I have a personal simple rule of life: Nearly everything you put out comes back to how you feel about yourself.
This means that all of our thoughts and feelings in relation to what someone else does is typically an expression of how we feel about ourselves related to what that person just said or did.
Even if we're not fully in tune with our own emotional experiences, our response to someone can often be a clue to how feel about ourselves in relation to that topic.
A defensive response can sometimes mean that we're not fully convinced that what the person just said about us isn't true. Otherwise, it likely wouldn't have much of an affect.
Our instinctual response may hold a lot of clues required for effective self-examination. We can choose to keep it and use it nutrition or throw it back out as a weapon.
A "clap back" may hit you in the face harder than you think if you're using it as a tool to ignore an important reality within yourself. It also repeats the cycle of bad vibes out in the world.
Treat your output like a boomerang that might smash you in the face if it's not made well. You determine what it's made of.