Thought Trap #3: Hiding Your Emotions

“Never, ever, talk about your feelings.”

It’s the Nigerian man's unspoken rule. My Dad and I talk about business, work, faith, and money. But not emotions.

Sometimes I even hide the positive ones.

During the pandemic, I wrote my family notes on why I am grateful for them. I thought it would be cool to read over the holidays. Everyone needed a boost that year.

But when I thought of their reaction, I wanted to keep it to myself.

What if they think I’m being too sappy?

Thought Trap: Chasing Approval of Emotions

Ok, look at my thoughts and ask, “What am I chasing ?”

  • I’m chasing approval of my emotions

I want people to think I’m stoic and strong. Which is fine. But when I chase approval of my emotions, I’ll worry about how I’ll be seen if I share.

I’ll even hide things that could build people up. That doesn’t seem strong at all.

The Way Out: Appreciate Your Emotions

We hide what we’re ashamed of, but we share what we appreciate.

Being controlled by emotions isn’t good. But the truth is, there are times when your emotions have helped you. Appreciating those times will give us the confidence to share.

When you feel anxious, write down two things:

  1. My emotions helped me when..
  2. I think they helped because..

Pro Tip: Keep your list going. Read it over for encouragement to keep sharing

Roadmap makes this super easy. It’ll give you instant, personalized encouragement to share how you feel. Try it out.

Steps to Share How You Feel

To impact people around us, we’ll have to take steps to share how we feel. Here are a few:

  1. Write down what you want to share. This helps us articulate it better in the moment
  2. Show up
  3. Share how you feel

Your Turn

At dinner, I read my gratitude list to my family. It was a bit awkward, but they ended up sharing why they were grateful for me. It was the highlight of my holiday.

I don’t always have a cute ending for you. But with the past two years we’ve had, we shouldn’t leave important things unsaid.

So, appreciate your emotions. Share how you feel. You’ll never know who really needs to hear it.



P.S: When do you struggle to share how you feel? Drop your answer in the comments!

TiOluwa Olarewaju

TiOluwa Olarewaju

I write about emotions and build tech products to help people live fulfilled. Some people call me sassy, but my friends call me T.O.
Austin, TX