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!
It is believed that individuals that develop this habit may be perfectionists, which means that they aren’t able to perform and relax just like everyone else does. As a result, they are prone to impatience, dissatisfaction, and frustration when they don’t achieve their goal, says Dr. Kieron O’Connor.
In other words, it is not anxiety that causes nail-biting, but frustration.
The study involved 48 participants that engaged in repetitive behaviors like the nail-biting habit. They were all given surveys designed to test their organizational behavior, and the results showed that the 48 nail-biters were identified as organizational perfectionists.
The nail-biting habit helps this type of people to cope with frustration in the present and helps them release their pent up energy. But this “satisfaction” doesn’t last long and it is usually embarrassing.
Impact of the Study
As harmless as it seems, nail-biting can cause infections, weakened teeth, and embarrassing finger deformations. With those types of risks at play, psychotherapists try their hardest to help patients to move past this habit.
This study was mainly to help those psychotherapists to better understand their patients and to help them get over it.
Are you a nail-biter yourself? Do you think that you might be a perfectionist? Keep on reading and you’ll find out.
Check out these other signs of perfectionism:
- You’re putting the weight of the world on your shoulders and are very hard on yourself.
- You think in black and white (all-or-nothing).
- You become depressed when you fail to achieve a goal.
- Even when you achieve a goal, it still feels like it isn’t enough.
- You wait for the “right moment” to start a project, but that moment never comes.
Watch the video for a few tips to stop biting your nails