We are not what we do, but what we do does in many ways stem from what we are.
So far I have described the nonconstructive side of swearing. Another related behaviour is bragging and these are all part of the same phenomenon. What do you think of bragging?
I disliked bragging before it was cool to dislike bragging.
I do that to convince the other side that he is wrong.
The culture that we get the word from, the Nords, saw bragging as a mark of good character, displaying sincerity and strength of conviction.
In the business world, I’d say it is still viewed positively. It seems to be rewarded.
I am actually better at disliking bragging than anyone.
We often disengage from anything we analyze in our normal way. The very process of supposedly understanding it also divorces us personally from experiencing it. Once we figuratively solve the problem, then we believe that anyone could have solved the problem that way, that it was nothing special. This sucks the heart out of everything we do really. What do you think?
Bullshitters rise to the top the quickest.
I agree it’s only when other people are impressed that we can feel good…and they are never impressed for long.
I think bragging is a shallow substitute for actual confidence. I think confidence is a shallow intellectual approximation of the process expressed in bragging.
Originally, bragging was a way of recognizing personal strengths and committing to the display of these strengths in whatever experience we shared with friends, clan or village. When you said you were going to accomplish something, that was a way of promising both yourself and your loved ones and respected peers that you would indeed do everything to accomplish it. It also included recitation of previous accomplishments, again to inspire confidence in those around them, and to encourage them to commit to whatever lay ahead of them also.
Hearing someone else brag makes us feel bad about ourselves, and because they made us feel bad, we have the right to hate them. The bad reaction is a modern attitude. Originally, the accomplishments of a clans people reflected the strength of the clan as a whole. It was a communal asset often considered more valuable than wealth. We even make people swear still to this day in courts of law as a form of social pact, and yes, it is under stress. So the use of swearing, be it vulgar or not, is getting your head out of the way of your heart and instincts.
There is a connection between swearing in court and actual swearing? There is.
I swear by Thor’s hammer. And to swear by Thor’s hammer was to avow under pain of Thor’s interdiction, saying that if you lie you were welcoming misfortune on yourself. In the case of Thor, it would be misfortune during a raid.
I swear by kitten snuggles. May a thousand kittens snuggle you to death. If you swear by kitten snuggles, you swear under the auspices of Freya, or Aphrodite if you will, and invite misfortune in love. Actually withheld love, and people swear by love quite commonly. How common is romantic misfortune for us these days?
More common for some than others. To try and negotiate a budding relationship is incredibly stressful. And we tend to swear at first in subtle ways, flirtation and pick up lines which imply vulgarity if they don’t actually involve such wording. We even often brag of our prowess in sexual intercourse, really more for ourselves than for the person we are pursuing. Men in supposed jest will likewise brag of their sexual competence, again from anxiety. Is this not true?
We reflect very little on all the facets of our swearing, and it very frequently comes back to bite us in the ass. Every guy knows who is actually having the best luck with the ladies. It’s the one who swears in the most refined way. His bragging is relaxed, non competitive, and his body language and choice of words border on the poetic. The guy might even pull off a little poetry or song occasionally.
Yea, bragging doesn’t work so well. It’s better to enter wearing a three piece suit and say very little. Actually, bragging works very well. People don’t actually do it well.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.