As a kid, I was pretty good at following directions from my parents. You know, "Don't touch that," "Sit down," "Shut the fuck up." The one thing I couldn't get with is saying "Yes sir, no sir, yes ma'am, no ma'am." At first, they were pretty strict about it. But once they realized I was going to fight them every step of the way, they settled for me responding with "yes" instead of "yeah."
When I look back on those times, I'm actually proud of myself for standing my ground and sticking to what little principles I had at that age. The reason I refused to address adults as "sir" or "ma'am" was because no one really explained why it was rude to NOT do so. All I got was the same answer over and over again. "It's a respect thing and you have to respect your elders." I was never given a real why.
It seems I never broke out of that "why stage," because I'm still searching for a reason why my elders feel they are entitled to my respect. I don't even see the benefit of obtaining respect in that way. I grew up with the notion that respect needs to be earned. With that being said, how does being born x amount of years before me automatically lead you to assume that's enough to earn my respect? It just makes no sense.
Any way, I say all of that to say this. I've never been one to talk to people as if they're better than me. Don't get me wrong, I still show people the same respect they show me. I try not to talk to people as if they're beneath me, but more or less as equals. I still clean up my language around certain people for the sake of kids or my job, but you'll never hear me talking to someone as if I've placed them on a pedestal.
What's funny, is the more I respect someone; the more casual I am in conversation, because a lot of my respect is based on how well you can handle my bluntness. That's why I can talk to military, police or real street niggas like they're my homeboys. I figure if they can handle all the things they have to deal with in their lives, then they can handle my authenticity. I don't feel the need to bite my tongue for fear of offending them.
My mentality has always been, "Nobody is better than me." So I have no reason to talk to people like they're better than me, even when I converse with bad bitches. And I only mention bad bitches because that's most men's krypronite. For some reason, it takes guys a long time to realize that the easiest way to bag a bad bitch is to treat her like a normal ass person. Do not suck up to her. Most of them will respect your lack of thirst. At the end of the day, I'm "that nigga" and I don't have to kiss anyone's ass.