The importance of status has its roots in our hunter gatherer past. When we as a species were evolving, your position in the social group to which you belonged, could be a matter of life and death and so evolution equipped us with brain circuits that constantly monitor our relative status.
Even in trivial situations, like having a brief conversation with another person, deep in your brain there will be an awareness of your status relative to the other person.
The brain's centers that register physical pain are very close to, and share some circuits of the centres that register emotional or social pain. This is why we experience feelings as physical bodily sensations. We talk about hurt feelings, or a 'kick in the guts,' when another person is nasty to us.
A loss of status hurts - really hurts.