So, you don’t like me swearing? Well, fuck you!

And I mean it! For a few great reasons:

  1. This is who I am as a person. I swear. Yet, I’m nowhere close to some folks whom you personally know! Listen, I’ve tried to suppress my authentic self in the past (be it on stage or the socials or even here) and it hasn’t served me well.
  2. I don’t see why I have to “pretend” that I’m clean in the first place! Sure, I might offend some folks but I’m mindful of not disrespecting people and totally understand the nuances of using parliamentary language when necessary. And yes, I might lose out on an opportunity or two if I’m in the market looking for a job or a speaking gig. But that certainly isn’t the end of the world.
  3. This isn’t some “marketing” strategy nor is it a facade. It’s just me!
  4. Scientifically, swearing is totally okay. It has major health (mostly psychological but also physiological) benefits as well! Read on to know more.

Now, be we go further, let me tell you where’s this coming from… a dear friend who thinks swearing isn’t required and even quoted some luminary saying that:

“Swearing is the strongest emotion of the weakest mind.”

Quite a statement. Ain’t it? But, I disagree. And I don’t want to waste my time with an explanation. Let’s look into the scientific reasons why swearing is great! First, with this fantastic interview, I heard on the Joe Rogan Experience.

Swearing can lessen the pain (Dr. Weil)
And there was a difference between the men and women participants – the women had a greater reduction in pain perception and a greater increase in heart rate when swearing compared to the men. The researchers suggested that the effect of swearing in response to physical discomfort may be to initiate the “fight or flight” response, which speeds heart rate and reduces sensitivity to pain.

Dr. Weil

It deadens pain and enlivens our emotional discourse.

We know that its effects are physiological as well as psychological; it raises our heart rates and releases adrenaline whether we use it. And taboo language is so fundamental to the way we communicate that even potty-trained chimps can invent their own swearing.

(Find out) The Absolute F-cking Best Swear Word For You

Self-expression

Swearing can be a way of showing that we really mean something, or that it is really important to us. That’s why swearing is so much a part of any sport. It also broadens our register and makes us more lively and interesting, being used, for example, to add emphasis or “punch” to our speech.

Hell Yes: The 7 Best Reasons for Swearing (Neel Burton M.D.)

Peer and social bonding

Swearing can serve to show that we belong in a certain group, or that we are able to be ourselves and be wholly comfortable with the members of that group. If done correctly, it can also signal that we are open, honest, self-deprecating, easygoing, and barrels of fun.

Hell Yes: The 7 Best Reasons for Swearing (Neel Burton M.D.)

Among the many reasons, pain, self-expression and social bonding are the most common reasons why people swear. Listen to this great podcast episode (which is surprisingly clean by the way!) featuring Benjamin K. Bergen, an accomplished linguist and cognitive scientist who says swearing can be funny, cathartic, and even useful!

Do read up Emma Byrne’s (who literally wrote a book on this!) insights on the fascinating history of swearing and much more at NatGeo.

Have men always sworn more than women? And, if so, why?

Definitely not! Historians of the English language describe how women were equally praised for their command of exceedingly expressive insults and swearing, right up to the point in 1673 when a book by Richard Allestree was published titled The Ladies Calling.” Allestree says that women who swear are acting in a way that is biologically incompatible with being a woman and, as a result, will begin to take on masculine characteristics, like growing facial hair or becoming infertile. He wrote, “There is no sound more odious to the ears of God than an oath in the mouth of a woman.”

Today we are horribly still in the same place on men versus women swearing. Although women are still considered to swear less than men, we know from studies that they don’t. They swear just as much as men. But attitudinal surveys show that both men and women tend to judge women’s swearing much more harshly. And that judgement can have serious implications.

Swearing Is Good For You—And Chimps Do It, Too

If you’re a visual person, this talk is going to making you fucking happy!

And that is it! Have fun, swear away, and have a stunning Saturday!

Published by KarmicWarrior

I'm a writer, speaker, leader, father, son, friend, a bookworm, and a warrior of life who never quits.

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