Scientists associate swearing with honest and genuine people, as expletives are used to express sincerity and raw feelings.
Finding a true and loyal friend these days seems to be quite a challenge. Many people have become self-centered and dishonest, and even more have lost faith in friendships.
However, don’t lose hope, as you might have looked for in the wrong place all this time! Yup, your soul mate might be among those that swear the most in your life!
We have been taught that swearing is an unacceptable habit, but science says that people who swear are more intelligent and possibly make better friends!
A collaborative team from the Maastricht University in the Netherlands, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Stanford and the University of Cambridge claim that people who swear are less likely to be associated with lying and deception.
Swearing is often used to express sincerity and raw feelings, so these people are considered more honest and genuine.
People who tend to swear to tend to let off steam this way and are less likely to harm themselves or others when under pressure. Swearing is their way to destress, and it makes them more honest and dependable than a person who doesn’t.
As swearing is basically an honest representation of one’s feelings, people who swear more are likely to be honest, so they make better friends.
Dr. David Stillwell, a lecturer in Big Data Analytics at the University of Cambridge, and a co-author of the paper maintains that there is a complex relationship between dishonesty and profanity:
“Swearing is often inappropriate but it can also be evidence that someone is telling you their honest opinion. Just as they aren’t filtering their language to be more palatable, they’re also not filtering their views. “
Researchers conducted the study in two parts.
In the first part, they asked 276 participants to complete a questionnaire and down their favorite swear words, noting which of them they use the most. Then, they rated their reasons for using them and took a lie detector test to check if they were telling what they considered acceptable, or they were writing down the truth.
The result?- Those participants who wrote down more swear words were less likely to be lying.
For the second part of the study, data were collected from 75 thousand Facebook users. Researchers measured their use of profanity during online social interactions and discovered that those who used swear words more often were more likely to use pronouns like “I” or “me”, which are language patterns liked to honesty.
If you are looking for honesty in friendship, a person who swears might be your next companion then! Nevertheless, note that this should not encourage you to insult others.
Swearing can often hurt somebody else’s feelings. Participants in this study are people with a rather colorful vocabulary, but they do not purposefully swear at people.
When it comes to intelligence, there is a general belief that people who use obscene language don’t have the vocabulary to adequately express themselves, something that is associated with lower intelligence.
Surprisingly, scientists claim the opposite. Swear words can be used for various reasons- for linguistic effect, to convey emotion, for laughs, and sometimes to be intentionally mean.
According to psychologists, people who can come up with various swear words have a higher level of verbal fluency, meaning they have stronger language skills.
Wait- there is more!
According to a study published in Neuroreport, swearing may be an effective way to relieve pain. Participants were asked to immerse their hands in icy, cold water and keep them there as long as possible. During this time, they had a choice- to either swear or say a ‘’neutral” word.
People managed to keep their hand under the water for an average of 47 seconds longer while swearing, and claimed they felt less pain in compassion to the time when they said a non-expletive.
Richard Stephens, a psychologist at Keele University in England and leader of the study, advises people to swear whenever they hurt themselves:
“Swearing is such a common response to pain that there has to be an underlying reason why we do it.”
Yet, the way swearing helps is still unclear. Some speculate that it activates the part of our brains that incite the fight-or-flight response, in which our heart rate climbs, and we become less sensitive to pain.
Swearing soothes emotional pain too, but as we swear more, the words start losing their emotional potency, and it no longer has the same calming effect. However, note that the emotional impact of swearing varies among us, and it is influenced by our own experience and the context.
A person’s personality, intelligence, happiness, and health is determined by numerous factors, but scientists reveal that those who release tension and frustration with an expletive more often are more honest, tend to have a higher command of the language, and are less likely to resort to violence when angry.
Well, that’s just enough for a good friend, doesn’t it?