Psychological Swear Words

Did you know that certain words we use in our everyday language can actually have a damaging impact on us and the people we converse with? No matter what age you are, it’s likely these words have become so ingrained in your self-talk that you may no longer be able to view their meaning objectively. I am one of those people. Well, at least I was. 

The below list of words are known in the psychology profession as “psychological swear words”. They are words that we use, doing so primarily from our subconscious, but shouldn’t if you want your self-belief and your conversational skills to improve. First, let’s explore the definition of self-talk.

What is self-talk?

Simply put it’s your inner voice. It’s the things you say to yourself. I personally love this description from

Even though you might not know it, you’re already practicing self-talk.

Self-talk is basically your inner voice, the voice in your mind which says things that you don’t necessarily say out loud. Often self-talk happens without you even realising it and can be a subtle running commentary going on in the background of your mind. But what you say in your mind can determine a lot of how you feel about who you are.

Self-talk is broken down into two streams – Positive and Negative – and it directly impacts our self-esteem and self-worth. Learning to not use extremes, i.e. ‘never’ or ‘always’, is important to help us manage our expectations of ourselves and of others.

Conversation Skills

Have you ever been having a conversation with someone and think “jeez, this person is a tad dramatic”? Or what about walking away from a conversation feeling like all the positive energy you had going into it has been drained away? Chances are they used a lot of the words listed below. These words are quite harsh for our brains to hear but on a level you may not realise consciously. They are considered “blocking” words because they can block the speaker’s ability to get their message across, and the listeners ability to hear the heart of your message.

Psychological Swear Words

I invite you to join me in the challenge of eradicating these words from our conversations and our own self-talk. It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it.

  • Always
  • Never
  • Can’t
  • Nothing
  • All the time
  • Everybody
  • Everyone
  • Everything
  • Anybody
  • Anyone
  • Anything
  • Forever
  • Ever
  • Should
  • Must

Try pay attention to your self-talk over the next 48 hours and if you catch yourself using one of these words stop and try using a different word.

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