Recognize why you want to stop. Using bad words can reflect poorly upon you. In many circles, people who swear are seen as uncultured, uneducated, unrefined, immature, or worse. On the internet, swearing can get you banned from all sorts of social sites. Additionally, if you are using swear words directed at other people, you may be seen as a bully, unreasonable, or abusive. So there are many reasons to get your language under control. Take a few moments to consider why you want to quit, and how getting your language under control may improve your relationships and public image.
Notice when you curse. Figure out your triggers and bad habits. Get a notebook and a pen, and spend a week noting your cussing. When do you curse most? Is it around certain people, at certain places? Notice what are your environmental triggers. Is it when you are traffic? When you have an irate customer on the line? Is it when you are stressed, frustrated or angry? Write down the words and the situations for a week. This will help you become aware of your behavior, which is the first step in changing it.
Enlist help (optional). Tell some trusted, kind friends and family that you want to stop cursing and enlist their help. Ask these people to tell you when you cuss.
- If you do this step, realize that you will be getting critiqued. Decide ahead of time, if you can handle this kind of feedback. If not, skip this step. But if you do enlist help, make sure you do not get mad at your helpers for critiquing your cussing - after all, they are only doing this to help you.
Brainstorm other ways to express yourself. At the end of your observation week, spend an hour going over your notebook. Brainstorm alternatives to your cussing. Figure out other, healthier ways to express your feelings.
- Instead of saying "#@$% the management!", say "I am really frustrated with the management right now" or some equivalent. Note how much more powerful and better received your thoughts and feelings are when you do not cuss.
- You can also substitute more neutral words like darn, rats, flipping, crud, oh man, dang it, lame, shiz, sugar, shoot, etc. in place of your normal cuss words.