New research notes that nail biting may be more than just a bad habit – it may be a sign of much, much more.
Instead of just a bad habit, the new study, published in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, says nail biting is a sign of perfectionism.
“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,” said study author Dr. Kieron O’Connor. “They are therefore prone to frustration, impatience and dissatisfaction when they do not reach their goals.”
In other words, it’s not anxiety that nail-biters are trying to quell; it’s frustration.
The research is based on a study of 48 nail-biters; after studying the results, the researchers concluded that nail-biting helps perfectionists deal with their frustration, as it helps them relieve their pent-up and unused energy.
Nail-biting can have long-term consequences, including weakened teeth, infections, and even deformed fingernails.
Check out this video for a few tips to stop biting your nails!
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