We all have some habits that we are comfortable with but other people might find them outright disgusting. There are a million reasons why a person bites their nails and find some odd satisfaction in it. Some individuals do it out of stress and anxiety. Whereas some do it out of their personality traits. People who seek perfectionism tend to also bite their nails. According to statistics about 33% of the adult population has this habit.
Regardless of what the reason is of biting your nails is, be it physical or psychological – it is harmful to your health. Besides making your hands downright ugly, they might also indicate a lot of your personality traits. We have jotted all the possible rational reasoning that can be behind it.
It shouldn’t be that hard, should it?
There is a formal term for biting your nails and it is ‘onychophagy’ or you can also categorize it in ‘body focused repetitive behavior.’ Among other behaviors that are categorized in the same category can be like pulling your hair out and even picking your scabs.
There has been extensive detail about what these habits say about a person’s psychological health. Usually the cause is along the lines of mental stress. There also has been a study that concluded that negative emotions can lead a person to develop such habits.
Other studies focused on causes like feeling disappointment, anxiety, exhaustion and frustration. Dealing with such emotions can lead a person to deal with it by performing repetitive habits. It just shows what your mental state is.
There’s nothing wrong with perfection
Psychologists have also researched and concluded that people who have nail biting as a habit are most likely to be perfectionists. People who tend to seek perfection always have a reason not to calm down and try to get the best of something. If they can’t get it right, they stress about it and it causes them to feel frustration.
Being dissatisfied with a task or how it has been done leads to feeling stress and consequently ending up in repetitive behaviors such as nail biting. They want to project what they are feeling but this is the only way it comes out. Some individuals are aware of this habit and do it consciously and then there are some who do it and do not realize what they are doing.
You’re your own worst enemy
A habit like this can be very damaging to a person’s health. We do not even realize the amount of things we touch in a day and how many germs we come in contact with.
No one can possibly have clean hands all the time and when one bites their nails, those germs come in contact with their mouth. That is active contact with all sorts of germs constantly.
It can lead to painful fingers and hands looking extremely unattractive. You might have gotten used to your hands if you are a nail bitter but other people get really put off when they see your hands.
You need to be aware
Majority of the times nail biting children or adults do not understand or realize the consequence of a habit like this. It becomes so natural for them to do that they can’t just give it up the next day.
A person gets condition to a response like this and constantly is putting their hands in their mouth. The longer they do, the harder it becomes for them to let go of this habit.
Kids are frustrated, too
This point applies more to children than it does to adults. Adults have various outlets to let their frustration out but children on the other hand do not. Even if kids decide to talk about it, parents do not understand or have too much patience for it. Venting out venues might be very less and something like this leads to them developing habits like nail biting.
There are issues that children face and adults do not deem them important like being bullied at school or not being able to understand and learn the subjects being taught. There are some teachers who are tough on the children and cause stress to the children who are slow learners.
Not everyone is born confident and fast at learning. If a child develops a habit like this, if gone unnoticed it will go a long way. Parents should take this as a serious concern.
You’re being watched, all the time
It is not always done out of stress, it can be a learned behavior also. Children see adults biting their nails and start to copy them at an early age. This does not only apply to nail biting, it also applies to other habits that children pick up from adults.
So one should be careful of what they are exposing children to. If a habit such as nail biting is developed at an early age, it gets way more difficult for an adult to let go of it.
Even if you are aware of all the consequences of this habit, that still does not mean that you can let go of it. Sometimes you just can’t let go of something that calms you down or makes you feel better.
It’s a psychological problem
If a person develops this habit after the age of eighteen then it obviously is not imitative behavior but an onset of a psychological problem.
In psychological research the reason behind such a behavior is usually due to an anxiety disorder. Another reason behind it is also hyperactivity or even slight signs of ‘obsessive compulsive disorder.’
Your own worst enemy…
Harming yourself in different ways has become a way to cope also. Nail biting is a little different from cutting yourself but it also comes under the same category.
Some people like the bitter sweet pain of biting their nails and keep doing it to feel that satisfaction. Slowly destroying themselves.
Everything has a breaking point, and so do you
During a nervous and stressful time a person might find nail biting to have a calming effect. This helps some people think and contemplate a solution for their problems instead of freaking out.
How exciting is your life?
But if you keep all these serious concerns on the side, you might also find someone biting their nails when they are bored and have nothing better to do.
This also helps a person stay awake and not fall asleep in odd places like a boring classroom.
Some habits are messy
If this habit is frequent and obsessively done then it could also multiple and turn into a disease. A habit turns into a disorder when it is done to the extent that it prevents a person to perform daily normal tasks.
There can be a time when you find no control over yourself and your actions, your will power is nowhere to be seen. The amount of germs coming in contact with your mouth might lead to more serious health issues than just the biting of nails.
Choose let harmful habits
A good way to deal with this would be to replace this habit with something less harmful than this. Playing with dough or buying yourself a fidget spinner might help.
Something that occupied your hands will keep you away from biting your nails. A better solution would be to directly cater to their stress directly and eliminating it from their lives.