I have to stop cursing. I curse like none other, and love the f-bomb more than anything. However, when the kids are here I quickly go into my replacement word mode, saying “shoot” and “dangit” all the time. Learning to quit cursing is all about learning replacement words and assuming that everyone you talk to does not curse, and it helps you to quit cursing in the home or places where you are comfortable cursing.
Since most of my family members don’t curse, it’s hard to place myself into that non-cursing mode all the time. Transitioning from hanging out with my friends who curse as much as I do, to hanging out with my dad or other family members who talk so squeaky-clean they get in trouble for saying “butt” or “fart”, most of the time it’s best that I don’t say anything at all. Here is how I learn how to quit cursing around people who don’t curse, and how it’s actually helped me to curse less in my own home where me and my fiance curse all the time.
Imagine everyone you talk to, including your friends and family who don’t mind cursing or who curse like sailors themselves, as someone you wouldn’t want to curse around. This could be a church member, your boss, the kids, anyone you wouldn’t be caught cursing dead around, and you’ll find yourself correcting your cursing behavior a lot more often, even when everyone around you is dropping the f-bomb with reckless abandon.
Record yourself talking a normal conversation with someone where you would normally curse, and then play it back to yourself. I did this on my cell phone, recording a phone conversation I had with my best friend, and I was truly appalled at how often I said a curse word, like every 4th word I was saying a big no-no. When you hear how you sound and portray yourself when you talk, it’s a real eye-opener.
Find replacement words for the curse words you DO say a lot. “Shoot”, “dang”, “freakin” (which is still somewhat offensive to some people), and “heck” are common replacement words to fill in the gaps that not cursing would leave. Get into the habit of using these words in your home where cursing is comfortable for you, and you’ll find yourself automatically using them instead.
While cursing is not offensive to all, it is offensive to some, and when you are in situations where cursing is absolutely inappropriate, knowing how to replace your words and being mentally aware that you need to is a great way to keep from dropping the f-bomb in public where it could get you a lot of raised eyebrows.