(I didn’t mean to say that!)
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Have you ever gotten excited in conversation and accidentally let a curse word fly out of your mouth – at the wrong time, and maybe in front of the wrong people? Maybe you were in the middle of a conversation, having a great time, and something just slipped out. You didn’t mean to… it just happened…
That has to be one of the most embarrassing things ever! You apologize. You backpedal. You apologize again. But the deed is done, and you can be left looking like a butthead.
It happened to me just recently. I was having dinner with a friend and her “tween” aged daughter. They are devout in their religion and very strict about cursing. After hearing my friend recount a particularly amazing story, I exclaimed, “Damn…!” Their faces fell for a second and I knew I had crossed a line.
They did not say anything, but I could tell that I had made everyone uncomfortable for a moment. That’s not the kind of impression I want to leave on anyone, especially a young girl.
Let’s just face it, curse words can be fun!
Most people use them from time to time. They can prove a point. They can act as the ultimate punctuation.
But even now, curse words alarm some people. I am sometimes alarmed by who it does not alarm! I am very good about censoring my language. Especially around children. I usually censor my language at the last minute and say “heck”, “dang”, or “fiddle”. Most parents think I am being overly careful. “Oh don’t worry about it. They have heard it all before.”
I think that makes people more relaxed about letting things slip at inappropriate times. It’s one thing to accidentally curse in front of the child. They will eventually hear the bad words – it’s a matter of time.
It is completely different when you accidentally curse in front of someone who will truly be offended by your language. Your colorful language can negatively color their opinion of you.
Here I’m talking about prospective employers, clients, and people from another generation for whom cursing was truly an inappropriate expression – and always will be. It is not gentlemanly. It is not ladylike. People from other generations may consider it low class.
Whether or not you can use curse words for effective communication depends on your audience.
My mom was very skilled in her ability to wield curse words with grand effect. She was very ladylike, old-school, and proper. She never, ever used curse words. I may have heard them come out of her mouth five times – ever! But when they did, you knew she meant business!
When mom cursed, you knew something big was going to happen. You knew she was mad!
If you are anything like me, you sometimes use curse words as a sort of punctuation. They have a way of really getting your point across expressively. They have a place in your vocabulary.
You can learn to control your vocabulary so they become a useful part of your repertoire to be used appropriately in front of the correct audience.
The key is to use the appropriate word, with the appropriate audience, at the appropriate time and place to get the most bang for your buck communication-wise. If you plan to use these words, make them count.
The first thing that you can do to take control of your vocabulary and make it work for you is to set an intention about how you want to convey your ideas to other people. Once you have that intention, you can use tapping to really ingrain it into your mind and behavior.
Here is a tapping protocol that you can use to begin calibrating your vocabulary so that you get the most out of your communication with other people.
Let Tapping Help You to Watch Your Language!
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