We’ve all either had a friend who swears too much or been the friend that swears too much. There are people who give you judgmental glares out in public, and mothers that shout “Language!” after yet another of your foul-mouthed tirades.
But you know what they should be doing instead? Realizing that your potty mouth might actually be indicative of you being more truthful than people who don’t drop an F-bomb a little too frequently in their everyday speech.
That’s right! Science has already helped us discover that people who swear more might actually just be f*cking awesome, since they’re most likely smarter and have a bigger vocabulary than those who don’t, but now we know that they’re likely more trustworthy than the less inclined to curse every once in a while.
Just how did they come to this realization? Well, researchers from several prestigious universities — the University of Cambridge, Maastricht University, Hong Kong University, and Stanford — all came together to bring us some good damn news:
People who swear more are most likely being straight-up honest while they’re doing it.
The study, which was published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science Journal, consisted of studying nearly 300 people in a lab and also combing through online interactions of nearly 74,000 people on Facebook to determine how much higher the average “profanity score” was than the integrity index for the states they were in.
According to researchers, they were able to conclude based on the results that there was “a consistent positive relationship between profanity and honesty; profanity was associated with less lying and deception at the individual level and with higher integrity at the society level.”
Basically, if someone was being one hell of a potty mouth online, they were more likely to tell the truth than someone who didn’t curse as much. The researchers were also sure to state that the honesty they were looking at was “low-level, everyday honesty,” rather than something that involves police and jail time.
Profanity has long been related to being of poorer character or having less intelligence by some people, and there are still old fuddy-duds that get offended when they hear someone dropping bombs. But science is teaching us that while they’re right about profanity being a measure of character, it’s not in the negative light that they previously thought it was.
According to the researchers, when people speak without filtering their thoughts (i.e. cursing up a storm), they are more likely to be honest about what they’re saying than people who are putting those same thoughts through a brain filter and stop themselves from cursing when they really feel like it.
So, while their brains are screaming “F*CK! STOP TALKING!” their mouths are saying, “Yes, this is so interesting. Please do go on.”
Next time someone tries to chastise you for your colorful vocabulary, you can impolitely tell them where to shove those words while knowing that you are being 100 percent honest with them while you do it. And you can feel glad about the fact that maybe you’re also a little smarter than your non-cursing companion, too. Who the hell knew?