I know that we all sometimes think our answer is good or acceptable when in fact it isn't. Sometimes we fool ourselves in the moment, other times we stubbornly hold to our position. I've been a contributing user on and off since March of this year. I have no doubt that people sometimes vote out of rancour for another user, or sometimes to balance out a perceived unjustified up or down vote. There's not much we can do about these, and the lower rep users are powerless as voting is anonymous, and doesn't require a comment.
I'm posting this because it's been only in the last two or three days that I've noticed an increase of downvotes on my answers, and apparently this is the only the place to raise such a concern, out in the open. I'd like to give a bit of background:
I was arguing with another user about the connotation of a word. At one point they stopped responding to me after I specifically asked them for proof of a claim they made. It seemed to me that in a moment of pique they decided to stop responding to me. OK, I understand that. But then hours later I start getting comments from this user and downvotes to my answers from them. In fairness, some of those answers might have been bad, one of them had a clear error, whatever, I'm not concerned with those initial downvotes. When I bring up the point that they're specifically targeting me to look for errors or reasons for their disapproval, they tell me that I have a "persecution thing" going. Only minutes later they tell me that they're a high rep user(a bit over double mine) and I'm a low rep user, and that they're just browsing my answers, seeing as I have a tendency to give "questionable advice", and that they'll stop when they get bored. I've given 205 answers since March and only about 7 had a negative vote count of -1 or -2 before this feud started; now there are a couple more.
I can give a short list of downvotes I find unwarranted:
Sardony sarcasm, irony, satire, or what My answer is a synonym of the other answer, yet a user decided to downvote mine and leave the other untouched.
A word to describe things that reduce control A single-word-request. If you read the fill-in-the-blank section to the OP's example sentence in my answer, I suggest you'll find it fits very well.
Informal and maybe even childish word for "warranted"? Make of this one what you will, I don't know if it's bad, but it seemed a reasonable suggestion.
There are also others that have been downvoted by this user, but I only bring up these last three, as my other answers may well be bad answers, I don't know.
Also, it'd be typical to say this in my defence, but I'm not at all intransigent, I'm happy to accept I'm wrong. I've made friends with at least two users with whom I've had long not-so-happy disagreements with. Just yesterday I had a long exchange with a user, which wasn't friendly, where in the end I conceded their point, upvoted their answer and gave a supporting comment.
So I guess I'd like a diagnosis of whether I'm a paranoid schizophrenic. Either way it'll be a good self-discovery thing for me despite the actual result. Thanks.