10 tips for taming your tongue

1. Recognize that swearing does damage. You probably swear because it is easy, fun, candid, emphatic, expressive, breaks rules, and somehow partially reduces anger and pain. But the negatives outweigh the positives. Swearing doesn’t get you hired, promoted, romantically connected, or invited back to anything except maybe the "Jerry Springer Show."

2. Start by eliminating casual swearing. Start by eliminating trashy language from your everyday casual conversations. Pretend that your sweet little grandmother or your five-year-old daughter is always next to you.

3.Think positively. A great deal of swearing is related to a negative attitude. Look to the bright side. A positive mental attitude not only eliminates lots of swearing, it brings you contentment and brightens your personality.

4. Practice being patient. As busy people in a fast-paced society, we are losing patience with anything that wastes our time. When you are stuck on line or in traffic, ask yourself if a few more minutes matters. Be honest — does it really matter?

5. Cope, don’t cuss. Each day can be filled with aggravations, delays, disappointments, and frustrations. The fact is, we have to deal with them anyway. So stop cussing and learn to cope. Consider even the smallest annoyance a challenge, and feel proud of yourself for taking care of it cheerfully and efficiently.

6. Stop complaining. Before you start griping or whining about something, remind yourself of a very important reality: No one wants to hear it! Why would they? Do you like to be with someone who always complains, gets angry, and is foul-mouthed as well?

7.Use alternative words. English is a colorful language, but chronic cursers repeatedly use the same, unimaginative words that low-class clods have used for centuries. For example, the Cuss Control Academy has identified 70 common expressions using the four-letter "s" word, and provides equally common alternatives for all of them. Take the time to develop your own list of alternatives to the nasty words you now use.

8. Make your point politely. Think of the response to what you are about to say, and decide if you need to reword your statement to be more effective. Take the time to make your point in a mature and convincing manner.

9. Think of what you should have said. It’s easy to blurt out a swear word at an inappropriate time. If you make a statement that you later realize was negative, confrontational or rude, think of how you could have phrased the statement. Over time, these exercises will train you to think and act differently.

10. Work at it. Breaking the swearing habit takes practice, support from others, and a true desire to be a better person. Here are a few exercises to condition yourself:

• Think in clean language, and switch negative thoughts into positive solutions.

• When you are on your way to a situation you know will test your temper and your tongue, plan ahead what you will say and how you will say it.

• Tell your family or friends what you are doing, and you will be more cautious around them.

• Determine when and why you swear the most, and develop your own tricks for changing your behavior.

Source: The Cuss Control Academy, Northbrook, IL.