I recently had a conversation with a former student who shared with me that she refused to verbally acknowledge her "boss," and her boss's boss as her "superiors." Soon after she started to experience one of the most insidious situations that professionals face, and are often reluctant to discuss: workplace bullying.
While the media is focussing on bullying that occurs in K-12 schools, workplace bullying gets little media attention - that's until the advent of YouTube which has a plethora of videos on the topic from professionals who study it, and workers who have experienced it.
Although workplace bullying is an issue, it's not the real problem; it's the symptom of a greater problem. Superiority complexes reflect deep rooted feelings of insecurity, and nothing can provide an insecure "boss" with a greater ego boost than a cowering employee who views them in the light that they want or need to be seen. Perception is reality...and her refusal to buy into her boss's self-perception was the greater problem.
I'm with her. I've never thought of, or referred to anyone, as my superior - and never will...especially at someone's insistence. I believe that no man (or woman) is your superior. So what did my former student do? She quit. Sometimes dissolution is the only solution. See what management consultant Mary Pearson has to say about the topic of workplace bullying.