If only we could prepare for every situation.
I do a lot of two hour meetings with people I don’t know. There is no way to prepare in terms of how our personalities will mesh. Should I do x or y? I cannot decide until I must make a split moment decision based on the feedback from the person in front of me (both words and body language).
All of us face this type of interaction. If you ever take a phone call and do not know who is calling, or go to an event with strangers – you cannot prepare for what and whom you will encounter.
However, we can prepare through life. We can think about communication skills and read books and take classes. And we can learn from experiences. How might you have responded differently can be a useful question if you learn and are more likely to respond the way you want the next time around.
Life is training for the next go around.
Don’t beat yourself up, learn and move on.