Fear of Blurting Out Bad Words
In this episode, I am going to discuss the fear of blurting out obscenities or curse words. People who suffer this type of fear often worry that they might verbally lash out and say words that are against their personal beliefs or desires. Common compulsive behaviors with this fear include avoiding speaking, avoiding certain places, along with various mental compulsions.
In this episode, I will also be discussing some case studies and my experience on working with people who are dealing with this kind of fear.
Hope this information is helpful!
Hey there and welcome to this episode where we're going to talk about the fear of blurting out absurdities or insults. And so, um, you know, this is a pretty common, uh, form of anxiety and OCD, right? Where the person basically struggles with this idea of what if I yell impulsively, right. Um, a specific word or phrase, and generally speaking, um, you know, the person's afraid of a very specific word, right? Like what if I yell the F word, right? Or what if I yell a racist, uh, say a racial slur, right. Um, a specifically, usually towards a person. Right. So, um, you know, and again, it could be anything right. And, uh, and, and oftentimes these fears are, uh, very contextual too, right. Meaning in certain environments. So this might be at work might be the biggest triggering area. Like what if I'm in a meeting and I just yell out this horrible thing about my boss in front of the meeting, right.
Or what if I'm at church or not yell out some obscenity about God or Jesus, right. These, these kinds of thoughts right. You know, will pop up. And, um, and then what will happen is these thoughts will produce anxiety, which will then again, lead the person to engaging in different behaviors to try to keep themselves safe. Right. Um, now one of the things is, is that generally speaking, the, the people that I've, I've worked with that have had these particular fears, um, you know, are, are generally very, you know, straight line walkers, right? Like they, they've never done anything like this in the past. In fact, just the idea of doing something like this is so beyond them, which is often why it's so distressing, right. Someone who really, um, you know, has these like racial ideations or these horrible, you know, ideations in, in thinking things and saying things like that to other people, um, it doesn't cause them anxiety, right.
Because they actually, you know, align with that, you know, the kind of thinking, right. The people that we're talking about, uh, with these kinds of fears, these, these ideas and these, this kind of language is often so repulsive to them because it's so uncharacteristic of who they really are. Right. And that's what again, is causing a lot of that reaction to it. So, um, when it comes to, you know, treating this or working with this, right. And, um, and overcoming this, you know, again, it's, it's kind of a, the same kind of three parts that we've been breaking down in this fear series, right. The first is, is diffusing from that thought, right? The fusing from thoughts in general. So when you're having thoughts in your mind, you know, realizing that you're the one that's experiencing the thought, you aren't the thought itself, you aren't the content of the mind, you're the context of the situation.
You're the experience or you're the, you're the one who hears it, right. So much the distress is caused from where this thought came from. Right? Like, that's, that's so much of, uh, the questions I get is like, well, why would I have this thought? Like, why would my mind even produce a sod? And again, the, the repelled feeling of like, just, I can't believe that this thought is happening in my head, but that reaction to it, you know, paradoxically is what's creating that thought to happen more and more and more, right. Because when we're reacting to something as if it's bad and we're teaching our brain that like, Hey man, this is terrible. We can't have this in our brain kind of goes into this alarm system mode and it keeps producing it. Right. And the more and more we engage in behaviors that reinforce it as bad, the more our brain produces it, the higher the anxiety goes.
And then this loop just builds, right? So this is where, you know, people will. So that first part is really, you know, disengaging from the thoughts themselves and realizing that that's not you, the second part, you know, becomes well, what are the behaviors you're engaging in that are perpetuating that loop, right? Cause there's the four main components. You have the thought, the feelings or the anxiety, the stress or guilt, or, you know, whatever the feeling, the negative feeling is. I'll say the uncomfortable feeling. I don't know that I even liked the word negative. What's the uncomfortable feeling that you have associated with that thought. And then the behavior that you're engaging into neutralize, the feeling or the thought that provides the temporary relief that keeps the loop going. Right. And so what we do is we look to break the behaviors because those are the things that we have control over.
If we try to control the thoughts or feelings again, it's going to keep that loop going. So, um, when it comes to those thoughts specifically, we want to look at, Hey, what are the environmental triggers that really produce those, right? Is it at work? Is it at church? Is it at, um, you know, home? Is it in front of your kids is in front of like, we want to get clear on where those thoughts are most prevalent. And then we want to look or like, what are the actual thoughts? Right. Part of it is really surfacing this, and this is what happens so much as people are so ashamed of these thoughts that they just never tell anyone. You know, I can't tell you how many people I've talked to that. It's like, Hey man, I've just had these thoughts for the last 10 years, 20 years.
Right. So part of it is, is really eliminating the shame from this and realizing that it's not you, right? Like you, you, aren't the, this terrible person that's producing these thoughts, these thoughts are popping up in your head. Yes. You're experiencing them. And part of the way that we know that this is not you, is because you're, you're so guilty and ashamed by them and anxious by them. Right. And, and, you know, separating that ego-dystonic and egosyntonic right. You know, from these thoughts, don't align with what you really want. Um, and then we start to remove the behaviors right. Through progressive exposure and response prevention. So if there is certain movies trigger the thoughts, if there's certain, you know, just even writing out the phrase, you know, oftentimes I'll have people write out the phrase and keep it in their pocket at the actual event.
Right. You know, there'll be one of the higher level exposures, but again, we start to really just remove the behaviors. And once we remove the behaviors and we progressively face this, the anxiety subsides, and then eventually it can become something that like, you know, you get to the point where you're just like, I can't believe I ever worried about that. But the only way that that happens again is through the systematic, you know, desensitization through the, through the behavior risk or exposure and response prevention really targeting those behaviors. Um, so that's how we would actually address that. And, um, yeah, no, you know, so hopefully that's helpful. And if this is something you struggle with, I mean, you know, please, you know, we have resources [email protected], uh, there's links down below where you can access, um, you know, different downloads as well as additional trainings.
We have a full, you know, webinar that you can go through, uh, for free. Um, and, um, you know, just to really realize that this is not something that you can't overcome, you can, and, and, you know, really it's just about learning the correct strategies and how to do it appropriately. Um, and realizing that these thoughts are not you, right. And that's, um, the, the realizing that the behavior change is actually where we need to focus our efforts. So, um, hopefully this was helpful. And again, if you found this helpful, please, uh, help us out by liking subscribing and sharing. Um, and we look forward to seeing you on the next episode, take care.