Viewing 23 posts - 1 through 23 (of 23 total)
  • Nail biting
  • Premier Icon Ambrose
    Full Member

    I bite my nails badly, it’s a habit I really hate but am having problems breaking. Stress increases the likelihood of it happening and when it does it gets pretty messy sometimes; bleeding and soreness make wand washing/ scrubbing really painful.
    My hands are frequently on show in great detail when I model/ illustrate/ demonstrate as I teach in school. Visualisers are wonderful tools but the ones I use do not seem to have an auto-manicure setting.

    Strategies that help: Shame of being noticed/ commented upon in school is the biggest driver here. Keeping my nails uber-short using clippers and files really helps. If I notice even the slightest snag or tag I find that I am at it despite knowing not to. In the past I have ‘allowed’ myself to bite my left hand but not my right.Can anyone offer any advice?

    I’m 60 ffs!

    Premier Icon holdsteady
    Full Member

    tried anything like this? remember a lad at school had to use something similar to stop him biting his nails

    https://www.superdrug.com/Make-Up/Nails/Nail-Care/Nail-Strengthener/Superdrug-Anti-Biting-Nail-Coat/p/807059?singleResultSearchPage=true

    Premier Icon Ambrose
    Full Member

    I’ve not tried anything like that for years, maybe things have moved on. Thank you for the reminder, I’ll give it a go.

    Premier Icon Mackem
    Full Member

    Damn, i was expecting something exciting.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    Gloves? (-:

    In the first instance you don’t need to quit, you need to replace. What specifically causes you to do it, what’s your motivation?

    Snags, you’ve already answered this, clips and a file. Keep driving this, it’s a replacement for biting..
    Oral fixation? Chewing gum.
    Fidgeting? Find something else to do with your fingers, I hear fidget spinners were all the rage last week.
    Anxiety?
    I used to use a Rubik’s Cube, not to solve but just to scramble. I got into the habit when I sodded my wrist because it helped with mobility, but I found it helpful with calming restlessness and a bunch of other stuff. I have one on my desk here right now.

    Ask yourself not “how do I stop this?” but rather “what can I do instead which scratches the same itch and is less destructive?”

    Premier Icon jacobff
    Full Member

    I find keeping them super short and having clippers on hand as soon as I feel like biting helps.

    Premier Icon mert
    Free Member

    Yes, i did this for years, stopped in the late 90’s at nearly 30 years old.
    Small clippers or folding scissors in the pocket or on a keyring, you can ver get “flat” credit card style scissors now i think.

    The bitter tasting nail paints are actually not that unpleasant, used to make exactly no difference to me as a child. Would happily lick it off before biting the nail.

    Gum helped, or, as per cougar, something to fidget with, i nearly started biting again during lockdown/working from home, but got myself a few of those wooden and wire puzzles and magnet blocks to fiddle with. Soon distracts you, and TBH, it’s probably more fun than biting nails.

    Premier Icon On-oneplus26
    Full Member

    As with any habit you need to want to stop. Don’t want to stop enough, you wont. Its all about will power. I used to bite mine down to bleeding stumps all the time, wife challenged me to stop which was enough for my pig headed self to stop over night – quite obsessive now with a nail file now though and any small chips or sharp edges have to be buffed out!
    Tell your self you are going to stop, really want to stop and stop. If you don’t really want to stop, stop worrying about it because you aren’t going to manage to stop and you will just stress over it.

    Premier Icon Klunk
    Free Member

    could try a set of fake nails super glued on them until you’ve broken the habit. I was a compulsive biter, just stopped, can’t say why I just stopped.

    Premier Icon Speeder
    Full Member

    Buy yourself a handful of nail files or emery boards and scatter them around the house/car/work etc and use them regularly as a ritual instead of biting. Also try a manicure set with one of those buffing pads that takes the ridges out and gives a really smooth finish by dropping the grit grades to nothing. It’ll give you a different focus and you’ll start taking pride in them rather than being embarrassed.

    Worked for me and I had exactly the same issue – I had bitten my nails for 30+ years and now I don’t*

    * Well I do but only to reduce the length/remove snags/nibble and they’re actually now quite passable. They extend beyond the quick and have proper white bits. For a good while my right thumb was a sacrificial bitter but even that now is pretty good and is only 3mm shorter than it’s opposite.

    Good luck. It took me a good few years to wean myself off it, I suppose having kids was something to do with it and they’ve been around for 11 years now so it may take time.

    Premier Icon Scapegoat
    Full Member

    I used to bite mine, never allowed a little bit to show, it had to be nibbled off. I saw a colleague who was a bit like the OP, nervously biting his down until they bled, and it was a sort of turning point. (I was mid-thirties) I simply decided I didn’t want nails that would embarrass me, so I turned the whole thing on its head and decided I would grow them as long as I could. That became a sort of new obsession, growing the nails, shaping and filing them until they looked really good. I worked inside which helped, and if I felt compelled to bite them I simply reached for a pair of clippers and a file and neatened them up. It may have appeared a bit odd to some, in fact I got quite a few comments, including some jealousy from female colleagues, as well as whether I paid for manicures etc, but the end result was nails that looked really good.

    I learned to play guitar and so trimmed the left hand ones really short, and grew the right hand ones into finger-picking nails, but they broke too easily and I preferred playing with a pick. Now I play bass and so the nails on my right hand are kept equally short. I keep them with about 1-2mm showing, and now the attention is spent keeping them smooth and rounded and snag-free.

    So, replace the negative with a positive. Hope that helps?

    Premier Icon i_scoff_cake
    Free Member

    It’s a good way to get worms.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Full Member

    I think two things helped me stop. One was being a civil engineer with Manchester main drainage department (really I didn’t fancy sticking my fingers in my mouth after I’d been “on site” until Id had a good wash). The second was rock climbing – I discovered that having good finger nails improved grip on tiny finger holds as the finger tips don’t roll).

    After that I played classical guitar for a while and got quite obsessive with clippers and emery boards.

    I can’t be arsed any more and have relapsed into nibbling rather than trimming properly. This thread is a reminder I need to sort it out. I think, like alcoholism, once a nail biter you are only ever in remission.

    If I can offer any advise I would suggesting reserving one finger on each hand you don’t bite. Once you’ve achieved that make it two on each hand. Repeat…

    It’s a good way to get worms.

    Eh?

    Premier Icon Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    Use cheap toilet paper, job jobbed.

    Premier Icon colournoise
    Full Member

    Keep biting your nails.

    I used to bite mine pretty badly but managed to stop years ago through nothing more than will power. Sadly, that physical habit/tic was replaced by picking at scratches, spots and scabs which for an MTBer is a bad look on the arms and legs… I’m now quite scarred…

    Premier Icon Ambrose
    Full Member

    Thank you so much everyone, I really appreciate your help and advice. Paint on lotion arrives tomorrow but tbh, as everyone agrees, it’s going to be a recognition of behaviour thing.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Full Member

    Use cheap toilet paper, job jobbed.

    Can you get I’ll from your own hobbies?

    Premier Icon ads678
    Full Member

    wand washing

    Premier Icon mert
    Free Member

    It’s a good way to get worms.

    think that says more about personal hygiene than nail biting.

    Premier Icon Scapegoat
    Full Member

    It’s a good way to get worms.

    Eh?

    Life cycle of the threadworm. Emerges from the anus causing itching, host (most probably a child or other person with poor hygiene habits) scratches anus, then transfers worms and eggs to own mouth through nail-biting or finger-licking, or onto another surface where another host picks them up and ingests them.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    So it’s a good way to get worms if you already have worms?

    Premier Icon Scapegoat
    Full Member

    Makes the cycle hard to break. Did you miss the bit about transferring the eggs to other surfaces for other kids to ingest?

    Premier Icon Ambrose
    Full Member

    And thus it comes full circle…

    Can you recommend a book about parasites for me?

Viewing 23 posts - 1 through 23 (of 23 total)

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