A recent survey by CareerBuilder shows that 64% of employers said they would think less of an employee who repeatedly uses curse words, and 57% said they’d be less likely to promote someone who swears at work.
Half of the employees surveyed reported that they swear in the office. With such a large percentage of employees swearing at work, it seems like this habit is not only a hard one to break, but also one that can hinder a career. Here are some questions to ask yourself that can help you break the habit and flush away your potty mouth.
Why do you Swear?
For some, swearing is almost unconscious. And because swearing can be naturally ingrained into their vocabulary, words can slip without you even realizing it. It’s important to be aware of how many times inappropriate language is used while at work.
The common trick has always been putting money in a “curse jar.” But, consider keeping a jar at your workplace that’s not for money, but placing inexpensive tokens, trinkets, or other knickknacks that can be found at hobby stores into the jar every time you swear. When your shift ends, you can see how many times you’ve cussed throughout the day. It may surprise you to know how often it occurs. You could make it a game for other co-workers to put their color token in the jar if they hear you swear and you don’t realize it.
If you’ve noticed that your profane language comes from moments of extreme stress or dealing with difficult co-workers/management, then it may not be so much your swearing problem as it is work environment issues.
What Are Your Alternatives?
If you want to break your cursing problem, you’ll have to treat it like any other bad habit that you’ve broken over the years. It’s going to take a behavioral change, which won’t happen overnight. Keep a thesaurus at your desk or workstation, and when you have some free time, look up some alternate words for the curses you have been using.
Swearing often occurs out of negativity, which can dampen the mood for other co-workers. Instead, embrace positivity and strive to change your problems instead of complaining. Consider even the smallest annoyance a challenge, and feel proud of yourself for taking care of it cheerfully and efficiently.
Are Co-Workers Crutches or Cheerers?
Research suggests that sometimes environment can cause people to perform certain behaviors, even if they’re actively trying to stop. Try limiting your interactions with co-workers who encourage your bad habit. If you can’t alter these interactions, try changing the social configurations like taking breaks at different times than those who tempt your bad behavior.
Your co-workers can also help encourage you. The typical curse jar may be clichéd, but you can give it your own spin to get your co-workers involved. Try bringing popcorn kernels to work, and have you and your co-workers put one in a jar every time you avoid using a bad work or your colleagues help you avoid swearing. Once the jar is full, you can have a popcorn party when you’re on break.
Breaking a bad habit like cursing is all about training your conscious mind to eventually implement it in the subconscious. What have you done to curb bad habits like swearing while on the job?