So I titled this Part 1 with a question mark, because this is such a pervasive problem for me that I may need to write more than one rule about this. So this may or may not be part 1 of a series.

This is one of the largest struggles with an innocuous habit I have had throughout my life. Since I can remember as a little kid, I bit my nails. I bit my nails, at first, possibly because my mom bit her nails, and she possibly bit her nails because I’m pretty sure my grandfather bites his. I sound very confident about all of these conclusions, don’t I?

I believe my mom conquered her fingernail biting issues a while back. I remember as a kid, my mom tried to get me to use a number of clear fingernail polishes that either made your nails taste bad, or too tough to bite. It never worked.

This being a learned behavior is at least the most logical explanation I have as to why I picked up the habit in the first place. That, and it is something that provides some weird form of relief to anxiety, stress, sadness, and dissatisfaction. But, I’m not totally sold on the “learned behavior” theory.

When looked at in a super analytical and clinical sort of way, it’s a form of self-mutilation and self-destruction. Reference to Rule 2 for one reason to not continue with this habit.

I do have hope for myself though. In the past 6 months, I’ve gotten better and better at not biting my nails, so much so that I almost semi-regularly am trimming my fingernails. I had a realization about 5 months ago in regards to why I bite them. I feel the urge to pop, click, or bite my fingernails any time I am dissatisfied with that current moment of my reality. That happens a lot of the time. So, no wonder it is still an issue I’m working on.

Here’s Why I Should Stop Biting My Nails

  • It’s dirty.
  • It’s unhealthy.
  • It looks terrible.
  • It’s painful most times.
  • It causes you stress.
  • Thinking about it gives you anxiety.
  • Anyone around you can’t like it.
  • “The clicking” and how apparently annoying that is.
  • The spitting sound when someone spits out a nail. Yuck.
  • The fear of someone judging you because you bite your nails.
  • The amount of times you possibly have not booked an acting gig because of your nails.
  • The fact that you are writing a blog about not biting your fingernails

What are the benefits to biting your nails?

  • Stress reliever?
    • No, it causes you more stress than it relieves.
  • Control mechanism?
    • Sure, if you want to be in control of, and repeat, something that only harms you.
  • Escape?
    • Yes, into pain.

Why would someone want to feel pain?

Glad you asked!

People who deal with addiction recovery, trauma recovery, emotional and mental therapy, and the like have a proclivity to repeat cyclical activities that cause them pain or harm, physical and emotional. It is a form of escape from facing the underlying causes of the problem or situation. It’s also the person exerting a form of control over repeating the cycle of pain to engage in the feeling of being alive. This last part did not come from me, it came from a pretty awesome book I am reading lately called The Body Keeps The Score. If you, or someone you know, have experienced traumatic events in your life, suffer from anxiety, depression, addiction, general sadness…you should definitely give it a read.