It is believed that biting the nails is a habit that someone has when they are nervous, however, recent research can show something much more striking about who bites their nails, which can even reveal aspects of their personality.

What the habit of biting your nails says about your health

There are many things that people who have a nervous problem or anxiety can do, such as walking from one side to the other, throwing a pencil or biting it, grinding teeth, etc., and among those behaviors you can also find the bad habit of Biting your nails, however, this is not the only cause that leads a person to bite their nails.

The perfectionist

Recent research has discovered that it could be more than just an anxious behavior. Biting your nails could say something about your personality. It is still very much associated with nervous behavior. Some psychologists associate it with people who are obsessive-compulsive. However, a study published in the Journal of Behavioral Therapy and Experimental Psychology says that stress is not the only thing that can remove nervous tics. It may be the result of someone who is a perfectionist.

A Montreal research team classifies nail-biting as “repetitive behavior centered on the body.” Other types of behaviors that fall into this category include playing with or pulling hair and scratching the skin.

One of the principal investigators, Kieron O’Connor gave this explanation about the behavior:

“Although these behaviors can induce significant distress, they also seem to satisfy an impulse and deliver some form of reward. We believe that people with these repetitive behaviors can be perfectionists, which means they are unable to relax and perform the task at a normal pace. ”

This can affect people in several ways. Kieron describes these effects:

“Therefore, they are prone to frustration, impatience, and dissatisfaction when they do not reach their goals. They also experience higher levels of boredom. ”

To study these behaviors – and the people afflicted by them – 48 individuals met. Half of the group exhibited repetitive behaviors and the other half did not. A selection process was used. This included clinical evaluations by telephone and questionnaires assessing the emotions and personality of each person.

The participants were then tested in four different scenarios designed to elicit specific emotional states. Stress, relaxation, frustration and boredom.

Individuals with a history of repetitive behaviors reported wanting to engage in repetitive behaviors more than those who did not have that habit. This happened for each emotional scenario, except for relaxation.

This seems quite logical, considering the previous problem with the behaviors. Experiments show that these tendencies can be triggered by more than feeling nervous.

“This means that the condition is not simply due to” nervous “habits. The findings suggest that people who suffer repetitive behaviors focused on the body could benefit from treatments designed to reduce frustration and boredom and to modify perfectionist beliefs. ”

Detecting the Perfectionist
So that person whose notes are moving their feet a lot or grinding their teeth is not necessarily worried about something. It could very well be a sign of perfectionist tendencies.

Being a perfectionist is not necessarily a bad thing. Setting ambitious goals and motivating yourself for high achievements can be rewarding. However, some studies have found that the real danger of perfectionism comes from the unhealthy thought patterns that may accompany the personality trait.

Repetitive behaviors centered on the body can be one of the drawbacks of having a perfectionist personality.


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