Profanities are perhaps the only expressions in the world that need no language support, you express it and it is understood both in word and in spirit.
The receiver always detests it and the sender always gives it in a generous way.
Have you ever caught yourself off-guard with swear words which came out at an absolute wrong occasion or at an automatic mode? when you were actually trying hard to hold back or apologize for a slip of tongue?
Sounds familiar, don’t worry.
You are not alone, we all have been in such similar situations, struggling with our tongues and hard-wired profanities.
80% of the human species uses profanities as an expression of their disgust with something.
Observe anyone in distress or in a stressful situation, there are likely chances along with anger and agitation, either with people or the ongoing experience, swear words are almost used by everyone, what just varies is the vocabulary one may hold of it, ranging in from a less intense word like stupid to a F-Word.
So, let’s first understand the background.
Our brain is designed in a way, which has a primary aim to safeguard and protect us, therefore stress and safety go hand in hand, especially when it comes to the working of the mind
Somebody cuts you on the road
An irate customer
An obstinate child throwing tantrums
A heated argument between a couple
Dealing with a toxic boss
A mean acquaintance
A nosy neighbor
A wicked co-worker.
All the listed above situations have one thing in common and that is, it is a description of an unpleasant experience, creating a stressful situation.
Whenever we feel distressed and feel the need to express our anguish, fear, disgust, or overwhelming emotions, most of us use expressions both in language and body to demonstrate it.
Usage of cuss words and foul language thus is one such extension of our emotions, most of us may resort to.
The tone, language, and pitch work like support functions to convey what is required to be conveyed.
But it’s a momentary way of seeking stress relief and reconfirming to the brain, not all is lost, and that you are still in control.
& What are the Facts?
What we speak to ourselves, holds a deep impact, both on our mind and body, similarly,
what we tell others and the way we tell also has a profound effect on the body and mind of others and of self.
On the contrary, it takes a lot of discipline to not react but respond in a way that does not hurt your body and mind.
( I have a complete podcast series on inner narrative and its impact on our mind and body, click here, if you want to access it or here to listen to specific ones)
Podcast 1 -Connection between mind and self talk
Podcast 2 – Become Stress free through distance self talk
Podcast 3 -How to identify what we tell ourselves
Culture of cussing
One of my clients from a different continent was surprised when I was working with him on a similar issue, and he came to learn, I have never used any swear words in my life, it left him with a pang of deep guilt as if he just realized what he never thought was possible 🙂
Having been born and brought up in a quintessential Hyderabadi family, usage of cuss words is as common as winking of an eye, use generously by both genders, and as you go further deep into the old traditional Hyderabadi culture, you will be more surprised to learn the usage of men’s way of converse in Dekhani Urdu in combination with cuss words used mostly by the womenfolk than men.
This practice is still prevalent today, and in my family my paternal side using it.
Example – Main ata tha – (I would have come) instead of Main ati thi
Main Nako bola -( I said no) instead of Main Nako boli
Alongside this language, teasing or joking around also involves a lot of cuss words usage, which makes the profanities not confined to only conflicts, but also a way to convey the informal relationship one holds with the other.
Despite an ear to the choicest of vulgar slurs, I’ve been fortunate enough to stay protected from using it, the credit here goes to my mother and my spiritual teacher, who early on taught me lessons on prohibitions of the tongue, through which I learn how language impacts both body mind and soul.
So, How do you practice & protect
Pro tip; So next time, you find yourself in a stressful situation, demanding that F- word from you, pause and give yourself just a 57 second break, stay silent, this is good enough time to hold back your tongue, body, and mind to protect you from getting negatively impacted by the language you were about to use.
It may take some practice to arrive at a situation where you are not operating out of automatic mode, but a well thought response, but it’s worth the effort than feeding your nervous system with foul language usage.
Remember our nervous system stores everything, it includes, even the foul language we use against our own self (negative self-talk) or toward others!
Results —> come with Practice!
Sometimes, actual results may take time, but you will be extremely pleased with yourself when it would manifest in a more poised and calmer you, more mindful and completely stress free in your language and body.
(c) Mehnaz Amjad – 2017 -2023
About the Author ; Mehnaz Amjad, is a Life Coach and a Cognitive Behavior Therapist,
I’m on a mission to empower people with strategies and tools, they need to cope with difficult times & navigate through challenging circumstances.
If you are in search of help to find a way out of your crisis, click to connect.