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How to Quit Nail Biting

There are ladies and gents who gently bite and then chew the nails, and possibly ingest the bits as snack.

Concealed nail biting
Concealed nail biting
Nail biting is a very strong bad habit, in that once started, it’s difficult to quit. As a guy, nail biting is the number one thing that turns me off, though I try my best not to let it overshadow sweet personality traits I find in people. In a live conference concerning nail biting, a friend jokingly said, “Nail biters cannot get laid.” But what he didn’t know was whether nail biters can’t get laid due to the fact that they bite their nails, or whether they become nail biters due to their inability to get laid. Before we get to the solutions for stopping the horrible habit, let’s clear some double standards here.
He probably never bites his nails.
He probably never bites his nails.

The double standards. According to ‘‘,[1] ten percent of men surveyed admitted they bite their nails almost everyday, compared to just five percent of females surveyed, who agreed they commit the same atrocity almost everyday as well. However, our culture tends to push the badness of nail biting towards females. That is, you can see a guy freely biting his nail in the public, but same is a no-no for a girl to do.

Types of nail biting, plus how bad it really is. I must admit that it is worse to have this habit publicly than privately. You might have been thinking, how bad is nail biting? But here’s something — it gets worse depending on the type. There are people who do the “bite and spit.” Let me explain. A guy or girl bites out a chunk of his or her dirty nail, and then spits it into a random direction. You can hear the sound, and you might even flinch a bit, worrying that the piece of nail might have been spat on you. Then there’s the “bite and chew.” There are ladies and gents who gently bite and then chew the nails, and possibly ingest the bits as snack. You tell me which one sounds worse! Plus, nail biting is no longer assumed to be just a bad habit — science pros now declare that it is a mental disorder, an obsessive-repulsive disorder to be specific; it can be harder to quit than smoking cigarettes.[2] Now let’s get to solving the issue!

Quitting nail biting. If you really want to quit nail biting, it’s actually easy! Here are solutions I have found:

  1. Get some bubblegum. While it may look unethical to chew a gum in a formal public, it has more potential to be favored over biting your nails in front of your professor or coworkers. Trust me, it will be near difficult to bite your nails while you’re chewing a gum.
  2. Bitterleaf! Yep. Bitterlieaf is an edible species of Vernonia, commonly eaten as leaf vegetables.[3] However, it tastes extremely bitter. You should squeeze out a little juice from the leaf, and rub the juice beneath your fingernails before you go to bed each night. You’ll find out that the slap of bitterness you get from your fingernails whenever you try to bite them will keep you more socially acceptable.
  3. Get less depressed. Try to increase your good moods and happiness. Physical exercises, positive celebrations, richer nutritional intakes, visitation of loved ones, helping those who could use your help, entertaining yourself by going to the movies with people — to mention but a few — may help brighten your day and likely distract you from your nails.

Curing nail biting is possible and can be easy, especially when you start the procedure by first stopping yourself from doing it in public, and then finally in private. In fact, my recommendation is to first get rid of the public side of the issue, and then work at a more comfortable pace to finally clean up the habit from you. Rest assured that these Supreme Tips are expected to be extremely useful to you; I’d also like to advise you to consult a professional before giving any of these awesome tips a try.

Photo credits: Maxwell GS and Guachacas.

[1] “Statistics: Do you bite your nails?” Retrieved 18 Jan, 2012
[2] Daily Mail Reporter, “Nail biting is more than a habit…” Mail Online. Retrieved 18 Jan, 2012
[3] “Vernonia.” Wikipedia. Retrieved 18 Jan, 2012

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