Back when I was in the service, there was this small issue that happened that forever changed the way I feel about dealing with anyone else.
If you don't recall, a LARGE group of senior officers from the Naval Corps were at a convention, and took some serious "liberties" with the aides and staffers that were with them.
This led to quite a few court-martials, and some serious policy changes in the entire Navy establishment.
One of these directly affected me.
It was called "Sensitivity Training", and we were given the unique opportunity to sit in a small classroom for 5 days, and listen to an instructor tell us how we were supposed to react with everyone else we came into contact with.. Both male and female.
Now, I personally felt a bit insulted that I was lumped together with these strangers that I'd never met, but I did get my eyes opened a couple of times. (mostly because I tended to nap during the instructor's lectures!)
One of the most memorable times? During Non-Verbal Communication.
I was asked to give an example of something I'd seen that would demonstrate non-verbal communication. Being the smartass I am, I came up with this scenario.
"I recall one day where we were just coming back into port from a mission, and while up on the gangtower, we noticed *insert name here*'s girlfriend storming down the dock. Now, everyone knew that he'd been screwing around on the side, and everyone who saw her face just knew that he was going to be getting in some hot water once the boat was docked!"
As I related this, there was an Ensign sitting across from me. Female. Attractive. And agitated.
As my story kept going on, she kept leaning closer and closer to the edge of her seat. Once the story was done, she pointed at me, and blurted "I don't believe this! That's SO stereotypical!"
I nodded, and then said. "Maybe you're right, but watching you get ready to leap out of your seat while I was telling the story is another good example of non-verbal communication, wouldn't you say?"
After that incident, I was asked to not give my opinions anymore in the class, and I'd be given a "pass" grade.
Sometimes, being an asshole is worth it, you know?