Swearing Experiment

I stopped cursing. Or cussing. Or swearing. Whatever you call it.

I was on vacation and decided to give it a try. Doesn’t mean I’ll never cuss again. But you have to understand my relationship with cussing and then I’ll tell you the benefits.

My parents are cursers. My dad is one of the best. He make Samuel L. Jackson look like a puppy dog. In fact, my parents cursed so much growing up, they decided they couldn’t stop us. The rule was we weren’t allowed to curse at them. It all started when I was six years old on the way to Chicago. My mother said, what do you guys want to do to pass the time? Play a game? Sure as (——-), we did. We asked if we could curse. And to our delight, she said yes. But only on the way up there.

Well, that did work out. My brother who was 5 at the time cursed out one of my well deserved uncles and by the time we got home we never stopped. There was nothing she could do.

I also remember having to go to pick up my older brother from school with my dad and younger brother. Apparently he said bull——. 

But I’ve cussed my whole life. It was part of my identity. Or so I thought.

Then I began seeing it proliferate through our culture. Everywhere I’d look, someone was cursing. But it seemed as if it were for effect. Gary V. for instance. Curses all the time. It’s part of his brand. God bless him.

But then I started seeing books like The Subtle Way to Not Hiving a F@&$. Great book, but the title is just another example.

Those things bothered me.

But what really bothered me is I found that I was using it as a crutch to fill in words when not necessary. But worse, I wasn’t communizing and connecting at my fullest.

I say something that was not meant to be hurtful. I’d use some colorful language and I’d have a hard time connecting with the person to get my point across. They’d hear the words I used rather than received the message.

So while on vacation I decided that I’m going to quit. And I did. I didn’t notice anything for the first week. There was a slip up here and there. But when I really came to notice the power of not cursing is when my wife got ripped off.

She thought she was booking a 4 star hotel on Booking.com. That wasn’t the case. It was false advertising and misinformation. When we got to the hotel it was clearly a 2 star at best and it had none of the sparkle or amenities promised. She was upset. It was our anniversary and she was trying to do something nice. So I got upset.

I’m a calm negotiator. It’s part of my job. I called booking dot com and they were understanding of the situation. Then my wife received an email from the manager of the hotel. The terms were in the description when we booked and she wasn’t going to refund our money.

So I called her. Cordial as ever, I explained that it was our anniversary, my wife was trying to do something nice, she booked the hotel, the information did not match what we’re buying, so we’d simply like our money back.

She said it wasn’t her fault my wife couldn’t read. To a curser, at that moment, when that’s said, you begin to speak and not realize you’re cursing because you’re angry.

Oh don’t get me wrong, I got angry. But I never cursed. I kept my cogent argument and didn’t let up. I kept hammering on the point that it was false advertising and she was stealing my money.

Then she claimed I was attacking her, which I wasn’t. But she couldn’t hang up because I wasn’t being mean and I wasn’t cursing.

Turns out she was just a bully trying to exercise what little power she had and she didn’t even have the authority to issue a refund. I had to speak with the owner. Mind you this is a little hotel. But she gave me her owner’s email address. I told him the whole story and within an hour I was refunded.

The point here is that I have changed the way I think and communicate.

I’m getting through to people that I normally wouldn’t and getting what I want. What more could you ask for?

I don’t know how long this will last, maybe forever. But so far, I love the results. 

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