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Cursing Hurts

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Curses, foiled again! Most of us do it, even if we've been taught not to. We swear, we use profanity, we curse. Sometimes we cover our curse words with alternatives, like "you are so full of schmidt!" or "What the fudge?" But in the heat of the moment, most of us still let the profanity fly when we need to.

It feels good. It's cathartic, it's a release. In moments of anxiety, stress, fury, rage, anger or even excitement, it can unleash that wild, non-conformist part of ourselves that simply says, "Goshdarnit I'm full of vinegar and gumption!"

In relationships, though, there is a fine line between expressing yourself openly and being verbally abusive or hostile. In talking with your children, exercising restraint in your language is crucial not only for role modeling purposes but also because, well, cursing hurts. When they hear you using foul language it makes them question you and if this language is directed toward them, it can feel like a slap.

Similarly, with friends or lovers, no matter how angry you may be, it is wise to avoid these expletives. Saying what you want to say in an articulate manner will help keep you calm and if you resort to using foul language, you could potentially escalate an already heated situation.

As one bad word can lead to another, they are a sort of verbal weapon, a quick, decisive explosion of feeling, often anger, encapsulated in a shocking turn of phrase. Unlike the popular saying "sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me" words can and do hurt, words shape our thoughts, words represent us, words symbolize our feelings and ideas.

So, for real, cursing hurts. If your intention is to hurt someone, then you will succeed if you use these words. If it is not, it may be best just to keep quiet until the desire to use them subsides.

Using nasty words can cause irreparable damage to a relationship and can break trust quickly.

Just shut the fudge up until you can calm down a bit.

Aimee Boyle struggles with the verbal intensity of her students, family and co-workers and writes for EmpowHer.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.