Answer the question: is a person who gnaws nails a person: anxious, nervous or perfectionist?
Raise your hand, who has never, at least once, chewed his nails. Probably very few people have ever done this and the question is not just a bad habit, it leaves horrible fingers and nails.
According to one study, eating nail reveals something more about our character.
50% of the population suffers from this problem, which is not typical only of children or adolescents. Many adults also chew nails because onychophagy is a difficult habit of eradicating, despite the many natural methods and remedies available to us.
For years, eating nails has been linked to nervousness and anxiety, but a study published in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry (JBTEP) provides some additional elements.
Those who eat their fingernails would be perfectionists who, as such, can hardly relax if they do not make the most of their performances and therefore put their frustration on their nails.
“We believe that people who have this repetitive behavior are perfectionists subject to frustration, impatience, and dissatisfaction if they can not achieve their goals,” says Kieron O’Connor, one of the authors of the study.
During the experiment, the behavior of 48 volunteers, compulsive fingernail eaters, was observed. Everyone had to respond to a questionnaire that aimed to understand their behavior and their emotions. According to the team of researchers, in all those who had the habit of eating nails, there were traces of perfectionism. They were people who made detailed plans, kept manic orders and were often frustrated at not being able to do their best.
In short, eating your nails, even if it seems innocuous, is a habit that does not do well with our aesthetic aspect or physical health (think of brittle nails and ingested microbes). In addition, this craze reveals something not very cool about our way of being and our way of life.
According to the researchers, the secret to stop eating nails could be to lead the life with lightness, and tranquillity, without being charged to always do everything perfectly. After all, perfection does not exist! Everyone should remember that.