I deserve to be heard. That's it. Bottom line. Everyone has a voice, and everyone should be given the opportunity to speak what they feel they need to say. The only restraint one should show is the benefit of the doubt that the person receiving the message might not have heard it correctly, initially. But if after a few rounds the conversation deteriorates to name calling or insinuating falsehoods, then we have a responsibility to ourselves to stand against it. If attacked in person, one has the right to defend against it; in a forum where it's online, the same should be expected. I will and they'll wish they had known me years ago rather than now.
My skills are still being refined and I don't necessarily always handle things the right way, but I'm learning and I think I'm getting better at handling myself at public assaults against my character. My primary goal is to ensure that the information or anything, for that matter, is accurate. Character assassination isn't my first instinct to pursue, and even when attacked, I don't usually go for the jugular. Sometimes I'm just fed up and I give as good as I get. I really don't like when it devolves to that and the majority of the time I say my last piece and move on. It's not worth it to me to continue if I my blood pressure rises. No one, no matter how mean or stupid they are, are worth it to me putting my health at risk.