Archive for June, 2012

Nail Biting

June 26th, 2012

Nail biting is probably the first habit I ever picked up and definitely the first bad habit I picked up. I was very young, probably in elementary school. I have no actual memories of a time before I bit my nails. I’ve wanted to quit for years. I hate how my nails look. People always say its a major turn off with the ladies and that’s never good. If the ladies don’t like it, most guys probably don’t either and that will lead to some bad first impressions. Clearly it’s easy to find many reasons for why it’s bad, and I could never find a reason to put in the good column.

I tried many times to quit, but no matter what I did I just couldn’t break it. I had tried putting nasty stuff on my nails so I wouldn’t stop due to the taste. There were always two problems with these route. One I would just adapt, wash it off, and get use to the taste. The second problem was this didn’t allow me to mentally say I was going to break the habit. Without the mental conviction it was impossible to do.

A little more than two months ago my girlfriend said I should try to quit again. Surprise! She thought it was a nasty habit. So I poked around on the internet and found someone suggesting to quit nail by nail. Quit biting one nail. Once you’ve quit that one nail, you quit biting a new one, and so on. That just might work I said to myself. Something I never said about covering my nails.

I made it a whole week without biting the one nail. Wonderful! I added a second. I had to go out and buy nail clippers. Clipping your nails is totally different than biting. This was a skill I had zero experience with and had to start and learn the hard way. Thirty one year old men don’t ask for help after all. Two whole weeks without biting two nails. This was progress. I added a third.

After the third week I counted down my hand in triumph. Three whole nails! Wait a minute, there’s a fourth! A fifth! A sixth and seventh! Holy crap! Something happened that third week, my stress levels had dropped through the floor. A major weight had been taken off my shoulders and this clearly had a positive impacting with my habit. From this realization I came to find I had two reasons why I bit my nails: stress and boredom.

Since that point I’ve stopping biting my nails. Sure I have a lapse here and there and chew one off. Mostly because I’ve yet to build a habit of clipping them and they’re growing too long. I don’t have a clipper near by and find myself not being able to wait till I get to some clippers and bite it off instead. Hopefully this can be easily remedied by putting a nail clipper on my key chain I take everywhere with me. That way if I notice a nail getting to long I can clip it before I bite it.

I’m really happy with myself. This has been such a hard habit for me to break, something that has been with me most of my life and I’ve been able to do it! Hopefully I can keep with it.