What Your Sweary Friends Need You to Know

I swear. Like a motherfucking sailor.

It’s not that I wasn’t taught how to “speak properly” or that I was raised in the wild with nary a manner to show for it. It’s just that I swear. It’s how I express myself. And I won’t fucking apologize for it.

If you have some friends or family in your circle who will never let an opportunity to drop a well-placed f-bomb pass them by (or if you’re one of those people yourself), here are some things you need to know (or some things you can probably relate to).

1. Just because someone swears doesn’t mean they are uneducated or inarticulate or unintelligent.

I have a Bachelor of Arts in English and I graduated top of my class, for fuck’s sake. I know how to string some words together and make ’em purty, m’kay? I just happen to find swearing a satisfying way of expressing my opinions.

And you don’t have to have a degree in English or to even have attended college to have an affinity for cuss words and still be articulate and intelligent.

Many people assume that because someone swears a lot, this means they lack the capacity to find “better words.” But swearing is not an indication of a smaller vocabulary. In fact, a recent study in Language Studies found that people who possess “taboo word fluency” are not deficient in overall knowledge of vocabulary and actually may have greater command of language in general.

So no, your sweary co-worker or second cousin isn’t stupid. They just prefer to express themselves in a manner the larger population happens to find unsavory. And they are 100% cool with that shit.

2. A sweary person isn’t socially inept or unemployable.

Just because we curse frequently doesn’t mean we don’t know when it’s appropriate to turn it off. I’m a teacher. You think I stand in front of my classroom and let the fucks fly? OF COURSE NOT. In fact, I’d wager that my students think I’ve never uttered a curse word in my whole life and cower in the presence of profanity.

That’s because I’m a professional. A relatively intelligent one. And while I may be awkward, I’m certainly not incapable of reading a room and behaving in a manner acceptable for the occasion.

We sweary types are actually quite in tune with social nuances and expectations, and we can adjust our language to fit the specific bill. And if we don’t? Consider that it’s not because we can’t; it’s probably just because in that particular instance, we don’t give a fuck.

3. Sweary people are often more honest and open.

If you think sweary people are not trustworthy, you are absofuckinglutely wrong. The same Language Studies research that revealed those who curse have larger vocabularies also suggests that sweary people tend to be more honest and open than their pearl-clutching counterparts.

You won’t find us foul-mouthed friends pretending life is lollipops and leprechaun queefs when it’s not. We’ll be loud and proud about our own shortcomings and, perhaps to your dismay, unafraid to shed light on your shitshow as well.

4. People who swear are stronger and less stressed.

Is there any better way to alleviate stress and push through pain than engaging in an expletive-laden fuck-it fest? No. No, there’s not. And there are some very real scientific explanations for why.

Researchers have recently discovered that people who swear in high-stress situations, such as discovering a deadline is sooner than they thought or navigating their way through a hostile and soul-sucking work environment, effectively relieve stress in so doing.

And it’s not just mental anguish that can be cured with a well-placed “MOTHERFUCK!” Researchers have also discovered a physical benefit to swearing. Those who curse while exercising and participating in painful activities are able to endure and withstand the discomfort better than those who don’t.

I mean, we are basically goddamned superheroes.

5. Sweary people make the best friends.

Looking to foster a friendship that will last? Gravitate toward the person who tells you to fuck off when you need it.

According to Michael Adams, author of In Praise of Profanity, swearing carries important social functions.

Bad words … bring us together. [They] are unexpectedly useful in fostering human relations because they carry risk….We like to get away with things and sometimes we do so with like-minded people.

When you find someone willing to test social boundaries in your presence — in this case, swearing — there is a huge element of trust there. Sweary people are willing to be vulnerable with you, which means they will allow you to do the same.

And I’m not even kidding when I will tell you that sweary people, when they find their tribe, are also fiercely loyal and will defend your ass to the motherfucking end.

So the next time you’re tempted to lecture your sweary friends and family for their language choices, remember these tidbits. And don’t shy away from those profane people — sidle up to them. They won’t bite (probably). And you’ll be so fucking glad you did.