Science has recently proven what a lot of us already know: the best friends are usually those without a filter.
If you think back on all of your best relationships, they're probably the ones that are the least reserved. Fewer reservations usually equal more fun.
And when you don't have any reservations with your best friend, you probably will speak freely and maybe let a few "bad" words slip out.
Although I try to keep my language as clean as possible around my kids, here and there a few cuss words slip out. I don't tell my son these words are "bad" — just that they're only for "grown-ups" — just like paying bills, using the big knife to carve up dinner... or listening to this classic Juvenile track.
And while there are a lot of people who believe that those who use "bad words" are uncouth or, to put it bluntly, stupid, it turns out that they're probably wrong.
And there's some solid scientific findings that prove, not only are people who swear a lot amazing best friends, but they're most likely more intelligent than your average human and even possess a heightened vocabulary.
OK, so maybe that vocab index is filled with 4-letter words, but seriously, there are studies confirming all of this, so just take a gander.
Psychologist Timothy Jay from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts wrote in, " Why We Curse: A Neuro-Psycho-Social Theory of Speech" the following:
"Curse words have been only of brief passing interest to psychologist and linguists. The absence of research on emotional speech has produce theories of language that are polite but inaccurate. Curse words are words we are not supposed to say; hence, curse words themselves are powerful."
It's hard to dispute that logic. Who doesn't feel good when they curse and it's completely warranted? Letting out a bad word at the right time is one of the purest pleasures this life has to offer. And there are other psychologists in addition to Timothy Jay, who concluded people who curse are more likely to be intelligent. Kristi Janschewitz also worked with Jay on another piece of scientific research called, "The Pragmatics of Swearing."
"People who use taboo words understand their general expressive content as well as nuanced distinctions that must be drawn to use slurs appropriately. The ability to make nuanced distinction indicates the presence of more rather than less linguistic knowledge," Jay and Janschewitz stated in their study.
People who swear a lot are often considered more "genuine" and "trustworthy". Believe it or not, this seems to be a fair assumption, as studies suggest people who curse a lot are way more honest, even when it comes to criminals. The study discovered a correlative link between a suspect's penchant for swearing and their innocence. Those who used a lot of naughty words in their interviews were more likely to be found innocent.
There's also another benefit to swearing: it helps people deal better with pain. It's the same concept as grunting or screaming when you're performing a particularly tough lift while you're pumping iron, bro.
In a Psychology Today study, participants in a research group who were exposed to cold water were divided into two groups: those who stayed silent and those who were asked to repeatedly swear during the exercise.
Those who cussed were able to keep their hands in ice cold water 50 percent longer than those who kept it G-rated. It's like my friend says: if you're going to complain, complain all the way to the finish line.
Although some people maintain antediluvian and "stuck-up" reactions to swearing, the research doesn't lie: people who cuss are better off.
Jay and Janschewitz's study concludes "The NPS [neuro-psycho-social] Theory overcomes these earlier shortcomings by viewing language in a more comprehensive fashion that includes offensive speech (i.e., cursing) as an essential element in speech comprehension and production processes. The result is a more realistic view of human language."
So curse away!
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