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Dr. Chelsie

What The F#@% Is All The Cussing About?!

There have been a few articles and pop-media contributions about cussing and if it is good or bad and what it says about us as people. Basically it is simple and not easy.


If you are a person who cusses (I admit I am). Then you are said to have a more honest communication, possibly a higher IQ and that you are creative. This is all shown in some research, usually small batches but it also has some common sense that someone who does not hold there tongue for cussing would not hold there tongue to lie. There is also good research to support that cussing when you get injured, like stubbing a toe, releases MORE endorphins to help you manage the pain – cool trick huh?


If you cuss around people who do not like it, are jarred by the exclamations. Or are looking down on them, you pay the price. Socially, even those who cuss tend not to in ceremonies and serious events unless for punctuation that is purposeful or is a hammer lands on their toe (for the aforementioned chemical rush to aide). This adaptation or assimilation is to not anger or hurt feelings and to show respect for the situation. That is what people who do not cuss consider. They feel disrespected when someone cusses around them because they are not willing to show the restraint and politeness that then shows respect.


This then gets us into muddy waters. How much are you willing to do or even ask of others to get a show of respect? If someone can be more open, honest, and relaxed as themselves around you then is it ok to cuss? Or would you rather they hold back and watch themselves but show this respect? Are you showing disrespect by asking them to be different then they are just to please you (it is a 50/50 split on this issue).

Often the answer is in-between. I choose not to cuss much around my children or at work, but if I am home alone cleaning and getting things done – watch out! I may sound like a drunken sailor. Though I also choose not to hold back all the cussing. If a client cusses, they feel more comfortable when I mimic back the language. If I happen to cuss around my kids, I can teach them about social rules and norms and how to choose to hold to them and to stay out of trouble, and to not be black and white to say it is simply bad. What this comes down to then, is: When do you want to cuss and what are the pros and Cons in your situation?


Take Care,

Dr. Chelsie