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My friend recently started an Intern-to-Hire position at a Fortune 500 software company. She was placed on a team working with 3 other people, and she's doing actual coding work (unlike other internships). The job is going well so far & everyone is happy with her work, but she is very uncomfortable at the frequency of which coworkers use swear words & profanity. It's clearly not directed at her or done in an abusive fashion, but it's extremely often (nearly every couple of sentences) and she interacts with them throughout the day. At her previous company (part time programming job while in college, at a consulting company), the worst that anyone would say was "hell" or a very infrequent s**t.

I read this post about when profanity is or is not acceptable & how to deal with it. Based on that, the best option seems to be for her to tell her coworkers that she's uncomfortable with it, and then just go with the flow for whether or not they can/will change their language.

However, I also read this post which was from coworkers who were annoyed that their new colleague was trying to change the culture.

Therefore:

Is it acceptable for her to politely mention to her new colleagues that she feels uncomfortable with hearing swearing? Will this impact the likehood that she'll get hired after the official internship period is over?

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    Have you read the answers in those posts you linked to in detail? The one says swearing is not okay when it's abusive, it's "okay" when it's not abusive and part of the culture and recommends gently addressing the swearing, or just accepting it. The other involves a coworker incessantly trying to get rid of non-abusive swearing. The former doesn't recommend the latter approach, so there's no contradiction there. Although the answers in the latter could be a bit more empathetic. – Bernhard Barker May 17 at 15:07
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    Does this answer your question? How should I handle bad language in the office? – Bernhard Barker May 17 at 15:08
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    Where is the company based? What is the cultural background, both of the company and your friend? The censoring in the post and not calling a kettle a kettle (like censoring words) indicate a level of discomfort with rough language that simply isn't present in all cultures. – Polygnome May 17 at 21:44
  • ,@BernhardBarker: The user even mentions this question, so probably no. – guest May 25 at 17:04

11 Answers 11

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Proceed with caution

Many answers here have said "sure, go ahead and say something, just don't be judgey". I want to emphasize that anything you say could be interpreted as being judgmental even if it's not meant that way. Consider, for one thing, that some fraction of the colleagues may feel that they are being "edgy" or "transgressive" in some sense with this behavior, while internally they know that, say, their mother would really be disappointed to hear how they talk at work.

Time/Coping skills approach

Our reaction to language is almost completely the result of cultural conditioning. There is not a remotely logical argument that there is something inherently morally wrong about, say, referring to feces with a short word instead of a long one. Speaking of short words, 'poop' is also short but considered comical rather than crude. Why is that? Think about why you react the way you do to one word that means exactly the same thing as another. This is the first step in addressing the idea logically rather than culturally/emotionally.

I was raised in a very conservative, religious household and learned to think of using vulgar language as a sin. I reacted strongly (if only internally) to "unacceptable language" and probably judged people for using it (even if you try not to, it's really hard to not think less of someone for doing something you have been taught to think of as wrong).

One day a friend of mine was talking about the origins of "bad words" [n.b. much of what follows is specific to English and some to US English and culture] and mentioned that they were rooted in the Norman (French) invasion of England. It was the lower classes who continued to use the Old English words for things. As this Quora answer explains:

Linguistic: Blame the French. In English, the word “shit” is a very old one, and it essentially comes right out of Anglo-Saxon English essentially in the same form. When the Norman French invaded in 1066, many Anglo-Saxon words for everyday objects became associated with the lower class — of course, as the Saxons had lost and the Normans had won. That’s why we refer to a sheep (Saxon) when it’s in the field, but mutton (French) when it’s on the plate: the high-class people were the ones eating le mouton on plates while the loser Saxons were tending the sheep in the fields.

Which brings us to shit. Almost all of the “dirty words” in English — shit, f--k, c--t, c--k, a-- — are straight-up Old English /Anglo-Saxon in origin and arrive into Modern English relatively unchanged. When the Normans invaded, all of those words — which hadn’t necessarily been considered to be swear words or foul language — now became low-class and vulgar compared to the Latinate feces, fornicate, vagina, penis, anus.

Bottom line (no pun intended), the word “shit” became a dirty word because of the French.

Many of the words that we are trained to be sensitive to are simply the words that the common, out of power, conquered people used. Even the term "vulgar" originally just meant "of the masses".

For me, learning this one thing completely changed my perspective--I realized that I had been suckered into continuing a centuries-old prejudice that I did not agree with. That put the moral shoe on the other foot--my prejudice was immoral and needed to be overcome. It also put my reaction entirely in my control. And expanded my vocabulary (although I retain the benefit of the fact that I grew up not using that language, and don't slip in places where it would be culturally unacceptable to do so. Not often, anyway :D ).

My suggestion here is that your friend can change her attitude toward coarse language without compromising her values.

Another coping skill that a friend of mine from the same conservative community used was seeing the humor in interpreting all of the words literally. This can be quite funny and provide a mental release valve for the tension created by your conditioned reaction. [For example, your colleague: "Aww, f**k this stupid vpn server" you, mentally: "that seems physically impossible, and would probably end up with a visit to HR if you tried". It's silly, but that's the point--you remap the offensiveness to a humorous reaction. (To be extremely clear (as a commenter missed the 'mentally', so others may as well): internal monologue here, not intended as a verbal rejoinder.)]

One more coping skill that I have used is imagine that your colleagues are using language from another country. Even with my newfound disdain for the historical prejudice against the normal language of common people, I still notice the high instances of F-bombing in a particular podcast I listen to (Part of the Problem by Dave Smith, for the curious). Even if you don't think there's anything morally wrong with the language, it's incongruent with how most people I interact with use that particular word (i.e., only to express very extreme anger or disappointment). In my head, though, I just say "well, he's speaking New York [where Dave grew up]", and it makes more sense.

Build Relationships of Trust

This suggestion will also take time. As I said earlier, any suggestion that people change their language habits could be interpreted as being judgemental. If she is going to talk to someone, it should be a person that she has built a relationship of trust with, to the point that said person will not feel any hint of being judged when the topic is brought up.

Once that relationship has been developed present the problem as a problem with her that she wants help with. Not something that the colleagues are doing wrong--something she is struggling with due to her background and the cultural norms she grew up with. "I've tried a couple of coping mechanisms that a random guy on stack exchange said and they aren't working for me. Do you think people would be offended if asked them to curse less? I really like working here but it's just hard for me, and I don't want to bring it up because I don't want people to think I'm judging them for their language." [Mike M' commented that this might be best done outside of work, and presented the idea of flipping it around, asking "does it bother people that I don't swear a lot?" as a sort of trial balloon to see how they respond. He points out that in an out-of-work setting the environment is less adversarial and the vert fact that you are doing something outside of work is indicative of an actual interpersonal relationship.]

I would only use this as a last resort, though. It's a general principle in life that the person you have the most control over is yourself, and it's very empowering when your realize that your reactions can be under your control rather than just accepting the natural results of human behavior and cultural conditioning as an unchangeable fact.

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    awesome :) I might add to the very last part . . . look for that time and place outside the office; when speaking as friends in a social setting outside the office, this will be a sign of the personal relationship, and a less adversarial environment. And as a parallel alternative on the difficult question, you might flip it entirely and ask "do others mind that I don't swear a lot" and see how it is received. – Mike M May 17 at 19:58
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    +1 - For the philosophical deconstruction – Mark Rogers May 17 at 23:09
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    Amusingly enough, the a certain tense, "shat," is somehow not considered a swear word in modern America. – nijineko May 18 at 0:48
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    As for the origin of the profanity in English, there might be cultural reasons, as proposed by the Quora answer. However, note that profanity also exists in languages other than English, which may or may not share the same or even remotely similar cultural context. So, while prejudice is one aspect of profanity in English, based on the use of profanity in other languages we can be sure that there is more to it. And one can still be uncomfortable because of these other reasons. – justhalf May 18 at 7:06
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    Added clarification, thanks @IsmaelMiguel and AngewisnolongerproudofSO – msouth May 20 at 22:43
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I think she can wait for some time and keep her own good use of vocabulary. After a while people will learn about her decorum and then she can start with her endeavor to bring positive change.

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    This. It is not going to go well if she tries to change the others. – Captain Emacs May 17 at 8:18
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    “Lead by example” just so. Plus 1. – Solar Mike May 17 at 10:59
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    I have been in this exact situation, and that approach absolutely did not work. – Hilmar May 17 at 13:45
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    So... your advice for someone who has trouble with the swearing in the workplace is to not swear yourself and ignore the others? Not sure how that helps with the uncomfortable feeling. – Tymoteusz Paul May 17 at 14:17
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    That's the real answer for the world we live in, not some ideal world. – guest May 17 at 17:14
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Is it acceptable for her to politely mention to her new colleagues that she feels uncomfortable with hearing swearing?

In a good team, everyone should be comfortable bringing up what makes them feel uncomfortable.

However, I also read this post which was from coworkers who were annoyed that their new colleague was trying to change the culture.

The difference in the post you are referring to, it sounds like a single team member tried to impose their rules on the whole organization by demanding "no profanity at the workplace". Unless you are a top manager, or you have their full backing, this isn't a good idea. Instead I would bring it up directly with my team members and mention to them that their use of curse words makes me uncomfortable.

Personally I do not care much if someone cursing, but if I knew a team member was uncomfortable with that type of language I would pay extra attention to it.

Will this impact the likehood that she'll get hired after the official internship period is over?

I don't think that stating how one is uncomfortable will change someones outlook to be hired. Just don't be the guy who interrupts every meeting to push their opinion.

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    I don't fully agree with the last sentence. On the contrary, I think that this can be seen as a lack of "cultural fit" if her colleague don't agree to accommodate her (which makes sense in at least one way: if your friend is going to work in a place where she feels uncomfortable regularly, that's not necessarily a good fit) – njzk2 May 17 at 17:03
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Is it acceptable for her to politely mention to her new colleagues that she feels uncomfortable with hearing swearing?

Certainly. It shouldn't ever be a problem to politely bring up that a certain behavior is making you uncomfortable. Doesn't mean the other side is going to do anything about it, but at least they'll be aware. It's possible that these people have no idea the swearing is bothering anyone and don't think it's important enough to make the new employee uncomfortable. It's also possible that these people think the swearing helps them think and cooperate and find that the new employee should just learn to deal with it.

You don't know until you bring it up, but the act of bringing it up itself shouldn't be a problem. (That is not to say it won't be a problem; it's also possible her colleagues will make an issue of it but imho at that point they are in the wrong. I don't think it's very likely though, as long as she's genuinely polite and not just "acting from a position of moral superiority but pretending to be polite")

Will this impact the likehood that she'll get hired after the official internship period is over?

Probably not. A better question is, if she's uncomfortable at work constantly and never brings up the subject, will she want to get hired after the internship period is over? Interviewing is a two-way street. Imho she should bring it up, see what happens, find out if this is a place she wants to work at.

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  • Good point about bringing it up and seeing whether the culture can change to make the friend comfortable. The friend would not want to work in that team permanently otherwise so there's little to lose. – javadba May 17 at 19:39
  • I think this is a good answer. My first job as a software developer was at a small company where they were serious about being inclusive. As a result we were all asked not to swear because it would de offensive for a very Christian co-worker. It took some getting used to, but we all refrained. – Ivana May 17 at 22:43
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Is it acceptable? Yes.

Is it justified? Debatable.

Is it a good idea? Not hardly.

Swearing may be seen as inappropriate, but it is acceptable. Inappropriate behavior takes place every day, from disrespecting a colleagues time to taking undue credit for others work.

You could speak with your manager or colleagues, and they'll most likely change their behavior (around you). But it's clear they have a preference in how they communicate with each other, and as long as it doesn't reach an unacceptable level, I do not see the justification to ask them to change. After all, profanity, or adult language, is everywhere today.

The better solution is to lead by example, and be a change agent. By shying away from the profanity, the team will notice, and be more likely to voluntarily improve their behavior.

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  • Having worked in a number of fortune 10 companies swearing is not considered acceptable by most persons and is a legitimate concern to raise. – javadba May 17 at 19:40
  • YMMV. During a staff meeting or a conference call with other teams, it is uncommon. In a team or common area between direct team members, or in the absence of management, it's really team by team. The size of the company is less a factor than the age and makeup of the team. – Half_Duplex May 17 at 19:50
  • Ok - I had only experienced "let your hair down" cursing only one on one or at most a couple of trusted/close folks and not even in small team meetings: but they have been software companies. I could imagine hardware/chip companies being a bit different .. ? – javadba May 17 at 19:52
  • My current team, 2 dozen Spring/React developers, designers curse non stop among themselves. I have had to ask them to lower their voices in the scrum area because of this, and because the overall volume leaks into other areas when they get going. Luckily no one within the team has come to me, because I am not sure how I'd handle it in real life! – Half_Duplex May 17 at 20:00
  • Well spring/react is about as far from h/w as we can get - so umm fail on that guess [of mine] – javadba May 17 at 20:02
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You don't mention where in the world your colleague is working, although I'm assuming from the mention of Fortune 500 that it's probably in the US. Nevertheless, I'll offer the Australian perspective.

Profanity is part of the Australian culture, including its professional culture. It's not unusual for s**t, f**k (and derivatives) and c**t to be used regularly in the workplace.

Why do I mention Australia? We have a culture of using profanity in our communication. It's not intended to offend or alienate. It's just how we speak. It sounds like your friend's new team is the same.

There are no absolute rules of communication*. It's all relative: each group of people set their own culture. I think it shows disrespect to the team to try to barge in as a newcomer and try to change that culture. Your friend should accept that this is the way the team works and to try to assimilate. Perhaps later on, when she has been hired and has formed relationships of mutual respect (in short, when she is more embedded in the team culture), then she might try to change that culture.

*Obviously there will be legal or corporate requirements for how language is used, e.g. not using words tools of aggression or exclusion. My comments above assume that these requirements are being met.

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  • As an Australian, I can confirm this. – nick012000 May 18 at 4:21
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I'm not sure if your friend is ethically justified in joining a group and changing its culture to suit their taste. Why should their subjective sensibilities take priority over those of the majority where there are conflicts? Yes, some compromise is to be expected with certain norms, but swear words are, frankly, most likely harmless to the people in this group and your friend risks intruding. It is impossible to accommodate for every person's desires perfectly, and attempting to do so will only lead to a bland, artificial society.

But there is also a business case for this. If the group works well and cohesively and swearing is indeed part of the culture, then imposing such rules can be extremely harmful for morale. There is no guarantee that banning swearing will improve the environment for anyone but the new person, and that's bad for everybody.

Edit: to clarify, the line is obviously subjective, because ultimately it depends on the tastes of everyone involved. Because undirected swearing in a stressful adult environment is largely harmless, it should not be subject restriction based on moral grounds. Otherwise you're imposing culture based on what individuals find unpleasant, which is a recipe for a very oppressive structure.

There's no guaranteed harm in bringing it up and politely asking once, but sometimes participation in an existing group requires some degree of conformity, or at least tolerance. Some people may judge a newcomer who asks, it may be better to wait until one has established a positive reputation.

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    It seems like one could probably use arguments very similar or identical to the ones presented here to justify a whole lot of offending behaviours including blatant sexism or physical pranks bordering on assault. Ultimately you have to draw the line somewhere, but why should that line be drawn after swearing instead of before it? That's not really clear from your answer. Although frankly trying to justify the swearing seems mostly off topic. The idea that you probably can't change it because it's part of the culture is fair enough, but that has little to do with whether swearing is "right". – Bernhard Barker May 17 at 22:54
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    @Dukeling There is a very clear distinction between sexism and pranks, which are direct aggression against OP and a general type of atmosphere. I do not like swearing, but would not dream of telling others to stop it. However, by my systematic circumscription of situations where others would swear, I found that others became increasingly self-conscious with swearing when I was around. That's why I supported the response by muasif80, which I fully agree with. – Captain Emacs May 18 at 9:54
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This is a tricky situation. You have a non-trivial conflict here.

  1. Excessive swearing is inappropriate in a professional setting. It should stop.
  2. For better or for worse, it's part of the current culture, and changing culture needs to be done delicately or you'll end up with hard feelings and blaming.

Step 1: Do your research Try to understand how it got to this point and how people feel about it. This type of thing often "just" happens: One person starts it, another finds it funny or endearing and picks it up, no one pushes back and before you know it's part the communication style. It's possible that many people already feel slightly embarrassed about it and wouldn't mind changing it. It's also possible, that people feels strongly about it's part of the group identity. Your best shot is to talk first with the person you feel most comfortable, or that you trust the most. Be understanding and make sure you are NOT judgmental or blaming. Try to understand, but don't judge, it's very unlikely that there is malicious intent

Step 2: Talk to your manager The manager owns the culture and is also in the best position to do something. Express that it makes you uncomfortable and that you are a little bit surprised to find that type of behavior in a professional setting. Share your research. Any manager worth their dime would take action on this. If it sounds bad to you, it probably sounds bad to many other people in the company and most managers would not want that reputation for their team.

Step 3: Talk to the team If for some reason your manager doesn't want to engage or even is the driving force behind that, you can talk to the team directly. Maybe during lunch break or a staff meeting. Make sure you don't single anyone out and stay as friendly as possible. Something like

"Hey team, I'm thrilled to be on this team and I love working with you. I was wondering whether I could ask you favor: I've noticed that you are using quite colorful language pretty regularly. I'm sorry, but that actually makes me uncomfortable. I know that you don't mean anything by it, but it's just not the way I'm wired and I'd really appreciate it, if you could tone it down a notch or two"

Anecdote I worked on team that had developed the same behavior. It just "snugged" in and it had become kind of cool. At some point, someone pointed it out to us and the manager took friendly action. Just calling it out and reminding us that we sounded like a bunch of frat girls/boys did the trick and the team reacted well to the feedback.

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    If you talk to the manager and the manager takes action, there's a pretty high probability every single person will immediately deduce that it's the person who doesn't use the coarse language that complained. While I agree that there is a way for a manager to deal with this in a friendly and harmless way, I would be extremely careful about being the person that precipitated managerial action. – msouth May 17 at 15:59
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    I do not understand the downvotes: this is a perfectly reasonable answer and set of approaches. – javadba May 17 at 19:41
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    @msouth People knowing who motivated the decision is one thing, but them actually doing something about it would be borderline or actual harassment or just a toxic work culture. Although one might expect a joke about it every once in a while (but not too often or for too long) in a non-toxic work environment. – Bernhard Barker May 17 at 19:43
  • @msouth: not if the manager goes about it reasonably well – Hilmar May 18 at 11:54
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I assume that swearing is used in general terms, not insulting anyone in the company, and especially not insulting you. (I have even seen cases where people who get on with each other very well often exchange insults - that's Ok if both sides agree with that and laugh about it.) If swearing is used against you, that's unacceptable but that would be another question.

You can tell people that you don't like to hear any swearing. You should not tell people that they have to change their behaviour. As long as you say "I don't like to hear people swearing without any good reason" you are fine. And you don't have to be polite about it. Tell them what they should do, and you won't be fine. There's a subtle difference. Say what you want to happen. Don't say what anyone should do.

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Is it acceptable for her to politely mention to her new colleagues that she feels uncomfortable with hearing swearing? Will this impact the likehood that she'll get hired after the official internship period is over?

Yes, she absolutely should mention it.

But it's extremely important to not turn this into a crusade, or some sort of personal vendetta, as that approach is almost guaranteed to backfire as cursing as described in this situation is more of a cultural thing, and she likely doesn't have standing to actually force them to change their ways. So it's important to mention it, but by asking politely and not making a big deal out of it, and if things do not improve then it's likely her that will have to be the one to adjust. I would probably just ask them during a team coffee or similar occasion could they maybe tune down the swearing a bit, as it makes me uncomfortable a bit. They will almost certainly say yes, but I also wouldn't expect a habit like that to go away.

She could also look for noise-canceling headphones as they block all sorts of noises, not just the swearing. Or if she cannot even stand an occasional curse word, probably look for a different job, or even better, get a thicker skin, as when things get tough, the swearing amount in very much any work environment starts to grow higher.

The idea that an experienced team will be forced to change, or get broken up by the company over a single intern complains of generic cursing is just not going to happen. This would be very different if we were talking harassment/bullying, like swearing at her, etc so it's very important to underline this difference.

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    As long as they do not bully her, she should not attempt anything like that. These people use profanity to get release and it is not pleasant, but if they are ok people anyway, the way to go is to simply use, as in @muasif80's, good language herself to replace profanity and this may mitigate the language all around on the long run; i.e. setting an example. I must confess that, even with my considerable tolerance for various quirks of my collaborators, I would find it unacceptable if a newcomer would instruct me as to my manners, especially as she is in the minority. – Captain Emacs May 17 at 8:24
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    @CaptainEmacs And where did I say that she should instruct anyone? There is a difference "hey guys, swearing makes me uneasy, can you maybe tone it down a bit" and "STOP SWEARING". – Tymoteusz Paul May 17 at 17:53
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    Yes, there is a difference. Still, she is the newcomer. Basically, if she asks them to tone down, she - ever so slightly - imposes a power structure in the sense that she is entitled to set a general standard of behaviour. If that does not strike you as an issue, take another example: assume eating in-office is allowed, now one person brings a sandwich with <type of meat> which strikes someone with a taboo on (that) meat as disturbing and will say "the smell of this sandwich makes me uneasy, please eat it outside". It's polite and all, but they are basically imposing now a new standard. – Captain Emacs May 17 at 19:26
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    Your swearing is rusty, but Nice Try (TM). The problem is not that she asks for a favour. The problem is that there is already a culture of swearing in place and she is trying to change this. I would understand if it was loud talking in general (objectively cannot concentrate). Frankly, OP's friend can do what they think is right and it may work. I just do not recommend it. Today, there are enough people going around telling others how to behave and even if she asks in her most friendly manner, they may end up sorting her into the "moral police" department. Not a good way of making friends. – Captain Emacs May 17 at 19:47
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    @javadba To clarify: I very rarely ever swear myself - people expressed surprise that I do not do it even in dire circumstances. I emphatically do not like swearing. It is ok for the management to ban swearwords. It is, however, quite a different thing for a newcomer to try and change culture. And I do not recommend it. My problem is not that I think swearing should be permitted or encouraged (not at all!), I just think it is not a good idea for a change in general behaviour to be imposed or even requested by a newcomer. I believe that at that level all change for good begins with tolerance. – Captain Emacs May 17 at 19:52
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Every time I hear someone seemingly misuse God's name (irrespective of being intentionally or not), I will say "Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ" under my breath.

If it is seemingly done on purpose, done to shock (i.e. with seemingly bad or worse intent), or some other seemingly big situation, and/or loudly in public, I will sometimes say it out loud so the other person can hear it. If they can say it, why can I not say an opposing statement?

If I can have a 1:1 conversation with the person at some point, which is always the preferred first step of any action, after consideration where the person is at, and after prayer, I will usually say something like:

I was reading some of your comments on ..... like '________' and '________'.

It may be good to keep in mind - and just a humble suggestion - when using language to parse it through an all-inclusive (or everyone-inclusive) filter.

If we would not use any language towards our clients, perhaps we should also not write it to each other.

Just a thought and humble suggestion.

Or alternatively:

Bit of a final personal thought if I may; I noticed you used the word _____ or _____ in sentences/in a sentence where it is not related to the actual meaning of it.

It is good to keep in mind when using (what has become everyday) language to parse it through an all-inclusive (read; everyone-inclusive) filter if you will.

No hard feelings - only good thoughts toward you.

Or similar.

Steps;

  • Avoid confrontation in front of others (always 1:1 first)
  • Estimate where the person is at. Perhaps it is better to wait and/or have some patience and to pray first. Also a person may have had a challenging life event (minor or major doesn't matter - it is how the person perceives/takes it/lives through it that will likely change their demeanor)
  • If after 1:1, prayer, and time, no improvement (even a small one) is observed, I would still abstain from discussing some concern like this in public, unless it has reached a very high degree of concern, is very public or on record, and others are challenged by it too (the testimony of two or three...). I would generally (i.e. unless deemed very necessary) avoid confronting the person in a group setting. There are exceptions like weight of the situation, perceived risk to people etc. which may override this offcourse.
  • Before doing so (discussion in public), I would likely approach the person's manager first and indicate my concern and the fact that no improvement was seen in spite of a 1:1 at some earlier time (let's say a minimum of 3 weeks ago or more)
  • If a comment was made in written form in a public channel, that is a slightly different matter; there is no risk of gossip/disclosure here and perhaps that can be flagged directly to the relevant manager, though 1:1 discussion would often still make sense first imho, unless the incurrence is very major.
  • Remember scripture; if you correct a mocker, you will make an enemy (Proverbs 9 1:6). By the same token and scripture; correct a wise man and he will love you for it.
  • Consider first where you are at; do you love correction and do you love the one who corrects you?
  • Always use "it seems" when referring to someone's behavior, and do not judge the person in your mind; avoid judgement.
  • Be willing to accept some personal sacrifice for your beliefs and values. I.e. if you will make a stand on anything, or if you will lead, you will always upset some. Try and minimize that number as good as you can, but sometimes it may be unavoidable. Be willing to accept that. It is the price you pay for doing right/good. "It is lonely at the top" is perhaps a more worldly version of this thought.
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    That is how this website works, yes, people comment and downvote based on what they think of a given answer. And the edit which assumes OP is religious doesn't really make this answer focus more on OPs problem. Additionally, I have no doubt that having a talk with someone like that will work if you are senior in the team, but it certainly will not do OP any good in her spot, she is not in a position to preach to her seniors as newest member of the team. – Tymoteusz Paul May 17 at 23:45
  • As you seem to be coming from a different background, you will not currently have the same convictions, values, stance. This answer gives a possible approach with surrounding thoughts based on the truth as I see it, just like any other answer on stackexchange. – Roel Van de Paar May 18 at 0:12
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    Unless all of the co-workers are wise people who love correction, all your advice will do is create enemies. Based on the Biblical principle that you yourself mention, a lot of your advice should not be followed. Tymoteusz Paul also pointed out that your advice "will not go down right with anyone in the workplace". It would have been wise to listen to him – David Cram May 18 at 4:50
  • As I said, I had some success with this. Are people down voting the answer - just because they do not like it? That should stand irrespective of whether this is useful advice or not. And, as I had some successes, it would seem clear it is. Correctable, professional people will often react professionally and change their ways. And for those who are not, clearly the answer makes provisions. – Roel Van de Paar May 18 at 12:20

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