Sometimes it can be hard to find a word to describe feelings of stress, anger, or frustration. In these cases, swearing is considered an effective way of expressing your emotions and thoughts.
As children, we have been taught not to swear, because many curse words are inappropriate and offensive. However, studies show that people who swear a lot are more intelligent and make better friends.
People who swear a lot make better friends
A team from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Maastricht University in the Netherlands, and the University of Cambridge found out that people who swear are rarely connected with deception and lying. Moreover, they are genuine and honest.
Dr. David Stillwell, a co-author of the study and a lecturer at the University of Cambridge, stated that the bond between profanity and dishonesty is not simple. He added that swearing is inappropriate, but it could serve as evidence that somebody is honest.
The study was divided into two parts. The first part consisted of a questionnaire in which 276 participants were told to write their favorite swear words and to indicate the words that they often use. Moreover, the participants had to rate the reasons for using swear words.
Finally, a lie detector test determined whether they had been telling the truth or had written what they thought to be acceptable. Those, who wrote more swear words, were more honest.
On the other hand, 75 thousand Facebook users participated in the second part of the study. Researchers measured the use of profanity during the social interactions between the participants. They discovered that the participants, who used more swear words, used the pronouns ‘me’ and ‘I’. This means that they were using language patterns related to honesty.
People who swear are more intelligent
It is considered that people, who use vulgar language, do not have a proper vocabulary to express their thoughts and they are less intelligent. However, scientists proved the opposite.
Swearing is used for different reasons. For example, people use swear words to express emotions, to portray linguistic effects, or to pretend to be mean. According to psychologists, people, who use a variety of swear words, have advanced language skills and verbal fluency.
This means that people, who have an articulated speech, communicate more effectively by using swear words.
Swearing can be beneficial for you
A recent study has shown that swearing can be used as an effective way of soothing pain. The participants of the study had to keep their hands in cold water as long as possible. While their hands were in the cold water, they had to repeat a swear word or a ‘neutral’ word. On average, they were able to keep their hands in the cold water for about 47 seconds.
They stated that their pain was relieved when they repeated swear words compared to when they repeated a neutral word.
Richard Stephens, a leader of the study and a psychologist at Keele University in England, said that people should repeat swear words when they hurt themselves. He added that swearing is a common response to pain because there is a reason why we swear.
It is still not clear how swearing helps alleviate pain. It is thought that swearing activates some parts of the human brain that stimulate the fight-or-flight response, and then the heart rate increases, and people become less sensitive to pain.
The swearing effects depend on the experience of people
People’s experiences and the contexts in which they use swear words determine the effects of swearing. The appropriateness of swearing depends on numerous factors, including the relationship between the listener and the speaker, the socio-physical context, and the course of the words that are used.
Kristin Janschewitz and Timothy Jay, authors of the study ‘The Pragmatics of Swearing’, had non-native English-speaking and native English-speaking students rate the offensiveness of swear words and the possibility of imaginary situations including these words.
For the non-native speakers, the offensiveness depended on the experience they had with the English language, whereas for native speakers, it depended on age.
Swearing is not that bad
Studies show that swearing is an important part of everyday speech that helps people understand the link between how they behave and what they speak.
There are also other factors that find out how intelligent, cam, healthy, and happy somebody is. However, those who release their frustration with swear have a higher level of verbal fluency and are less likely to demonstrate violence when they are frustrated or angry.