice? hmm. A funny response might be to pause, give the person a weary look and then say calmly, "I bet there's a nice person inside there somewhere."
I sometimes have visions of taking a slimy creature aside and saying "you know, i don't appreciate that. It belittles me and is extremely disrespectful. But i'm not going to be angry at you. I will just assume you've been exposed to jerkiness your whole life and don't know how to behave. So, i'm sorry... that must have been hard. Do you want to talk about it?" Except maybe i shouldn't be making any offers because "talk" might mean something else to these people.
... and now i don't even know what i'm talking about anymore. flattering colors? jerky transvestites?? i don't know.