I often carry on conversations with people in my head. Wait, let's be clear: the people are not in my head; they are quite outside of it and very real. These imaginary bits of dialogue take place many times when I think of talking to someone but don't muster up the courage to do so. And sometimes they are planned out very minutely as if I will speak the words—at least my side—to the person, but I want to prepare first.
Rarely, however, do I let the thoughts leave my head, enter my mouth, and exit in speech. No, sad to say I let them, the two formless people—one being me—talk, laugh, cry, yell—inside my brain. The times they do get set free are usually when the person, whose words I make up, is someone I know. Unless the reason for the conversation is one better left unspoken. You know, when I'm angry and it's really quite good that I keep some words to myself.
But, say, there's someone I've just met or would like to meet and I want to say or ask something, then I will likely yabber away inside and leave the lips closed. This is potentially dangerous, for two reasons. First, what if I DO get up the moxie to talk and find myself referring back to that other time—you know that other time said person and I spoke—and all I get are Huhs? and awkward moments because he or she has no idea what I'm talking about because the conversation never took place. At least not outside my head. Oops. No, I don't think that this has ever happened. Please, please let it not happen.
The second danger could be the worst. Since I, imaginary-world person, get to invent both sides of dialogue when the conversation is in my head, what if, in accidentally speaking of it as if it had been real, I disclose characteristics of this other person that he or she does not have. I am making that person into a character in my twisted story, and I decide the opinions, beliefs, and words. Not too cool.
One might think that all this agonizing over should I speak, shouldn't I, and the fear that this role play might be a terrible mistake, would STOP the insanity! Ha! I just carry on all the more with this fake getting-to-know-you fudge and then write about it.