I’ve known since I was little and on up that I have not liked cursing. I find curse words offensive and see no use in them. I can’t say I have not cursed before because I’ve been around my family today and so many people curse. My parents use to tell us (me and my two brother) to not use that language.

Today though both of my brothers curse quite a bit and my dad curses more than he use to. My mom on the other hand she does it every once in a while. I believe hers is a slip through the mouth. My twin brother is the worst he uses curse words almost in every sentence and can be rather negative. I have told my brother I don’t like his cursing and he pretty much makes fun of me. I am thinking of having a talk with him a lone some point asking him what he sees in the point of cursing.

I guess my options are to say I don’t like it to my family and tell them how I feel uncomfortable and I think they are offensive. Or my other option is to move out and live on my own really soon to get away from it. I know there are many others out there that have the same thoughts as me. I’m not sure what to do in this situation. Is there something else I could say better to help them stop is the question or be assertive and say I don’t like it and how I feel.

A: As I see it, you have 4 options: Move out. Have a big fight over cursing. Try to negotiate some meeting in the middle. Or learn to ignore it.

Moving out will remove you from the situation but it’s likely to still go on whenever you visit. If having long breaks from it is all you are looking for, that might be a good option. Fighting about it or being confrontational isn’t likely to work. You can’t make other people do or stop doing anything. If you argue about it, they may just stubbornly tell you they have a right to talk the way they want to. It could even get worse!

You might be able to negotiate a little less swearing in the house if you can appeal to their better selves and tell them how uncomfortable it makes you. If you can do this without sounding like you feel superior to them, they might listen. Emphasize your discomfort, not that you think they are “wrong” to do it and you’ll have a better shot at a real conversation.

It could also be that one of the reasons your brothers do it is because you react so strongly to it. If that’s the case, it’s an immature but fun game for them. The best thing to do then is to learn to ignore it. If you don’t react, they won’t get the payoff they are looking for. You do have the option of becoming “curse deaf” you know, and just letting it roll off you.

At 23, you are old enough to analyze the situation and to consider what your goals are. If raising the issue will separate you from your family, is it really worth it? You do have choices.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Nov 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Uncomfortable with Family’s Reliance on Cursing. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/11/15/uncomfortable-with-familys-reliance-on-cursing/