(These are my real hands at the time I’m writing this, see the keyboard in the background? And for all the doubters who think I must relegate my chewing to a single hand, I included both.)
I had concluded I was doomed. I had accepted the fact that I’d always have to hide my hands, but now my nails look so good I could be a hand model.
But to understand why the Pavlok method is so effective, you first must see why all the other advice out there isn’t.
The 6 Most Commonly Suggested Strategies for Breaking Your Nail Biting Habit That Don’t Work
- Keep Your Nails Shorter
- Use a Bad Tasting Nail Polish to Prevent Biting
- Splurge and Treat Yourself to Expensive Manicures Frequently
- Keep Your Hands and Mouth Busy
- Cover Your Nails with Bandages, Adhesives, or Gloves
- Break The Habit Gradually, One Nail at a Time
2. Use a Bad Tasting Nail Polish to Prevent Biting
Taste is a fickle thing. For example, do you like spicy food? If you do, you probably really like it. Moreover, you probably look to increase your spice tolerance at certain times when the opportunity arises. You might even remember a time when you didn’t like spicy food or food as spicy as you like now.
On the other hand, if you don’t like spicy food you probably don’t even like the smallest amount of spicy. You likely think all spicy food tastes horrible and you can’t understand why anyone would crave spicy food as much as your friends do.
My point is that taste is extremely relative and is based on many psychological and physiological factors. Some studies even suggest our brains re-condition our taste buds to enjoy spice because of the nutrient density, as this article mentions. So, it’s entirely possible that what you find repulsive today may not be so unpleasant over time.
Indeed, what we see happen is that exact pattern of desensitization. Commonly, people paint their nails with nasty polish all day, but can’t kick their habit. Much like the friend who chews Nicorette all day but still can’t stop sneaking a cigarette, you can change one aspect of the behavior without truly conquering the habit. As we’ll illustrate, what you’re doing, in this case, is only changing the routine part of the habit without doing the deep work to eliminate the triggers and reward the new behavior.
C’mon internet, can’t you do better?