How to Avoid Saying Bad Words
Swearing is an easy habit to pick up, and a hard one to break. But if you are serious about cleaning up your language, it can be done. Read below for help on how to avoid saying bad words.
Become Self Aware and Plan
Recognize why you want to stop.Using bad words can reflect poorly upon you. In many circles, people who swear are seen as uncultured, uneducated, unrefined, immature, or worse. On the internet, swearing can get you banned from all sorts of social sites. Additionally, if you are using swear words directed at other people, you may be seen as a bully, unreasonable, or abusive. So there are many reasons to get your language under control. Take a few moments to consider why you want to quit, and how getting your language under control may improve your relationships and public image.
Notice when you curse.Figure out your triggers and bad habits. Get a notebook and a pen, and spend a week noting your cussing. When do you curse most? Is it around certain people, at certain places? Notice what are your environmental triggers. Is it when you are in traffic? When you have an irate customer on the line? Is it when you are stressed, frustrated or angry? Write down the words and the situations for a week. This will help you become aware of your behavior, which is the first step in changing it.
Enlist help (optional).Tell some trusted, kind friends and family that you want to stop cursing and enlist their help. Ask these people to tell you when you cuss.
- If you do this step, realize that you will be getting critiqued. Decide ahead of time, if you can handle this kind of feedback. If not, skip this step. But if you do enlist help, make sure you do not get mad at your helpers for critiquing your cussing - after all, they are only doing this to help you.
Brainstorm other ways to express yourself.At the end of your observation week, spend an hour going over your notebook. Brainstorm alternatives to your cussing. Figure out other, healthier ways to express your feelings.
- Instead of saying "#@$% the management!", say "I am really frustrated with the management right now" or some equivalent. Note how much more powerful and better received your thoughts and feelings are when you do not cuss.
- You can also substitute more neutral words like darn, rats, flipping, crud, oh man, dang it, shiz, sugar, shoot, fiddlesticks, etc. in place of your normal cuss words.
Start by Making Small Changes
Start small.Start to change your ways, but start small. Picking a small manageable task is the best way to form a new habit.Pick one place, one situation to improve in. For example, you may choose to start by no longer cussing while driving, or in front of your nephew. Just pick one situation, and spend the first week avoiding cussing in that one.
- When you (or your helpers) do catch a cussing in this situation. Apologize and rephrase the sentence without any bad words. This may seem awkward, but practicing talking without cuss words is the only way you will get better.
Punish yourself.Consider creating a swear jar. With a swear jar, every time you swear you put a dollar in. Now, to make the swear jar really work, you need to really hate losing that money. And losing a dollar here or there just isn't painful enough emotionally to be a real deterrent. Especially if you give that money to a friend or a favorite charity. Instead slate the swear jar money for something you really hate, like a rival political party. If you are Republican, make a commitment to donate all swear jar proceeds to the Democratic party. If you are Pro-Choice, make a commitment to donate all swear jar proceeds to a Pro-Life group. Now that will really make you clean up your language.
Reward yourself.When you meet your goal for that week - for example, no swearing in front of nephew - reward yourself with something: a night out, a movie, a good book, a massage.
Continue Adding Challenges and Practicing
Expand your challenges.Once you have succeeded in cleaning up your language in one situation (say in front of your nephew), add new situations week by week.
- For example, if you successfully did not cuss in front of your nephew all week. Next week do that, and do not swear when near playgrounds.
- If you are not successful at your first goal, then that means your challenge was too big. Make it more manageable. Instead of never cussing in front of your nephew, make your goal smaller. Such as, "I will not cuss before 8 am", or "I will not cuss at the drive through window". Pick a time frame and situation that you know you can do, then expand the challenge from there, week by week.
Practice patience.The key to success is to pick manageable situations and time frames to improve in. It will take time but slowly you will ease out of the cussing habit. It may take years before not cussing becomes your new habit. Self-improvement is always difficult but undeniably worth the effort.
QuestionI think I have anger issues, but then I think it's just hormones. I get disgusted so I sometimes mutter when I hear things that make me angry, like a boy saying something inappropriate.NujiyoCommunity AnswerIf you think you actually have anger issues, you should tell an adult and/or your doctor. But, if it is just hormones then I think the best way to prevent this is to just say it in your head, or use something like a stress ball when you're getting upset. (But to be honest, a boy being inappropriate is a perfectly normal reason to get angry.) Just think calmly and try to have a more "carefree" aura about the situation, you'll soon practice that enough to not go straight to saying vulgar words and instead work it out peacefully.Thanks!
QuestionI can't stop cursing. How can I get myself to stop?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust say more appropriate words rather than the really offensive ones. For example, instead of saying the F word, say, "Flipping" or "Freaking" or "Fudge" or "Frickin", and for the S word, "sugar", "shoot", "shiz", "shingles", "crap" or "crud."Thanks!
QuestionHow should I control my anger?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWhen you feel that surge of red in your head, take a small step back. Moving or touching something can help bring you back to reality. Take deep breaths. If nothing works, just make a smart, but not harsh sarcastic comment and walk away from the person. Get to a quiet place. Often punching pillows does help.Thanks!
QuestionI want get come closer to the Lord, but people around me make me mad and won't leave me alone. What do I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFirst, read the Bible and pray about your struggle. God wants to guide you personally in this: if you take the time to talk to Him about it, and to listen, He will show you what to do.Thanks!
QuestionCan rap music make me want to cuss?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt wouldn't really trigger your urge to cuss, but since so many rap songs have swear words, you would eventually become desensitized to them. It's okay to listen to rap music as long as there are no bad words, especially during those times when you're still training yourself to avoid cursing.Thanks!
QuestionHow can stop having the urge to curse without losing my friends?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou could try only using curse words on special occasions or when you're really upset. Your friends won't think you're a prude, but you won't feel pressured to say words that you don't want to. You could also just try finding a new group of friends that doesn't curse as much.Thanks!
QuestionHow can young ladies avoid using bad language?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerEstablish the good habit of speaking after thinking. You can also use replacement words, like "darn!", "sugar!" or "blast!" instead of more offensive terms.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if a person encourages me to say curse words?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDon't give in to peer pressure. If this person is your "friend," then they should respect if you don't want to cuss.Thanks!
QuestionWhat can I do if all of my friends swear a lot, and they won't stop?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerHave you expressed that you wish them to stop? If you have, and they continue to swear around you without any regard for your feelings on the matter, you might consider whether they're friends worth keeping. If they try, but still swear occasionally, work with that. Once it's become a bad habit, swearing is hard to stop entirely overnight. Be a good example and hopefully your friends will eventually want to change.Thanks!
QuestionI often swear at a person I really love, how can I stop?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYour apology must be sincere. No joking, no kidding about it. If he/she forgives you, then you should avoid swearing at that person in the future. If he/she doesn't, then give him/her more time to think about it and apologize again.Thanks!
To avoid cursing, set up a “swear jar,” and put a dollar in it every time you curse. Put one of your friends or coworkers in charge of donating the contents of the jar to something you hate, like a rival sports team or political opponent. To keep your money out of the jar, carry around a notebook and write down every time and place you catch yourself cursing. Once you start to notice some patterns, set a goal for a specific environment, like avoiding cursing at work or in traffic.
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Video: How to Stop Cursing | Good Manners
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