I recently traveled with my daughter’s high school soccer team for scrimmages out of town. All of the group meals and group events caused me a little bit of anxiety. I’m not very good at small talk and I feel slightly uncomfortable at parties and group outings. I tend to feel a bit lonely and out of place in these types of situations. I understand that my introverted tendencies are the main cause of the discomfort. I sometimes find myself feeling “the shoulds” coming on in these group outings. For example, my inner critic tells me “You should talk more,” or “Why aren’t you more like ‘so-and-so’?” When I become aware of this inner critic, I remember that my “self” needs me to support her and be her loving parent. I’m working hard to silence the inner critic. I would love to hear about your tools for quieting the inner critic.