Many people harbor bad habits that they'd rather the rest of the world not know about. Some can be hidden from the public eye while others are more or less socially acceptable, and some are merely annoying. For example, lying and cheating are bad habits that others may never know about. Drinking and smoking, while looked down on in some circles, are nonetheless part of our social culture. And habits like foot-tapping and change-jingling, while annoying, won't get you ostracized. But then there are bad habits that are not only impossible to hide, but they may also cause others to make assumptions about your personal state of health (physical and mental). Nail-biting is one such habit. And there are several reasons why you should make the effort to stop.
- Unattractive. When you bite your nails, the first thing people notice is the ragged edges and raw (or even scabbed) fingertips that go along with it. Do you really want this unsightly mess to be the first impression you present every time you shake the hand of a new acquaintance? Not only will many be hesitant to clasp your hand, it automatically triggers associations that are unflattering, to say the least, such as questions of hygiene and self-control. As a hallmark of your personality and your personal style, this is hardly the reaction you want to engender.
- Shows anxiety. Bad habits nearly always rear their ugly heads in relation to some form of anxiety, and biting your nails is a pretty obvious tell. Over time, it can become so ingrained in your routine that you don't even notice you're doing it. But other people will definitely take note and they'll see right away that you're nervous or anxious as a result. This is not something you necessarily want to broadcast in social situations.
- Pain. If nothing else motivates you to stop biting your nails, the fact that it can get pretty painful should give you pause. Although you have likely been living with this unfortunate side effect for quite a while, that probably doesn't make it any easier to accept. Can you imagine a day where you don't experience that gnawing (no pun intended) pain in your fingertips? If you can't remember the last time your fingers weren't throbbing, it's high time to make a change.
- Hygiene. Many people think that nail-biting is unhygienic, and the truth is that it can be. Your hands come into contact with all kinds of foreign objects throughout the day, and as a result they are exposed to contaminants like bacteria, fungi, and all manner of potentially harmful microorganisms. For most people, this isn't a problem. But when you break the skin through nail-biting you open yourself up to possible infection.
- Oral issues. When you bite your nails, the action obviously affects your hands. But it could also prove detrimental to your oral health. Constantly chomping on tough fingernails could lead to all kinds of issues like chipped teeth, an unaligned bite, or even TMJ. None of these are desirable outcomes. So if you're ready to stop, get some bitter-tasting hand cream, check out quitnailbiting.com, or see a therapist to curb your habit and replace it with something healthy.
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