Many people go on and on about why they didn't deserve to be treated a certain way (as if it would be okay to maltreat them had they indeed put a toe out of line).
But there's a difference between saying something just plain hurts in contrast to acting like it's only wrong because you don't think you did anything to deserve disrespect or offense.
But who deserves disrespect or offense? When is that halachically acceptable?
Whether we're Jewish or not, we're all made in God's Image.
And among Jews, there are firm laws about treating your brothers and sisters with generosity and compassion (even when you also need to treat them with din).
The truth is that even when we do something wrong, that doesn't permit the other person to respond past the boundaries of halacha.
To be exact, the other person isn't allow to be behave badly at all.
Sure, you may not like being called to a court trial or informed that your behavior was hurtful or wrong. But if the other person is correct, they aren't behaving badly by calling your attention to what you've done wrong and, when necessary, asking for compensation (like if you stole from them or something).
There's an implication that it's okay to hurt people who are wrong (whether purposefully or unintentionally) when actually, it's NOT okay.
Retaliation and open game with bad middot? Forbidden.
What about a Breaking Point?
For example, anger is considered avodah zara and disrespectful language is generally forbidden.
Yet it's understandable when a person lashes out at someone who has repeatedly and unrepentantly mistreated them in some way. Decent people strive to respond with dignity to difficult situations, but even a very good person still hits a breaking point.
The big indication in that kind of scenario is whether the person who lashes out feels ashamed or regretful at having lost control, even if the offender really deserved it.
Despite the decent person's recognition that the one who mistreated them is the real offender and that the mistreatment shoved them into a very strenuous nisayon, the decent person still yearns to have handled the situation with more dignity, better middot, and more emuna.
Of course, it's important to point out the obligation to scrutinize one's deeds in a such a situation.
The pain is from Hashem, Who uses the offender as an agent of that pain. You ask Hashem why it happened.
If indeed, you mistreated someone to the breaking point, inciting a decent person to lash out at you, then that should come through as you analyze the situation with God.
But many times, you'll discover another message Hashem wants to impart to you.
When someone confides their pain to you, it's important to sympathize, even if you see a reason for their particular challenge.
Because it still just plain hurts that person and it's possible to sympathize with that pain and confusion.
We don't always need to look behind the person for the reason.
We can just let go and be compassionate.