At a writing conference, I asked a writer about advice on networking. And she said to treat everyone as your equal.
There are certain situations you get it that have a hierarchy: at a writing conference, there are presenters and attendees. In college, there are teachers, graduate students, and undergraduates. Often, you are surrounded by people who are not on the same plane as you are.
But treat them as your equal anyway.
Treat the grocery store clerk as your equal. Treat your students as your equal. Treat your bosses as your equal. Treat your children as your equal. Treat random strangers as your equal.
When you start to really love other people and see their worth, you can make better connections with them. Your conversations are fuller and more vibrant. You gain empathy and can help others who need it.
You can learn together. You can feel like you are on the same team. You can find better confidence in yourself and better ability to encourage others.
Treat everyone as your equal.