Many of us have a habit of biting nails which indicates that such people are anxious and very cautious in nature and they are generally diagnosed with anxiety disorder. But these are just baseless assumptions which we perceive by observing a regular nail-biter as they seem to be like nervous and that’s the reason why they continuously keep biting their nails.
But recently, science has shown another phase behind this which is the actual truth based on experiments which weren’t expected by any of us. Biting your nails isn’t bad for your health unless the affected area has left open and untreated which results in several infections. It has been created a hype due to social pressure. Several studies have claimed that 20-30% of the population (mainly women) chronically bite their nails. This can result in low self-esteem and nervousness as such people are often embarrassed while shaking hands or displaying their nails in any way.
Although, we all are aware of the fact that how addictive this habit is but on the other side it has been observed that it results in a calming effect on the nervous system of the human body which has been negatively projected as mental anxiety. Therefore, based on the observations we can conclude the overall personality trait for such people can be a stressful lifestyle, anxious in nature due to which the bite their nails frequently for calming down themselves.
Now, the question arises that why do the people make this as their habit and that too for such a long time period? The answer for this may vary depending upon the situation such as it can be learned as a habit from parents or siblings or it may be genetically inherited or it may be considered as a way for harming themselves. The recently observed logic is that it is considered as a basic need for being perfect. Yes, that’s right, according to a study published in the Journal of Behaviour Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, nail-biting indicates that an individual is a born-perfectionist whereas, earlier it was considered to be as a result of imperfection due to frustration.
Frustration can be caused due to several reasons such as a fight with your partner, a missed opportunity at the workplace, not accomplishing your goals etc. Perfectionists are those who like their work to be done in a certain way and that too with perfection so if things went wrong or not in that planned way then such people can get easily frustrated and looks for relief and that’s the main reason why they opt for nail biting.
The scientist Dr O’Connor who conducted this study briefs her points very precisely as-
“We believe that individuals with these repetitive behaviors may be perfectionistic, meaning that they are unable to relax and to perform tasks at a normal pace,” Dr O’Connor says in the research. “They are therefore prone to frustration, impatience, and dissatisfaction when they do not reach their goals.”
So this raises a new perception for nail biters that they are born-perfectionists whether they are aware of the fact or not. But they are certain other habits which can be adapted instead of nail-biting which can result in a better health condition of both mental and physical well-being. These approaches can be such as kickboxing, write down all the things you’re annoyed about, or one can even distract their hands and mind by colouring or solving a crossword puzzle. One can also opt for a therapy method or a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist.