So I naturally started "caching" responses ahead of time. At night, or whenever my brain had idle time, I would review what happened during the day, and try to anticipate what would happen later and think about responses I could use. The problem with this, of course, is that things never happen the way you plan them. ;) So this technique has always been of relatively limited use. Thankfully, the original problem went away over time, as I gained more experience dealing with people.
Just the same, though, it was something I did (and still do) almost reflexively, constantly, for a long time. I think it's something a lot of people do; they spend a lot of time and thought coming up with "what-if" scenarios. Of course, these scenarios are always set-up stacked in one's favor, and are therefore at least somewhat (if not totally) unrealistic.
What started out as a semi-legitimate "coping" mechanism has quickly turned into just another product of the ego.
I think, right now, most of my thought patterns are what-if scenarios. What if my mom decided to rail on me for <something stupid>? (I get to play the "victim" role.) What if one of my friends' parents disowned him/her? (I get to play the "rescuer" role.) What if the hot boy in Physics wanted to do the nasty? (duh. I don't think I have to explain this one. Although, since this entry is public, I should throw out the reminder that it takes a LOT more than being physically attractive to get into my bed in "Real Life". :p)
Anyway, the point is, I think I spend a lot of time getting distracted by these things, which prevents me from paying full attention to the present moment.
And the point of that is, I need to get back on a regular meditation schedule. Which is something you probably already knew.
I've been better at meditating lately; I've been managing it once every few days, usually in the Gardens, which isn't really a garden -- or multiple gardens, for that matter. [Yes, that sentence is grammatically correct as far as I'm concerned, considering that "Sunken Gardens" is the name of a single place.]
Anyway ... this is just some food for thought.