If you’re having a hard time cutting the habit of cursing, you’re not alone.
Millions of people around the world curse daily in every language imaginable. Some use cuss words like punctuation. They’ve most likely been conditioned to do so by parents who couldn’t hold their tongue or temper.
Others react to circumstances such as accidentally hitting a finger with a hammer.
Still others trash talk to fit in, proving they’re one of the guys or gals.
Taking Out the Trash
It’s time to take out the trash talk with these tips.
Identify the triggers that set you off. Many times, it’s a manifestation of anger. And in turn, anger is a manifestation of core issues. Do a personal inventory of any grudges, unforgiveness, frustration, or past negative memories you may be harboring.
If you’re prone to curse when in a group of co-conspirators who “curse like a sailor,” let that ship sail without you. Find a way to encourage them to tone down the cursing, or find a different group of people with which to hang out
I’ve heard it said that having a curse cup or jar helps. The idea is each time you swear, you deposit money in the container. Positive reinforcement also works. Why not have two containers, one for the curse and one for the cure? See which becomes the best investment.
Create some kind of reminder. Tie a rubber band around your wrist, wear a certain ring, or carry a “Cut the Cursing” card in your pocket. When you feel the onset of anger and cursing, refer to your reminder. The very act of doing this will redirect your thoughts.
Recognize frequent cursing as a habit, and habits are hard to break. Studies suggest it takes at least 21 days to break a habit. Be willing to work on it. You’ll be tempted to give up, especially when you curse without thinking in response to a situation.
Select a substitute word. Select one with a sound similar to curse words you frequently use. This will make it easier for you to adapt and kick the habit. Practice saying that word so it becomes second nature. For example, instead of saying s---, say shoot.
Recognize what the habit of cursing may be doing to your reputation, your family, and even your career. Use that realization to motivate and encourage you to stop the cursing
Chill out! Frequent cursing could mean you're uptight. Find ways to remind yourself you can only change those things over which you have control. You can control your habit of cursing. Take care of yourself, physically, and emotionally.
Find someone who you can trust to listen to you and hold you accountable when you fall off the "cursing wagon." Commit to honestly informing them about your progress or lack of progress.
Get God involved. Prayerfully approach each day with the expectation and affirmation that the Lord will help you not only refrain from cursing, but also speak positively and patiently no matter what happens. Stay in God's Word.
Unfortunately, breaking a habit is not as easy as following the numbers, especially with cursing, when words can explode out of your mouth unexpectedly. It will happen. When you do curse, repent, and move on, recommitted to staying the course---cutting the cursing.
Listen to God's Words
And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person." (Matthew 15:10-11)
But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. (Colossians 3:8)
Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. (Ephesians 5:4)
Also read: Psalm 37:8, Ephesians 4:29, James 3:6-8,
In the Words of Others
"The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it." George Washington
"There ought to be a room in every house to swear in. It's dangerous to have to repress an emotion like that." Mark Twain
"Writers used to make such wonderful pictures without all that swearing, all that cursing. And now it seems that you can't say three words without cursing. And I don't think that's right." Ernest Borgnine
Think About It
Have you been around people who seem to use curse words instead of punctuation? What do you think that tells you about them?
When a curse word or phrase unexpectedly comes out of your mouth, what is your first reaction? Recall when this happened. What were the circumstances? What was the reaction of those around you?
If you think you curse too much, have you tried any of the above suggestions? If yes, which worked and which didn't? If no, review the above tips and chose two or three to try. Be patient with yourself.
Have you been around people who used the Lord's name in vain? What was your reaction? If you did not express displeasure with their words, consider how you could have approached the subject.