There are many actions - sociologists call them interaction moves or simply moves - that assholes use to demean and deflate their victims. We've listed 12 common moves, a dirty dozen, to illustrate the range of these subtle and not subtle behaviours used by assholes.
1. Personal insults
2. Invading one's 'personal territory'
3. Uninvited physical contact
4. Threats and intimidation, both verbal and nonverbal
5. 'Sarcastic jokes' and 'teasing' used as insult delivery systems
6. Withering e-mail flames
7. Status slaps intended to humiliate their victims
8. Public shaming or 'status degradation' rituals
9. Rude interruptions
10. Two-faced attacks
11. Dirty looks
12. Treating people as if they are invisible
It is hard to qualify as a certified asshole: a person needs to display a persistent pattern, to have a history of episodes that end with one 'target' after another feeling belittled, put down, humiliated, disrespected, oppressed, de-energized, and generally worse about themselves.
Before ending this Part 1, let me break a news to you: Assholes Suffer, Too!!!
Demeaning jerks are victims of their own actions. They suffer career setbacks and, at times, humiliation. A hallmark of assholes is that they sap the energy from victims and bystanders.
People who persistently leave others feelings de-energized undermine their own performance by turning co-workers and bosses against them and stifling motivation throughout their social networks.
Assholes also suffer because even when they do their jobs well by other standards, they get fired or sidelined!
There are times when acting like an asshole has advantages; we'll consider that later...