While we see swear words as negative, many times they have positive outcomes like relieving stress and more. And that's why the ones who swear a lot are the best kind of people to be around.
You're having a serious conversation with someone, it's going well. Just as you are getting impressed with how well-spoken they are, they let slip a swear word. And there it comes crashing down, your impression of that person.
Turns out, you may have judged them too soon. Because research suggests that those with a colorful vocabulary are seen as trustworthy individuals.
Researcher Timothy Jay of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts said in his study Why we curse: A neuro-psycho-social theory of speech that many times people use swear words to elicit humor.
In a report called The Science of Swearing, Jay and Kristin Janschewitz said that swearing can yield positive or negative outcomes. They didn't find the use of swear words to be problematic. "We know this because we have recorded over 10,000 episodes of public swearing by children and adults, and rarely have we witnessed negative consequences. We have never seen public swearing lead to physical violence. Most public uses of taboo words are not in anger; they are innocuous or produce positive consequences (e.g., humor elicitation)," they wrote.
They argued that swearing is seen as a problem because "courts presume harm from speech in cases involving discrimination or sexual harassment." Swearing is also seen as a way to corrupt children but there is little (if any) social-science data demonstrating that a word in and of itself causes harm.
They found that using colorful language can lead to multiple results such as when used positively for joking or storytelling, stress management, fitting in with the crowd, or as a substitute for physical aggression. They also referred to other research that said that it is related to increased pain tolerance.
"This finding suggests swearing has a cathartic effect, which many of us may have personally experienced in frustration or in response to pain," they write.
Swearing is connected with extraversion and is one of the key features of a Type A personality. Another study, Frankly, We Do Give a Damn: The Relationship Between Profanity and Honesty, published in SAGE journal, by researchers from the University of Cambridge, Maastricht University, Hong Kong University, and Stanford found that those who swear more are more likely to be honest people.
The authors found “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”.
We want to surround ourselves with people who will not lie to us and will give us the truth about things as they are, with zero embellishments. Honesty is a valued quality in humans and there are too many people who don't have an iota of it. If it comes in a human package, with a creative vocabulary, nobody is going to say no to a truthteller because we all want them in our life.