What Swearing Can Do for You
Swear words? It’s rarely acceptable to use them in public. A politician could end his or her career if caught cursing in the media. But the same is true of the less recognized business executive … or leaders of virtually any organization. Even within an organization, using swear words as part of your management style, particularly when angry, is verboten.
Yet we know that everyone uses swear words privately among colleagues, friends, and neighbors, as just an expression or even as humor. Politicians and celebrities also use them privately. They are particularly handy when something has gone wrong and a horrible situation has developed. You may even use them talking to yourself when no one else is around.
Now comes a study in NeuroReport which says that people who use swear words in painful situations experience less pain. Neuroscientists tested this theory in various painful situations, including the birth process, and the results were consistent. There’s an interesting summary by Juliette Siegfried on the HealthGuidance website.
This test does not change the public vs. private protocols previously discussed. But it does instill some respect for the power of swear words as a crutch — on the private side — to help lessen some of the pain you may experience when going through a challenging situation.