Do you bite your nails? Why, though?
People who bite their nails are usually seen by others to possess a high degree of anxiety, and biting their nails is their own form of releasing some of that anxiety.
The theory makes some sense, so a lot of us just accepted it to be true.
However, a new study has been revealed, and it shows that people who bite their nails don’t always do so due to anxiety. As a matter of fact, nail biting can stem deeper, and this study found a personality trait that makes these people do this.
So if you have the habit of biting your nails constantly, it could be because you also have this personality trait.
Throughout the study, 48 participants were studied by the researches. Half of these participants had body-focused repetitive behaviors, of which nail biting is considered one. The other half didn’t have any of these repetitive habits.
The study was performed by having every participant fill out a number of surveys. These surveys were made to test the way they regulate their emotions and organize their behaviors.
From the study, one trait that seemed to manifest commonly in all of these biters is perfectionism.
“It is our belief that the individuals who have these repetitive behaviors might be perfectionistic, which means that they are unable to just relax and perform a task at the usual pace. Therefore, they are more prone to frustration, dissatisfaction and impatience when they are unable to reach their objectives,” said Dr. Kieron O’Connor, the author of the study.
So this is why perfectionists bite their nails.
The researchers believe that nail biters bite their nails because it is a means of expressing their frustration when something doesn’t go right or when they don’t attain a level of success- something that happens quite a lot to perfectionists.
If you are of the habit of biting your nails and you think that this doesn’t fit you, it is possible that you’re wrong. Even though you might not necessarily define yourself as a perfectionist, it is possible for you to still fit some of the characteristics of one.
These are some known traits that perfectionists have:
You always think in “all or nothing” terms
You tend to be hard on yourself when things don’t go your way
When you don’t reach your goals, you get really angry with yourself
Even in the event that you do achieve a goal, the success you attain is usually not enough to make you really happy.
If any (or more) of these descriptions fits you, then you might actually be a perfectionist, and that might give a proper explanation as to why you’re of the habit of biting your nails. So, although it might be due to anxiety for some people, the major cause of nail biting actually has something to do with the perfectionist personality that some people have.
Now, understand something; perfectionism is actually not a bad trait for a person to have. However, the habit of biting the nails is a little bit of a downside to it. Biting the nails can lead to weakened teeth, infections, and the deformation of the fingernails. The truth is that breaking this habit isn’t always easy. However, just try your best and look for a different way to work through your stress.