It’s so easy to de- people. Sometimes it’s words, sometimes it’s actions.
Assign a task to someone at work in a public forum and follow it with, “Don’t worry, I’ve asked blahblah to be ready to help you when you don’t know how to do it.”
Implying that you recognize that they can’t possibly know how to complete the task while also implying that other people of course no more than them.
Many people do these things without conscious thought. It’s a habit just like rubbing their eyes or sniffing their coffee when they first pour it in their cup. I think for many people it comes from a need to prove themselves better by showing other people to be worse. It’s an unpleasant habit.
It’s also easy to do in your personal life. To show that you are stronger, or smarter or at the least in control. It’s especially easy to develop these patterns around people that you know well, because you learn their weaknesses.
I try to watch out for this behavior in myself.