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I feel like venting. I hate that I bite my nails. I know pretty much everyone has a bad habit of sorts, some kind of repetitive behaviour they wish they didn’t do such as nail biting, eating, tapping, clicking their tongue or more severe issues such as addiction. I hate when I bite my nails. I am not one of those females obsessed with beauty and make up (far from it) and I also don’t really care about my nails but I hate the action of biting, putting your finger in your mouth.

Yes, I would like my nails at a more natural length so I do care about my nails at a minimal level. I don’t munch like a T-rex eradicating the entire nail. It’s more of a consistent nibble. I do have nails but they are bitten and are not the normal natural length I would prefer them at. While I don’t care about my nails much at all, I have had to put nail polish to stop me from biting (that was a big step for me, it was horrifying). I hate nail polish and fail at applying it. I choose the most nude colour or the clear selection because I dislike it on my nails so much. Also, that way people can’t see the uneven blobs of paint on my nails, half-scratched.

Ultimately, it is a case of self-discipline. I bite my nails the most when I am concentrating hard or bored, hence my nails dwindle at University. Cutting out the habit out cold turkey doesn’t really work for me. The most effective method has been having a person who is near me a lot tell me to stop whenever they see me biting AND/OR replacing the habit with something else. I need to be fiddling with my fingers, I’m one of those people who needs lots of stimulation (insert immature giggle).

At this point I have been replacing the nail biting with nail scratching. I scratch off the nail polish I hate so much. I have just come out of a psychology lecture about behaviour and know that this method of negative reinforcement (removing an ‘negative’ stimuli to promote a certain behaviour) works for me and my nail biting. Removing that horrid nail polish reinforces my behaviour of not biting.

I should stop talking about reinforcement types if not I will be ranting for ages. What a strange tangent.

What bad habits do you wish you could shake off?

– Ermisenda Alvarez

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