Why we swear: the psychology behind it


Swearing is a natural human response to pain. We swear when we know that we have messed something up to a point where you have to restart the task all over again.

The problem is when people use profanity in their daily life conversations, most of it is used because they think that profanity packs more of a punch, especially when they are arguing with one another. What many people don’t realize is that profanity actually makes the person using it look like a fool. They are so frustrated in the moment that they can’t think of a better word to say the same thing.

If people refrained from swearing, then we would have a more intelligent-sounding society. Even though it is a natural response to some things, we really should try to control it. It is  a verbal offense to use profanity in most places, written into law as early as with the “Profane Swearing Act of 1694.”  If someone who uses profanity gets caught, they can pay a fine for the offense.

On the other hand, swearing can be a very good stress reliever. Some people who swear can put it to good use, such as a comedian, he or she can use profanity in certain environments, to help put emphasis into whatever they are trying to say to make everyone laugh. Swearing is an emotional outburst that people have in certain social situations. In a business environment, if someone uses profanity, it will immediately change the emotional appeal to the conversation.  In an article for The World of Psychology, Dr. John M. Grohol states that, ”Swearing injects a direct, succinct emotional component into the discussion.” It further states that swearing will change the emotional feel of the conversation.

Some people need a way to vent their emotions, and swearing is one of the ways they can. When using profanity as relief, people usually will say the word very loud. According to Cheyenne MacDonald at the Daily Mail, “swearing will still convey emotion, […] it is like a scream.” Swearing can also be used to get someone’s attention when it is really needed because swearing can instantly trigger an emotion, the person will react very quickly depending on the situation. Further, MacDonald states swear words could be more offensive than other words because they simply have a loud sound to them. Think of trying to say a curse word at something or someone softly. It would not have the same effect that saying it with force would bring. Therefore, it would not provide the same amount of relief as if they were to give it power.

Swearing can be a very offensive action to some, but its can also be a way for people to blow off steam. Some people choose to use profanity and others choose to reject it. No matter what they choose, they still need a way to relieve their stress.


Sources cited:https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/03/30/why-do-we-swear/ 1st The world of psychology