This is an essay.
It contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. This page is not an encyclopedia article, nor is it one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, as it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.
|This page in a nutshell: If someone attacks you personally, you should ignore it, rise above it, and continue to comment solely on relevant content.|
It is unpleasant to be personally attacked or treated uncivilly, but sometimes it happens – whether because another user is abrasive, or because they're angry. Personal attacks often cause the person being attacked to feel angry or trod-on, and often they'll try to pursue some sort of remedy against the mistreatment. It is tempting to respond to a user who personally attacks you by defending yourself, attacking them back, reporting the user to a community noticeboard, or by leaving an official "warning" on the attacker's talk page. All of these things are usually unnecessary and serve only to escalate the conflict you're experiencing.
An angry, heated conflict will rarely draw compromise, and frequently involves producing enormous quantities of drama. Different people have different concepts of appropriate and civil dialog, and this frequently causes unnecessary escalation of trivial misunderstandings (the conflict cycle). If at all possible, ignore and forgive the personal attack, and try to engage the other user in constructive dialog focused on whatever issue you were discussing. Focus on content, respect Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, and look for ways to de-escalate tensions and conflict.
It is also useful to apply the principle of "defend each other". That is, you should ignore people who attack you, but if you see them attacking somebody else, you can do the other person a favor and drop a quick (possibly private) note noting that their manner could be improved in order to facilitate a comfortable, collegial atmosphere.