koko logo - a blue circle with the text 'koko - keep on keeping on'

Building others up


Your words matter… what you say, how you say it, your body language. It all has an impact on who you’re talking to.

Speaking negatively to a friend, family member or even a work colleague can have a huge impact on that person’s mental health. To think of someone before yourself and to think of the consequences of your words before they’re said can be all that’s needed to keep a healthy relationship with the people closest to you.

I get called fat, ugly, selfish, and I’ve been called a heart attack waiting to happen. Why? I’m a size 14 – 16, I’m 5ft 6inches, and I go to the gym most days. I go to the gym to keep my brain healthy. But being called these negative words has a major impact on my mental health. These words can spiral into an obsession over my weight, to weigh myself, to critique my body in any mirror I see. Being called ugly could lead to modifications in the way I look – fillers? surgery? And to be called selfish, is it selfish I volunteer my time to work with young people? Is it selfish I donate my blood? Any strong person can be fighting a battle, a battle of negativity.

I went shopping today. Before I’d left my house, I had negative feelings towards my body image. I showered, changed, dried my hair, and put my make-up on. As I went downstairs to leave my mum complimented my eyeshadow, saying it matched the bold colours on my t-shirt. I got to Nottingham and walked through the old Broadmarsh centre where a lady was posing for a photograph, I apologised as I walked past, and I had a compliment on my t-shirt. I thanked the lady and apologised again. Further down the walkway, a pair stood who were with the lady getting her photo taken and they also said it was a lovely t-shirt and they loved the colours, again I thanked them and continued on my way. I was being pulled up from this negativity.

When I was at the tills in one shop, the lady serving me complimented my eyeshadow, I thanked her and said I hadn’t used this eyeshadow palette in a while and had just been playing with the colours. She told me she didn’t have the confidence to play with make-up and make these bold looks.

On my walk around Nottingham, I found my way into a gym apparel shop. The assistants there also complimented my eyeshadow and also complimented my make-up.

These strangers and my mum can build me up and yet others who are close to me find it easier to tear me down. It’s so easy to offer kind words to others, so why don’t we always build up the people that we’re closest to? So, when you’re having a disagreement with a family member perhaps you can try to remember that the words you’re saying to them could already be an insecurity for them. Something they truly hate about themselves. How would you feel if somebody pulled you apart? Made you feel like you were nothing? Try and encourage each other instead.

Back to all blog posts