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"Exploring the Psychology of Swearing: Is it Just a Bad Habit or Something More?"



Think of when you spilled your coffee or tea, stubbed your toe, hit your shin, hammered your finger, heard some unexpected news, your favorite team scored in a game, or missed a chance to score. Or when you were pleasantly surprised by a friend or family member with a thoughtful gift.


Collectively or individually, we use hundreds of thousands of words daily. Words are so powerful that they can change our thoughts, feelings, and sometimes our performance. Despite their immense power, we are selective about the ones we use.


Why is that? The question is genuine. I am asking this question with full awareness: Some words are hurtful and should not be tolerated in any context because of their impact and the meaning they carry with them. Therefore, the words that spread hate and hurt are rightfully taboo in civilized society.  


If you are like me, you probably have a list of go-to swear words that seemingly relieve the tension, be it joy or pain. They roll off your tongue with such aplomb, and depending on the moment, nothing is cringeworthy about it. Your cohorts at a game, project completion, or concert will join in with a few swear words of their own.


What are your thoughts on swearing? Do you know an expert swearer? Do you find the person to be vulgar or honest?


Swearing in public places is usually frowned upon and seen as disrespectful to those present. Swearing at or in the presence of children is inexcusable for some people. Swearing is risky; depending on where you live, you can be arrested and charged for using indecent language in public. Some adults will even have flashbacks to threats from parents of getting their mouths soaped for swearing or cussing. Some parents have a laissez-faire attitude about their children swearing or cursing.


Swearing or using cusswords to express yourself to some people makes you appear to have a limited vocabulary, cannot correctly articulate your emotions, or lack emotional intelligence. Whatever explanations you hear about swearing or using cusswords, the associated irreverence gives euphoric feelings. You do not want to read or hear the swearing in my WhatsApp group. It is all-in good-natured fun. We have had members leave the group due to excessive swearing.


Yes, you want to be mindful of the context in which you use these words and to whom. Still, the allure of using cusswords to express oneself, while despicable to some, is quite empowering for others to swear in excitement or anger. In anger management, swearing at the other person is unhelpful, like pouring gasoline on an open flame. The result can be explosive.


Indeed, suppose we focus on the negative connotations of swearing or the use of cusswords. In that case, there is no place for it in society. However, swearing or using cusswords has been associated with positive benefits.


This post is not in defense of swearing or the use of cusswords wantonly but an acknowledgment that people do swear. More importantly, it is essential to recognize that swearing is not bad. Swearing can also be an exclamation of surprise, joy, anger, or pain.


Bleep, it felt good writing this post.

 

Empowering Minds. Inspiring Lives.  

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