This question brought to mind 2 types of instances for me—1 negative, and 1 positive.
For whatever reason, I live in a world of imagined conversations.
If I meet someone interesting, my identity sort of disappears into theirs. I feel this rush of excitement that pulsates out in waves of pretend, endless dialogue.
If someone treats me as unimportant, I lose sleep and time with loved ones defending myself over and over in my mind.
Very occasionally, things get pushed too far, and the defensive words in my mind boil over into real speech. When that happens, there’s this awful “STOP!” feeling on the inside, where I’m overriding my conscience in order to lash out and deliver the imagined attack.
It never goes well.
The person shrugs. I realize how limited and petty I’m being—how unhelpful it is to be a hyper-agreeable “victim,” and that I should have stood up for myself intelligently all along (instead of daydreaming about it until too late).
On the positive side, I get to do things like this, which your question made me quite grateful to realize.
Basically, the internet allows me to slowly, methodically, and come to appreciate my own values as I work out my ideas one day and thought at a time.
That way I always get to say what’s closer and closer to what I want.