Are you a nail biter?

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It was one of the more disgusting habits that I’ve had.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a nail biter. Perhaps a nervous tick at first, but eventually it became a horrid habit that I couldn’t control. I wouldn’t even notice that my fingers were in my mouth until I chewed the nail too low and it began to hurt.

For several days after, I would walk around with sensitive finger tips, annoyed that I did this again, but that wouldn’t mean I wouldn’t bite them anymore. Nails grow unevenly, so I would chew them as they grew, never giving them a chance to recover. I would bite my hang nails, and there were plenty, and even my cuticles and frayed skin around the nails. Yes, it was that bad.

So, you must be thinking, “You’re speaking in the past tense, does that mean you stopped biting your nails?”

YES! I haven’t bitten a single nail in 3 weeks! I’m going to tell you how to stop.

I’ve heard of some products that you could buy that would make your nails taste gross so you wouldn’t bite them anymore, but I never tried them so I don’t know how well they work, but I can tell you that I most likely would have bit them any ways.

What I did was much easier, and so silly that I can’t believe it worked and I didn’t try it sooner.

I wrote it down.

What does that mean? It means literally, I wrote down, on a piece of paper, ‘I don’t bite my nails.’

Then, at night before I slept, I lied in bed and said it to myself again. “I don’t bite my nails.”

The next morning, I woke up, and got my coffee as usual. When I sat at the kitchen table, there was the paper I had left there. “I don’t bite my nails.” Now it was refreshed in my mind. And guess what happened? The next time my finger went in my mouth, I was aware immediately. I took my hand out and reaffirmed by thinking, “I don’t bite my nails.”

I went out that day and bought a manicure kit. I was embarrassed at CVS when I asked where they kept their “nail filers and stuff” but after I left, I went home and put on a YouTube video that showed how to take care of your own nails (for men).

I used the little clippers to trim the hang nails and frayed skin. I didn’t need to clip anything yet. Nails actually grow fairly quickly, so before long, I was able to trim a little corner and use the shaping file thingy to round off the edges. I used the cuticle pusher to help shape the bottom of the nail (where it meets the finger) and then trimmed the excess cuticle that pushed up.

While my nails were growing and repairing, I kept reaffirming at night before I slept, “I don’t bite my nails.” Then, each time I noticed my finger in my mouth, I removed it and repeated my mantra.

That’s it! It really is that simple. I now keep my manicure kit near my TV so when I sit on the couch to watch it, which is where I would do most of my nail biting, I have a new habit of filing or trimming my nails instead of biting them. My nails aren’t the most beautiful and could definitely benefit from a trip to a salon for professional care, but until I work up the mindset to be a dude in a nail salon, I’m happy with my home care treatment.

Join me and stop nail biting! Tell me if it works for you =]


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