Thought Trap #4: Worrying About If They'll Hate Your Gift

Christmas means the dreaded search for gifts.

I was in a similar boat a few months ago. As part of our Nigerian custom, I needed to bring gifts to my girlfriend’s parents to ask for her hand in marriage.

Think Christmas -- but your relationship hangs in the balance.

I managed to get gifts that I thought they’d like. But as I was about to leave my house for the airport, I had the sickening thought you’re having now.

What if they hate my gift?

Thought Trap: Chasing Approval of Gifts

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

  • I’m chasing approval of the gifts I give

We should want people to like their gifts -- they’re who it’s for! But when I chase that approval, I either water down the gift I’m giving or I give what others find “more acceptable.”

I miss a chance to get closer to people by not giving from my heart.

Fuel to Overcome: Great Gifts You’ve Given

What if you had someone who reminded you of every good gift you’ve given?

You’d probably have confidence that you could do it again.

Giving gifts is hard. But the truth is, you’ve probably given good gifts in the past. We just need to remember them. When you feel anxious, write down two things:

  • One good gift I’ve given is..
  • I think that was valuable because..

Keep your list growing. Read it for encouragement when you’re anxious. Or try Roadmap if you want someone to do all this for you!

Steps to Give from Your Heart

When I’m not stressing about giving gifts, I actually love it. Gifts are a great way to say “I know you” without a word. Here are some steps to give from your heart.

  1. Write down how you want them to feel when receiving your gift
  2. Write down things they like & what you’ve experienced together
  3. Find a gift that incorporates 1 & 2
  4. Show up
  5. Give your gift

Tip: Take small steps, celebrate each one, and keep going! Roadmap helps you track all the steps you take to overcome Social Anxiety and see your growth. Try it!

Your Turn

Don’t worry, I’m still getting married. My gifts were actually well received. And I think they’re getting some use too.

So if you feel anxious this Christmas, write down the good gifts you’ve given. Appreciate them. And give proudly from your heart. That’s the best gift you could give anyway.



P.S: When is the most anxious you’ve been over a gift? Hit reply and I’ll tell you what I ended up getting my in-laws

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