Finally I quit Nail biting habit


Nail biting – by the time I got to know that it’s wrong / bad to bite my nails it was in my hourly routine already. A habit which is nearly impossible to leave or withdraw your attention from. As Wikipedia says- 

Nail biting, also known as onychophagy or onychophagia, is an oral compulsive habit.

No one at my home does Nail biting, but it was just me. I have been biting my nails ever since I starting knowing myself. One of my mathematics teacher also had the habit, which made me sure that I was NOT wrong. If a great Mathematic teacher can bite his nails, so what’s wrong if I do the same.

Many people would say Nail Biting is for people who are under-confident or remain confused, but trust me I am neither. Only symptom that matched was that – I was always thinking or I when I was under stress. So when I was coding, studying or watching a movie, I would enjoy biting nails until they bleed red. After constant lecture for many years, my family also started accepting my Nail biting habit and that was it. I had no one who would ask a question and I was one happy Nail biter.

However, I did not know how life is going to unfold it’s destiny. I was soon at a position where my parents were. My sweet little daughter started biting her nails, just cause I do. Well – this was the worst thing that I could give her in dynasty. Even though many celebrities have this habit, but I knew it was BAD –


So I knew, that I have to quit this habit no later than sooner, else my daughter would never be able to come out of it. Even though, I should have started to quit this instantly, it took me 2 years to realize that it’s about time. I did not do any preparations or read any “How to” for quitting this habit, I just made my mind that I will not bite my nails, PERIOD.

There were other reasons to stop nail biting, like –

  1. One leaves a bad impression when biting his / her nails in a meeting, conference or even at parties.
  2. There is always that pain in your fingers.
  3. You can’t open a soda can with your nails (unless you left any). You need to use a key or some other object to pull that off. And I have faced situations like, where I had to ask the store guy to open that for me. Yes – that’s embarrassing.
  4. You don’t even realise you were doing it, it means you are not you.
  5. You cannot just show your fingers to anyone and you feel awkward at time.

What did I exactly do –

  1. To tell you the fact, I did not do anything special for this. Just made up my mind that if I can grow beard, I can let my nails grow, to some level at least.
  2. When I had an urge of nail biting, I would start tapping my teeth with my nails. That was actually sending signal to my brain which would then help me stop biting my nails. There were times when I kept tapping the teeth for 30 minutes or so.
  3. Brag about it – I would tell everyone around me that I have quit the habit and show them my fingers. Some would appreciate and some would say it still looks the same. Both type of comments gave me motivation to keep going.
  4. I chose the best time for it. I decided to quit this habit on my son’s second birthday. And after 10 days from his birthday we were going on a family holiday for 10 days, which means I will be busy and will most likely forget eating nails or wont have time to do that. And trust me that was a SUCCESS!!
  5. I would chop them off using a nail clipper like after every 2 days.

I know it is close to impossible to leave this habit as nails grow so fast that you can bite them all day. It’s much difficult than leaving a cigarette (I assume,as I am a non-smoker), because you have to go and buy cigarette to smoke it off, but nails are with you.

So if you are reading this then I am sure you have been going through what I just overcame in my life. If I can, then I am sure you can too. So find a reason and make up your mind. It is not that easy but the best part is it’s doable. Find a way to distract your mind when you feel urge to bite nails and I am sure you can do it.

If you have any ideas, that can help others – do not forget to leave a comment.

Good Luck,
Sachin Khosla

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