Good habits are hard to cultivate and bad habits are hard to get rid of!! Getting rid of a bad habit takes a lot of patience, perseverance, hard work and an open mind, considering the so-called ‘pleasure' or ‘satisfaction' we derive from it; think smoking for example. If you're one of those people who's given to swearing, everywhere and in everything you do, it's time you made a resolution to stop with this filthy habit. Given below are some suggestions on how you can go about doing just that!!
- Acceptance. Admit that you have a bad habit and swearing continuously is not doing you much good in your day-to-day life and work.
- Look for help. Once you've resolved to get rid of your bad habit, confide with someone in your circle of family or friends about what you want to do and how they can help you with the same.
- Get to the root cause. It is helpful to find out why exactly you have a problem with chronic swearing. For some it is a condition of the environment they live or work in - hanging with a crowd that thinks swearing is ‘cool', institutions such as the military or in prison where swearing is a way of life - for some it is a trigger or stress-point when reacting to criticism, or in a pressure-filled moment or in plain defiance of an authority figure in their life.
- Setting targets. It is important that you set small, workable targets in your quest to stop swearing. It's impossible to get rid of any vice or bad habit in a day!! Perhaps you can begin with making a conscious effort to keep expletives or swear words out of your conversation with a particular individual or group of people - say, your spouse or your immediate family. Otherwise you could also make it a point to avoid all swearing in your written correspondence or any other such step. Work exclusively on this one small goal till you've managed to stop or at least greatly reduced the amount of swearing you do in that milieu.
- The ‘carrot&stick' approach. Reward yourself every time you don't swear if you're the kind of person who responds well to positive reinforcement. Or if not, punish yourself or forfeit something you enjoy as a penalty for swearing. A rubber band around your wrist to snap each time you swear or a ‘swear fund' where you put in some money each time you curse are good examples.
- Think, talk and express yourself slowly. Slowing down your thought process or talking slowly or generally ‘looking before you leap' is a good way to become aware of each time you swear and to consciously avoid using such words.
Acknowledge that improvement will be a slow process, not something that will happen overnight, and do not be discouraged and stop if you do not see immediate results. Continue with your efforts diligently and you will find that in time you have managed to get rid of a very bad habit, and there'll be no looking back.