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Researchers Reveal What Biting Your Nails Says About Your Personality


Researchers Reveal What Biting Your Nails Says About Your Personality

There are many habits of human beings that are considered as bad, and they are some way or the other related to psychology. One of them is crunching nails.

People having this habit receive many comments such as ‘didn’t you have food at home today?’ and many more. Just to let you know, you are not alone on this path of munching nails; according to studies, almost 1/3rd of the total population maintain this habit throughout their lives.

We tend to associate this habit of nail-biting with fright or tension and assume that the person having this habit might be going through some serious tension.

After various researches on this subject, a fact was revealed by a journal which came out in Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. This journal talks about the habit of biting your nails may indicate about the person’s sophistry. The clear concept of sophistry or faultlessness is worrying about appearance and trying to achieve exact perfect essentials, and when not achieved it turns into and imbalance in the flow of emotions, increasing melancholy and distress.

Not only emotional, there are other issues generated from nail biting which may affect physical well-being.

Signs Underneath Nail Biting 

There are some other habits like biting your nails which include skin picking and hair pulling. These are considered as Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs) – a continuous, harmful, non-operative habit. Researchers noted down the characteristics of the above mentioned habits to make a comparative study of the BFRBs. This process included two modes which are Emotional Reaction (ER) and Frustrated Action (FA).

The ER mode is applicable when BFRBs are generated from unlikely or troublesome feelings while the FA mode signifies BFRBs are generated due to tediousness, lassitude, anxiety or anger. Researchers tend to agree that FA mode is applicable widely because the symptoms of that mode match with the symptoms of a sophisticated person and their habit of perfection which makes them agitated.

Must read: You’ll Be Surprised How Much Your Palms, Fingers And Even Nails Can Tell You About Your Body


The study consisted of two groups of 24 and 23 participants respectively; one was the BFRBs group and the other known as Control group. According to the reports of this study, when the two groups were compared, BFRBs had the greater impulse to enter into such activities due to lassitude and anxiety. Also, people having BFRBs resulted in having a high risk of problems in adjusting with the daily conditions of life.


According to the head of the research Dr Kieron O’Connor, “We believe that individuals with these repetitive behaviors may be perfectionists, meaning that they are unable to relax and to perform tasks at a normal pace. They are therefore prone to frustration, impatience, and dissatisfaction when they do not reach their goals.”

Biting nails is not a Nerve related issue. It is a clear result of lassitude, anxiety, distress and fretfulness. These at the end result into the craving for sophistry and perfectionism leading towards bad habits like biting your nails.

Health Hazards of Nail-Biting

According to WebMD, other than frustration and lassitude, nail-biting can also be a sign of OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. There are some health hazards of this bad habit such as deformed and unshaped nails, nail cuticle infections, input of harmful bacteria into mouth and body, teeth shapelessness, and creating a bad personality trait in front of others.

Having the urge of sophistry is good, but nail-biting can also be the symptom of hidden problems such as social anxiety, eating disorder, misery, leading towards danger of harming self.

Sources used: Psychology Today, Live Science, Web MD

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