Condescension And Human Nature

Human beings have a tendency to assume ignorance, naivete, and inexperience about others. Narcissists do this to an extreme, but most people do it on a regular basis to some degree. It seems to be another left-over vestige of childhood that we bring along into adulthood, perhaps because we never had enough cause or consequence to make us think about it.
So when another child cried, Matthew felt stronger in comparison, and assumed the other child was weaker, more delicate, or more fearful than himself, overall. He "forgot" everything else about the other child, how many times that child had helped him, comforted him, and protected him from bullies.
When another child struck out and displayed frustration, Susan felt more skilled in comparison, more experienced, and more confident than the other child, overall. She "forgot" everything else about the other child, like Matthew, like all the times that child had excelled in other games and sports, and the times that child had helped her gain confidence in her own ability.

Many children will simply isolate each incident and event, as if each event is representative of the entire picture. So on Tuesday at school, John wins the 20 yard dash; John now believes he is the "fastest runner in the school". On Thursday, Mary wins the 50 yard dash. John becomes very upset, and starts making excuses like his legs were tired, and Mary had better shoes, and Mary had eaten a candy bar, and he just didn't feel like running. But reality is that Mary usually wins their dash races, or comes in second or third. She has been one of the top runners in their class since first grade, but John simply seems to "forget" everything about Mary. On the day he won the 20 yard dash, he comforted her and told her she would get better if she kept trying.
Why did John do that? Because he's human, and humans do that when we don't pay attention. We especially do it to those who are younger or smaller, and we tend to do it more to females than males. We do it more to those who don't raise red flags in our subconscious about condescension. For example, we would probably do it much more quickly to a clerk than a manager. Much more quickly to a female trainee than a male trainee. Much more quickly to a short male trainee than a tall one. Much more quickly to a student than a teacher. Much more quickly to a female patient or client than a male one.
When we DON'T do it, it's not always because we are vigilant and aware, and respectful of others. It's often just because our subconscious gave us a little 'red flag' warning before we started talking, so we redirected ourselves and did not condescend. In other words, our tendency as humans IS to DO IT, and we don't do it, usually, only because we stop ourselves from doing it because of the OTHER PERSON, because of their size, their sex, or their position. Often factors like race, facial expression, or even the car they drive or their clothes and appearance, or their age can set off our little warning flags. If we don't get any red flag warnings, then we just seem to "forget" all about the evidence we have seen that indicate the experience, intelligence, and capability of that person, and we speak to them as if they "just jumped off the turnip truck". Most of us have this blind spot. We can become more aware just by paying more attention.