Cursing seems to be commonplace in today’s society, making it seem like a very natural way of speaking. However, if you find yourself swearing often then you could be doing more harm than good. Although the bad language synonym may generate some giggles or be the norm on many television shows, it turns out that it can seriously disrupt your life and the lives of those around you.
Here’s why you should swear off bad language, along with tips to help you do so.
It impedes effective communication
If you think profanity adds much-needed emphasis about an emotion you’re feeling, think again. Language expert James V. O’Connor (who is also the author of “Cuss Control: The Complete Book on How to Curb your Cursing”) says that spewing forth bad language can clutter your ability to communicate. Constant reliance on a favorite go-to curse word (something he calls “lazy language”) reduces your ability to wholly express your range of feelings and elaborate on your thoughts.
Young children pick up on a bad language
If you have children or are in situations where you’re around them, it’s very obvious that they’re like sponges. From facial expressions to observed behaviors, they pick up on everything and swear words are no different. Even if you’re in another room or think your child has engrossed in toys several feet away, don’t think they aren’t aware of the occasional f-bombs you’re sprinkling in phone conversations with a friend—even if you curse in a low tone.
Set a good example; the last thing you want is your little one to unleash a slew of curse words in front of the in-laws or in a public setting.
It creates a negative, ill-mannered society
I’m big on the power of kindness and the notion that cursing need not be as prominent as it is in society. After a while, we become numb to its use; a lot of songs are riddled with profanity, social media is filled with “WTF” headlines, and many of us speak as though our time in grade school taught us to use a curse word in every other sentence.
Observations on the Rise of Rudeness,” stating that today’s overuse of foul language is unnecessary. I’m convinced that daily doses of curse words fuel the problem, diminishing our ability to engage in more polite and tactful methods of self-expression.
It can destroy relationships
Much as others around you may laugh off or seem to ignore your cursing tendencies, the truth is that your use of profanity could jeopardize business and personal relationships. The aforementioned language expert O’Connor says cussing often makes other people feel uncomfortable (even if they don’t express these feelings) and therefore makes them less inclined to be around you. Many think curse words are used by complainers with perpetual bad attitudes.
Furthermore, the use of bad words tends to convey to others a lack of self-control, diminished intelligence, an inability to use language effectively, a sense of disrespect, and a level of immaturity. This way of representing yourself can be detrimental in both the business and social worlds.
Bad words have offensive roots
Sometimes, it’s easy to say a curse word without giving much thought about its true meaning. But when you think about it, many bad words involve sexual references (most notably the f-word), gender-specific slang, religious disrespect or reference to natural bodily functions. While a lot of people joke that we’ve become an easily-offended society and may dismiss vulgar language for that reason, it’s important to understand that what you may be saying goes way beyond an expression of traffic annoyances or coworker frustrations.
Tips to cut back on swearing
Experts say that if you want to stop your use of curse words, then you should turn to an idea that’s been around for a while: a cuss jar. Every time a bad word comes out of your mouth, it goes a designated monetary amount. Seeing coins or dollar bills pile up will not only make you realize how frequently you cuss but will hopefully make you more inclined to reduce your dependency on such words.
Others believe in the power of visualization to pull back on foul language. In other words, imagine your young child, grandmother or boss (i.e. people you wouldn’t want to hear you say such things) in the room when you feel the need to curse. Doing this often enough may stop your bad language habits in their tracks.
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You may also want to take the time to identify your triggers. Is bumper to bumper traffic enough to make you reach into your bag of swear words? Maybe you find that you say a certain choice word when you drop something or miss a phone call. Whatever your reasons, become more mindful of them and try to engage in behaviors that soothe you rather than cause you to curse up a storm. Play your favorite music while in traffic if possible, or learn to laugh off instances where you may be clumsy or bothered by a nosy colleague.