Is it normal to be offended by profanity? Jonathan Alpert answers
Is it normal that I get upset when people around me use vulgar language?
Yes, it’s normal to get upset over vulgar language. Even though cursing is part of our vernacular, it doesn’t mean it has to be accepted or liked. Do understand that getting others to change how they speak is a difficult task. You can try to get people who are close to you to limit their vulgarities by politely telling them that you prefer them to use cleaner language. As for strangers who swear, that’s a different story. Don’t personalize what you hear. You have to accept the notion that there are those who express themselves well by using PG language and those who lack the ability to censor.
I can’t enter a crowded room without getting freaked out. Is that normal?
No, that’s not normal, but it’s not that uncommon either. What you’re describing could be symptoms of an anxiety disorder like agoraphobia or social anxiety. The former is when attacks of intense anxiety occur because there’s a fear of being in places where escape might be difficult or help might not be available. The latter is when a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. Anxiety and self-consciousness stem from a fear of being judged or criticized by others. Both respond well to short-term therapy that incorporates homework that gets you closer to facing your fears.
– Jonathan Alpert is a licensed psychotherapist. His new book, “BE FEARLESS: Change Your Life
in 28 Days,” is available at major booksellers and Amazon. Follow him online at www.jonathanalpert.com, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jonathanalpert) and on Twitter @jonathanalpert.
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