Ruthlessness is an interesting phenomenon. Sometimes it’s essential. Take for example, the samurai warrior in battle – if he isn’t ruthless, he dies. Yet when required this doesn’t preclude compassion.
The warrior does what he/she has to do but always with compassion – no gloating in victory, no wish to inflict punishment, merely the intention and follow-through to get where you have to go with the minimum fuss and obstruction.
Ultimately everyone and everything that happens between you and everyone is an expression of the Tao, hence the need to be respectful at all times, along with the full understanding when others are ruthless with you, that none of it is to be taken personally.
A compassionate heart to you.