The Truth About Cussing
As someone who has struggled with cussing over a period of twenty years, I feel it is important for me to share what I have learned about this supposedly more expressive form of speech. I won’t share the details of my own cussing story just yet. That’s in the works for a different post on another day. But I feel the fact that I have lived both ways gives me a different insight into this issue. So here are what I think are the four reasons why you shouldn’t cuss.
Note: My wife and I are considering writing an ebook about how to stop cussing. This page does not deal with how to stop. It just offers reasons why you should (or more accurately – why I did). If this is something you would be interested in, please leave a comment below or send me a message via the contact form on this site. We would like to hear from people who are interested in this book to help us decide whether or not to pursue it.
1) Cussing Is Repulsive
“Hey, mind if I smoke?”
“No, mind if I fart?”
Profanity is no different from passing gas or peeing in a public pool. It’s repulsive. It offends people.
I know that you might be thinking that it doesn’t offend your friends. Right? Well, sure. A room full of people who are okay with cussing is a lot like a room full of people who don’t mind if you pick your nose and eat the snot, as long as they can do it, too. Of course it’s not offensive to people who cuss as much as you do.
But none of us live in a vacuum. If it was just about our friends then maybe cussing would be okay. But it’s not. We must interact with people from all walks of life. It’s part of being a responsible human being.
So now you are probably thinking that you don’t care what anyone else thinks about the way you behave. You think that they shouldn’t be judging you and that they should just mind their own business. Right?
2) Profanity Is Selfish and Self Centered
There is a big difference between you not caring what people think and you not caring about people.
I agree. It is not a good idea to let the opinions of others cause you to say or do the wrong thing. We are not supposed to be motivated by popularity or the need to fit in. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that what we mean when we say “I don’t care what people think?” It’s not a rebellious thing. It’s really not about doing what I want regardless of what it does to others. No, it’s about being mature enough to make our own decisions and to not be distracted from what we know is right. Well, at least that what I mean when I say that I don’t care what people think. I refuse to let anyone manipulate me into doing what I know is wrong.
But to continue cussing because you don’t care what people think is really nothing more than a selfish act of disrespect. When you cuss, you are really saying that you don’t care about anyone else but yourself. That’s very different from saying you don’t care what they think of YOU. One is a selfish act of disrespect and the other is a sign of maturity.
The same is true for all rudeness. Passing gas, peeing in the pool, picking your nose, pointing at people (wow, that’s one you don’t hear about anymore), bad hygiene, not sharing, all of these are expressions of selfishness and disrespect to other people. If your excuse for doing these things is that you don’t care what people think, then you have it backwards. It is you who doesn’t care about other people.
3) Swearing Is Unintelligent and Lazy
Cussing is the act of a lazy mind.
This is probably the most cited argument against cussing. Most intelligent people will tell you that the use of profanity is a cop-out. It’s the easy way out of saying what you truly mean. This is why we associate cussing with a lack of intelligence.
This association is a little inaccurate of course. There are plenty of intelligent people who use profanity.
When we use fowl language, we actually end up not using the language part of our mind. What we don’t use, we lose. Right? So every time we cuss instead of articulating our feelings with real words, we put off the day that we become capable of expressing ourselves when we are emotional. Wouldn’t you agree that this is a valuable skill? How often do you look back at those times when you should have said something but the right words just wouldn’t come to you in the heat of the moment?
Like everything else in life, being articulate takes practice. But just as there are musicians who play the music fine when they practice at home – only to crash and burn in performances, there are also people who do very well expressing themselves until it actually counts. Usually when we are emotional, those are the times when it counts most. If we give up each time we become emotional, cussing instead of being more articulate, we never really learn how to communicate our feelings when we are actually feeling them.
4) Cursing Shows a Lack of Self Control
A lot of people think they can’t do this. They think they can’t control their mouths when they are emotional. Well, I disagree. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible. I cussed for about twenty years, from about 1980 to 2000. During that twenty years there were times when it was worse than others. I resolved many times to stop and only managed to reign my mouth in for a while before something emotional triggered another cussing phase. But in the end I did finally stop. (We can talk about how I stopped later, for now I just want to try to convince you that cussing is bad.) So when I say cussing shows a lack of self control, I am saying it from the perspective of someone who can say, “been there, done that.”
You know, I get the impression that “self control” has become something of a “bad word” in our modern society. People react as if the very thought of exercising self control is somehow an assault on their rights. WOW! If you are one of those who feels like self control is a bad thing, I beg you to take a really good look at what you’re saying.
Without self control, we are nothing but animals. And in fact, that’s what cussing always felt like to me, as if I was barking or grunting like an animal. Unfortunately, when you give up self control, it drags you deeper into the proverbial gutter where not only is it even more difficult to stop cussing, but other problems begin to creep into your life. And the deeper you slide, the more the cussing feeds on itself and grows.
Have you noticed that? Think about it. Once again, I am saying this from experience. Because cuss words have no real meaning, after a while they become ineffective in releasing our frustrations. We begin to seek more offensive words or try to say them in a more offensive manner because the less offensive ones just aren’t doing it for us anymore. After a while, we get to a point where every other word is “the F word” and even that means nothing to us anymore. It’s really like an addictive drug and the more we use it, the more immune we become to it.
I prefer to live a life that is not controlled by my body. As a Christian I believe that my body and soul must be submitted to the will of my spirit which is submitted to the Holy Spirit. This is what self control is to me, making my body conform to what I know is right.
But cussing is an act of letting the body rule the soul. It’s backwards. When we are irritated, we want to resort to the primal roar of cussing to make us feel better. But any time you let your body rule your life that way, you are asking for trouble.
Almost everyone I know cusses (even some Christian/religious people I know have their own substitution words they use for cussing – which really isn’t any different). Foul language has become as much a part of our society as smoking or drinking. It is not my place to judge or condemn anyone for it. I used to do it, too, and have no room to judge anyone else. But I know now what life is like without it and if I say I truly love you, my neighbor, then I cannot just pretend it’s okay. Yes, it’s your choice. But wouldn’t you rather live a better life?
Remember, please let us know if you are interested in buying an ebook about how to stop cussing. I would only want to do it if I could keep the cost down to $1.99. So we’re not talking a huge investment here. If you are interested in the book about how to stop cussing, please leave a comment below or contact us using the contact form on this site. Thank you!