You know how when you're really pissed, and you're ranting about something to a friend, you just can't help but add a "fuck" after every other word? And do you ever wonder why you strangely feel more connected to or comfortable with your parent or boss or tita when you first hear them swear? Apparently, swearing or cussing has a weird way of solidifying a bond.
In a book called In Praise of Profanity, author Michael Adams notes that swear words "are unexpectedly useful in fostering human relations because they carry risk…We like to get away with things and sometimes we do so with like-minded people."
When you first hear someone who's superior to you (like your mom/dad or boss), it's almost like they're giving you a quiet permission to do the same thing. It builds trust, and creates the feeling that you're kind of on the same level.
This reasoning also applies to how talking shit can strengthen relationships. All those almost-inappropriate hirits? They work!
Writer Noah Berlatsky even argues that we should be encouraging children to swear (ehhh we're not sure about this one), but only when the cuss word is used good-naturedly: "It’s context-sensitive, it’s funny, and it makes people feel closer."
This article originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.
*Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.