Herzy described it well in the "authority" thread:
Originally Posted by Herzy
types use that function in different ways, depending on how they evaluate their position:
1) if they are in clear, unquestioned position of power over others: they will be friendly, jokey, relaxed and even understanding bosses. They see no reason to overly reaffirm their authority. If that authority is questioned, then, they will be brutal.
2)if they are in a situation where the levels of power aren't clear, and there is scope for rivalry and dispute: that's when they become bullies, intimidating, aggressive.
3) if they are in a situation where others have unquestioned power over them: the
types recognize that there's no point in fighting a battle they will lose, so they resort to ass-kissing. There is no better ass-kisser than an
type in a position of clear inferiority of power (assuming that they conclude that their boss will be susceptible to ass-kissing)
4) if they want something from you that has to be surrended voluntarily - like an agreement to buy something from them or to go to bed with them - they will resort to a variation of (3), that is, telling whatever bullshit is necessary.