Has it ever occurred to you that biting your nails might somehow imply that you are a perfectionist? No? It never occurred to me either. However, a research conducted by the University of Montreal says that nail biting and such other body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) i.e., eyelash pulling, skin-picking makes you a perfectionist. Now let me tell you how.
What happens when something you planned does not go that way?
Firstly, you pass a fake smile that everything is going good, a moment later that smile vanishes. Then comes the part where you either appear hitting your head on the wall or anxiously biting your nails. While in some cases, people don’t really smile they directly react (pun intended).
Anyways, ever wondered why a little malfunctioning in your plans makes you anxious, frustrated, and then forces you to harm yourself, it is because you are a perfectionist and when things go wrong you frustrate and act in a particular way which utilizes the positive energy you have as
Dr. Kieron O’ Connor, study’s lead author, said that such repetitive body behaviors such as nail biting, lash pulling etc., are alternative ways to channel the positive energy, that is not being spent in the way you expected. So cheer up if you bite your nails!
The research was conducted on 47 participants; half of whom were seen engaged in body-focused behaviors such as nail biting, lash pulling when exposed to situations that invoked such behaviors however the other half was a control group with no signs of any behavior.
Dr. Kieron O’Connor said that such repetitive behaviors are alternative ways of channeling the positive energy when things don’t go the way people expect. He also said that people who frustrates and irritates easily are more likely to be engaged in such behaviors and according to O’Connor, frustration and impatience act as main triggers to such BFRBs and we only frustrate when things don’t go the way we expected them to.
On the surface, being a perfectionist seems perfect. Not only you have a laser focus on the details but also you push yourself to achieve more and more in life but this is not it because how can being perfectionist not have any downside to it. How can we not get screwed in this beautiful world? There are definite downsides to it. Such repetitive behaviors become habit disorders if not treated on time. They not only interfere in your daily life but also make working with other people complex and unbearable.
According to O’Conner, behavioral therapies and a second approach which directly deals with the factors that triggers such repetitive behaviors can be adopted to deal with these body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs). So biting nails sometimes is no more a harm, JUST MAKE SURE YOUR NAILS ARE CLEAN.