That's the at-first-blush lesson of "Do Nice Guys -- and Gals -- Really Finish Last? The Joint Effects of Sex and Agreeableness on Income," an article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. In it, researchers from Notre Dame, Cornell, and Western Ontario concluded that in the business world, it's not the nice, but the rude, people who get ahead -- get more money, more promotions, etc.
Author Amy Reiter took that advice and ran with it. As she described here, Reiter found folks more responsive to her the less nice she was.
But there's a downside.
Little surprise in this finding, which a "Nice Guys" co-author, Dr. Timothy Judge, reported to Reiter:
People attribute disagreeable -- i.e. self-interested, tough, argumentative -- behavior in men and women differently. If a man is disagreeable, he is thought to be tough and leader-like. If a woman is disagreeable, the ‘b-word’ is applied to her.