Nasty Habits: Nail Biting Linked To Perfectionism

By Abbie Kraft, Parent Herald December 15, 05:00 pm

It is often concluded that nasty habits of anxious individuals such as nail biting, hair-twisting, and those who engage in subconscious habits such as scratching, skin picking, and other repetitive body focused behaviors are either impatient or insecure. Though this may leave a negative impact among peers, recent studies surfaced that these habits actually tell a lot about one's personality.

Huffington Post explains that a new research which was done by the University of Montreal stated that a compulsive behavior does speak a lot about one's personality. It was concluded that impatient individuals such as those who would get bored and frustrated easily are more likely to engage in nail biting, hair pulling, and other repetitive bodily focused behaviors.

Their research, which was published in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychology stated that their traits are actually manifestations of perfectionism. These habits, however, can be more damaging than most individuals think.

The website then added that one does not need to worry about nail bating as it is often temporary. It's a subconscious way for the individual to channel his or her frustration. It is a way of releasing the tension when an individual was not able to productively perform the assigned task.

Dr. Kieron O'Connor, the professor of psychiatry at the university and the study's lead author, stated that people who exhibit repetitive behaviors tend to be perfectionists, wherein they can't relax. He also mentioned that they get anxious when they would not be able to perfectly perform their obligations. O'Connor then added that these individuals also have higher boredom levels and are easily frustrated when things wouldn't go as planned.

"The positive effects of the habits are stimulation and a (maladaptive) way of regulating emotion," O'Connor told the Huffington Post. "What triggers the habit is largely frustration and impatience so the action substitutes for more constructive action."

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