Posted by: joha5 | June 16, 2010

Fingernail Funk: Learning How to Break Bad Habits

It is remarkable that I don’t have more bad habits than I do.  There are very few things that I do, use, or need to function on a daily basis.  I don’t drink coffee.  I don’t have a sweet tooth.  I don’t have a temper or a bad demeanor if I don’t get my way.  And I very rarely have cravings for much of anything – and if I do then I can very quickly dismiss them.  Many people that I know have ‘addictive personalities’.  For better or for worse, I do not.

However, there is one habit that I have had since childhood that I wish I could just forget about for the rest of my life (aside from the occassional snoring!) – biting my finger nails.  This problem does not plague me like you might imagine it would.  I don’t spend hours gnawing on them or swallowing them or spitting them out like I’m spitting tobacco into a spitoon on the floor of an old western saloon.  In fact, I’ve become so adept at biting them that it isn’t so much biting my nail’s as it is shaping them.  I know that this is a very euphemistic statement to make but I truly am a nail biting professional. 

I am a nail biting professional.

I have had a lot of people intervene with my habit and very rarely do they ever do or say anything to motivate me to stop.  There has only been one person that has ever succeeded and even then I secretly ‘shape’ my nails on the side and they never even know the difference.  That is how good I am.  But I must admit that it is still a disgusting habit that I would like to stop but don’t really want to put the effort in to actually do it.  I feel like this happens all the time with people who smoke, or who eat emotionally, or basically have habits that they want to stop but would prefer not to.  I would like to stop biting my nails but, if I am honest, I would prefer not to.

There are many reasons for this.  Aesthetically, I don’t like the look of longer nails.  They always get dirty and there is constantly gross stuff underneath them, they make people’s finger look like claws, and they are an absolute pain to keep them at the right length because they grow so fast.  Conversely, finger nails that are too short look disgusting as well.  They can look jagged and crooked, they look unhealthy, and they make your finger’s look like stumps.  It really would just be easiest if scientists could just make up a pill that would stop all of this stuff from growing – especially hair and fingernails.  I mean, if they can engineer seedless watermelons than they must be able to engineer some sort of pill to halt these growth processes. 

These are nice fingernails...right?!

Luckily, I don’t have an ‘addictive personality’ so if I had to stop because of my health, relationships, or career then I could do it in a second.  I know that this is what people with habits always say but I genuinely could.  I can smoke cigarettes and they aren’t addictive to me and my cravings for them don’t grow and I can stop biting my nails and my cravings to bite them don’t grow either.  In fact – just to prove my point – I haven’t bitten my nails in just over 3 weeks.  Right now they are a great length and if I could keep them like this then I would.  But I can’t.  By this time next week I will have noticed that they have gotten too long and at some unconcious moment while watching a close World Cup game – or even out of sheer boredom – I will have ‘shaped’ them down to the perfect length that I want them at and nobody will ever know that I actually ‘cut’ them with my teeth rather than clippers or a pair of nail scissors.

I suppose there are many habits that are much worse that I could be battling with trying to break.  Biting my fingernails may not be pretty or attractive or charming or even healthy but I’d certainly rather have this problem than a host of other potential ones.  Besides, if you can’t tell that I do it anyway then what does it matter to you?



  1. I prefer super short nails myself and am guilty of the shaping habit 🙂

    • Haha! Thank goodness for that! Maybe bad habits actually aren’t that bad after all…right?!

  2. i’ve never gotten into biting my nails…maybe because i keep them short to begin with.

    • I try and keep mine short whether I bite them or not. It just feels so much better and looks a lot better than having these awful nails that you can scratch people with. I’m glad to hear that it seems that more people keep their nails short rather than long! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. You know if you are a girl you can put on nail polish or varnish and once you think of all that chemicals on your nails you’d be freaked to swallow them.

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