Okay, let’s get real. I’ve bit my nails since the sixth grade. Practically gnawed them to death until they bled.
Usually it was because of anxiety, boredom, or stress. People always say “Well, just stop chewing them!” Or “Get your fingers outta your mouth!” Which is crazy, because half the time I didn’t even know I was doing it. And, even then, I couldn’t/wouldn’t stop it. I’d stick my hands under my legs to sit on them, and 2 seconds later I’d be gnawing again. Habit!
I tried every technique known to man.
Like: Keep your nails trimmed short. Having less nail provides less to bite and is less tempting.
But nope, for me, it wasn’t about whether the nail was long or short, it was the texture of it. If it felt jagged, or rough (like a hang nail), or uneven, I would bite them until they felt smooth. And even though they say trim them short, the bottom line was, there was nothing left to trim. I chewed them down to the bone. That trick didn’t work at all.
What did work was this:
Bitter-tasting nail polish. These are readily available over-the-counter (like Walgreens). It’s safe, but it’s also awful-tasting that discourages you from biting your nails.
These work, but not always.
It made me more aware that I was chewing my nails, sure. But often, I still wouldn’t care. I would still chew them even though they tasted bad, and made my lips burn. The thing I disliked the most about these nail polish products, was the fact that most of them were glossy (meaning, made for women). This didn’t look so good on a man. It was embarrassing. I finally did locate no-bite formula that was matte finish, like the one below:
Replace your nail-biting habit with good habits. Try playing with a stress ball or silly putty instead. This will help keep your hands busy and away from your mouth.
This is true true true!
I actually found that fidget items worked really well. Things like fidget cubes, rings, and spiral things:
But one of the best fidget toys that worked, and doesn’t look so weird, was the basic spinner ring: (two rings that move independently of each other so you can flick them with your finger and they spin).
I would buy a spinner ring big enough for my index finger, so my thumb would spin the heck out of it.
I found that I chewed my nails the most when watching tv or a movie.
So I did (and still do), wear a pair of gloves when I’m sitting in front of the tube. It works. It works wonders. And now, 5 years later, I have nails again. I’m no longer ashamed of what they look like, or how bad they hurt. I have nails, and I love it. And yes, sometimes wearing gloves does get hot, especially in the Summertime, but it’s either that, or Chew-Magoo.
So that’s what I did. That’s how I cured my nail biting. And that’s exactly what I recommend to you. 🙂