Day One of New Year's Resolutions Hacks...
The arrangement didn’t last beyond six months. Turns out, factory work turned out being incredibly tough for the young man and he decided that he didn’t care much for it.
But you need a really solid reason to leave a very good job that someone helped you get – especially when you have to look your dad (the Pastor, not less) in the face and tell him you’re leaving said job. The young man found what he considered to be an admirable excuse and one his father would approve of. He said that there was far too much cussing going on at the plant. He simply didn’t want to be around all of the foul language.
When asked what he planned to do, he replied, “I’m going to join the Marines.”
TRUE STORY. Priceless and wonderful and as true as a cat’s attitude.
Let’s get to the subject at hand, or rather tongue, shall we….
So, how’s it going with those New Year’s Resolutions?!! Oh, don’t want to talk about it, huh? I understand.
I perfectly understand.
One of my own resolutions – to give up sweet tea and drink plain Jane unsweet tea instead – isn’t going exactly purring right along. I haven’t succumbed to the sweet white tempter, yet, but the day is still young.
I’ve been reading a lot of different people’s resolutions and got an idea (if nothing else, it’ll distract me from brooding about sweet tea). I decided I’d pick some of the resolutions that I know something about or that I think I could offer at least a few words of encouragement for people trying to sort them out.
One that stood out to me was the resolution to stop cussing. Unlike a sweet tooth the size of the Grand Canyon, this is not a problem area for me. I’m not sure if it was the case everywhere, or if it was a Southern thing, but during my formative years, women and girls didn’t cuss. If they did, it was frowned mightily upon. The guys did, when “the occasion called for it” but the gals?
So, I simply never had a problem with cussing, swearing, turning the air blue… whatever you want to call it.
The problem is there are plenty of people who never had a problem with it until they started hanging around (or married) someone who had a very real problem with it. Funny thing about less-than-desirable habits, they’re much easier to latch onto and copy than the good ones.
Ever wonder why that is? I wonder all the time and still haven’t figured it out!
I’ve known girls who never said a word that couldn’t be spoken in front of the Pope, himself, who started hanging around with people who cuss so often they seem like they’re talking in tongues. Within a year, I find myself hoping they never meet the Pope.
Habits rub off on you when you least expect it.
What’s more, Holy cats, swearing is everywhere! TV shows, movies, and mainstream music are to be kind of expected – but cooking websites, news stories, and commercials? WOW.
Now, before you think I’m clutching my pearls, here, or that individuals who have made this resolution are trying to be “holier than thou”- that is not the case. Swearing can prove to be a very embarrassing habit. The individual who swears as easily as they breathe will… not might… will drop their guard at some point at let out a string of profanities at the worst possible time.
What’s more, cussing in front of children (aka breathing tape recorders) has never and will never lead to anyplace worth going.
There are plenty of reasons WHY people want to quit (or at least cut way back on) cussing. The tips below can help them put the odds in their favor.
How to Stop Cussing and Swearing
- Most of the time, swearing is a result of anger or, at the very least, frustration. Simply put, while some people swear as though it’s a part of their everyday vocabulary (more about these birds in a minute), the average swearer does so because he/she has stubbed their toe, has more bills than money, is annoyed with a family member, or has been called upon to wait 5 minutes for a table at Olive Garden. If you tend to turn the air blue when you’re either feeling anxious or angry, recognize that and watch out for it. When you’re having a stressful day (or week… month… year?!) remind yourself that you are very vulnerable right now. This reminder will cause you to put your brain in gear before you open your mouth.
- If you tend to cuss as easily as you breathe and the words you’re wanting to get rid of roll off your tongue as easily as horse, lunch, telephone pole, or sweet tea.. you are going to have a little bit of a tougher road than the angry swearers. Why? You don’t differentiate between moods – you’d just as soon rattle off the &$*@s while happy and content as you would while stressed and angry. You will have to start paying EXTRA close attention to the words that come out of your mouth. I’ve known people who cussed during a conversation and then swore up and down they didn’t say one word, let alone 3,302. People, it would appear, aren’t in the habit of listening to themselves. Problem is – how are you going to improve your speech if you don’t really hear what’s coming out of your own mouth?!
- Crazy tip (but one that works): Come up with your own innocent word or phrase to use in place of the unacceptable ones. When I was growing up, my aunt had her own favorite.. “Shoot a monkey.” How’s that for southern? That became my own “colorful phrase” and it served me well. Over the years, the animal lover in me simply couldn’t abide by it, so my own words became “heck” and the recently updated “heckity heck”(hey, tough times call for stronger language). I’m also very fond of “holy cats” and son-of-a-gun. My mom worked with a lady who went with “doodle.” Yeah, that one doesn’t do much for me either. The thing is, this may be the only fun part of the whole process, so enjoy it. Come up with something that will be your replacement word/phrase, then take it for a test drive. Bonus tip: don’t go with rhymes or words that sound similar. You’ll defeat your purpose if you sound like you’re doing what you’re trying not to do.
- This is just my own personal opinion – but I wouldn’t ask for a “helper” on this one. I wouldn’t have your significant other, son, daughter, mom, dad, or friend try to “catch” you or point out your language. Seriously – that’s asking for trouble and is putting them in a very unfair position…. a position similar to placing them in front of a runaway freight car. Hold yourself accountable by listening to your own words because, unless you’re the easiest going, kindest, mildest person in the world… you are not going to appreciate being interrupted mid rant.