When we left off Friday, I mentioned how work can feel like sixth grade. How?
On the job, we segregate into cliques. Within those cliques, we try to impress each other, gain acceptance, and even bully when we feel defensive. In all of these areas, profanity is often wielded as a sword.
It continues to amaze me how someone who habitually utters curses will feel slighted, angry, hurt, or afraid when another does so in their presence. Those expletives don’t have to be directed at them, just spoken in their hearing, for negative emotions to immediately change physiology.
I’ve conducted many informal interviews on the subject, and repeatedly, the story is the same. “When someone cusses around me, it makes me feel funny inside, even though I often do it myself.”
So what is this funny feeling?
Anxiety balls up in the stomach, and breathing changes from a relaxed, healthy flow to short, unfulfilled gasps. Blood pressure elevates, detected by reddening of the ears, face, and/or neck. And worst of all for productivity, the brain freezes for seconds or even minutes. Profanity changes us from someone free to get the job done, to someone temporarily paralyzed, and the time lost will never be regained.
Profane words are like magma melting inside a deep chamber. They generate energy, and as they heat up, they slither over, under, and into other objects around them.
So pay attention to the words you use — they matter. If profanity is a habit, consider how you feel at another voice raised to curse in your presence. If you’re responsible for productivity at work, in any capacity, know that profanity can keep you from succeeding. Yes there’s power in profanity, but it isn’t the kind that makes us prosper.
Has profanity burrowed into your everyday habits like an invisible plague? Is it adding negative energy, though you didn’t realize it?
Anita FreshFaith @ Work
James 3:10 (NIV)
Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Specialist, Certified Team Training Facilitator, Marketing Specialist, national speaker, and author. She lives in Missouri with her husband Ricky.
She’s passionate about business with integrity, healthy marriage, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences.