Around the time that I started this job, someone on the internet had this advice for new faculty: if you act like a diva, you'll get treated like a diva.
In its original context, this advice was meant in a strictly limited way: the author was encouraging new faculty not to feel obligated always to be "team players" if that meant never saying no, never having time for their own research, and taking on burdensome service assignments while their other colleagues always seemed too busy to do their fair share. Those who act like divas by prioritizing their own needs and insisting on the value of their own work, argued the advice-giver, are usually accorded more respect--and their needs, time, and scholarship assumed to be more consequential.
I think of this advice often; in fact, I thought of it today when I had to send someone a cold, bluff-calling email: no, you're the one who dropped the ball; I will not make this ridiculous sacrifice because you didn't have your shit together--and in fact, if you can't come up with a better solution, I'll just withdraw from this thing that benefits me not at all but that you're depending on me to do.
But as good as this advice is in some contexts, it cuts another way, too. If you act like a diva--that is, like an unstable, impossible-to-please, crazy person--people will treat you like one: they'll say whatever they have to say to make you stop throwing things, and then vow never to work with you again. And unless your value to them or the institution is so high as to make you irreplaceable, they pretty much won't.
We're all familiar with the professor who swears he'll quit his job! if some minor thing happens or doesn't happen--or who tells you he'll never forgive you! if you vote a certain way in a department meeting, or teach a class he considers his exclusive property, or whatever. And in my experience, those people are not taken seriously. They're ridiculous, because their demands are out of all proportion to what they're bringing to the negotiating table. (You'll quit? Yes, please! You'll never speak to me again? Wait--is that a promise?)
The key to being a successful diva, I think, is actually to be a good team player. If it's clear that you value the mission of the place as a whole, and want it to succeed, and if you're pulling your weight on a departmental or institutional level, you can throw the occasional fit or make the occasional big demand when (and this is key!) you're genuinely being disrespected or not having your essential needs met.
And, of course, when you can live with the consequences. A diva doesn't say she's going to walk if she's not prepared to walk.