There's a lot of people that like nothing more than to make you feel small. They like to grind you down, mess you up, belittle you, drag you through the mud, torture you -- and all for the ever so slight, ever so fake feeling of superiority. Too many people, though, let them. Especially if it's someone they respect.
A friend of mine went through that today. Was made to feel all of two inches high as a giant boot came down. Hearing about it made me angry. Hearing the words "but I respected him" made me hate.
When you have people's respect you have to watch your words carefully. You have to watch how you phrase things. Respect is not easy to earn, and some ill-thought sentences can blow it for good. You don't have to censor yourself, but you have to think. If someone respects you, there's a reason for it. There is something there they see. This is a world where respect is as rare as honor and truth. Why blow that for a ten second feeling of superiority? Why jeopardize all of that with petty insults when you can cure the problem with a straight line of discussion that keeps your respect intact?
Maybe because your respect was never really worth it in the first place.
I dole out my respect based on many different factors. One of those is respect for yourself. I can't respect you if you can't respect yourself. When you belittle people to feel like a god, that's when I throw my respect away.
Honestly, I'm good at making people feel like they are shit. It's one thing I do quite well. I can cut deep and hard. I don't do it for the reasons I've outlined. It looks, however, like I might have to start.