This news just in, my friends. It seems that cursing to high heaven after cracking your baby toe on the door jamb will actually make it easier to bear.
Of course, we already knew that, didn't we?
It seems, however, that some researchers weren't as clued in to the powers of yelling four-letter words for excrement. Instead, they constructed a study with the assumption that using profanity with pain would make it less bearable. They found the opposite.
Swearing does in fact dull our perception of pain.
Well @#$%, as a woman, I could have told them they were wrong. We are queens of pain management starting with cramps and culminating in child birth. We may wash out our kids' mouth with soap for naughty language, but we all secretly know they learned it from us when we slammed our head into the @#$%lift gate of the minivan.
In fact, I think we mothers could start a revolution. Who needs epidurals when we can just scream yippee-ki-yay motha-f&^%$@. Peaceful births? Tom Cruise's silent births? Oh, hell no, let's f-bomb those babies into existence with a well deserved holy f**********cccckkk!
I jest, but part of me says there is something to this phenomenon. Another part of me tries to cut out the bad habit I picked up in high school and the military. You know, the one that takes away the pain of driving behind the 95-year-old grandpa cruising a perfectly paced 26 MPH on the freeway with a well-placed word or two that my little ones absorbed like thirsty sponges.
So the next time your preschooler comes crying with a bloody knee, why not encourage a nice resounding shout of [insert cuss word of choice]? It's way better pain management than a lollipop in this nation of obesity, eh? Well, except when your toddler calls his brother a mutter-effer. (I'm not saying this actually happened or anything [whistling innocently].) Just promise me you won't think less of me -- I mean I truly do exist to make you look like a better mother. And my husband thinks the use of a well-placed, in-context epithet is pretty darn funny coming out of our kids' mouths.
So, yes, I do admit an occasional four-letter word. However, I kid you not, I actually sang the Mickey Mouse Club song during the labor of my last 10+ POUND baby. Yes, the Mickey Mouse Club. I don't know why. It just relaxed me and triggered an emotional shortcut to distance me from the pain. Some say the same occurs with a well placed f-bomb. In fact, there is research that links the brain's emotional shortcuts to why Tourette's sufferers use so much profanity.
Back to the study results: "People withstood a moderately to strongly painful stimulus for significantly longer if they repeated a swear word rather than a nonswear word."
I find this sentence empowering. The next time you are suffering, I think a rather loud, resounding c@cksucking sonuvab$#tch would be a great deal better than a little too much wine or a handful of pills.
I call it Cursing Therapy. Who's the @#$ is with me? What, you are worried about the neighbors?? !@#$ the neighbors.
Image via GranniesKitchen/Flicker