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Nail Biting Is A Sign Of THIS Personality Trait!

Nail-biting is commonly thought of as a nervous habit.

According to new research however, nervousness might not actually be the reason behind
nail chomping and other body related habits.

In a study published in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, research suggests that its actually perfectionism that causes certain individuals to de-nail themselves with their teeth!

“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.”

So in a round about way, it’s not anxiety that you are trying to quell when biting your nails; it’s frustration.

The Study

Researchers studied 48 participants with half of them being individuals who regularly engaged in repetitive behaviors such as nail-biting.

Participants filled out a number of surveys that were designed to test organizational behavior and emotion regulation.

The results showed that the nail-biters were identified as organizational perfectionists.
Scientific American reports, “organizational perfectionism is characterized by a tendency to over-plan, over-work and become frustrated by a lack of activity.”

Perfectionists bite their nails to feel less frustrated in the present. As expected it helps them release some pent up energy.

The Impact of the Study

Although it seems like a relatively harmless activity, biting your nails can actually cause quite a bit of long-term damage.

Nail-biting can lead to infections, weakened teeth and shame-inducing deformation of the fingernails suggests WebMD

The results have the potential to help therapists better understand their patients and what causes their behavior.

“These findings suggest that individuals suffering from body-focused repetitive behaviors could benefit from treatments designed to reduce frustration and boredom and to modify perfectionist beliefs,” said Sarah Roberts, one of the study’s additional authors.

More signs of perfectionism:

  •     You think in very black and white, ‘all-or-nothing’ terms.
  •     You’re very hard on yourself.
  •     When you don’t achieve a goal, you become depressed.
  •     Even when you do achieve a goal, that success is not enough to make you happy.
  •     You never start a project until the ‘right’ moment – which often never seems to come.

But wait! There is good news! When managed correctly, perfectionism can actually make you an incredibly driven and talented person. 

Check out this video for a few tips to stop biting your nails!


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