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People With The Habit Of Nail-Biting Or Skin-Picking Are Perfectionists, Study Finds

People With The Habit Of Nail-Biting Or Skin-Picking Are Perfectionists, Study Finds

Perfectionism is one of the world’s most prevalent diseases in modern society, particularly given the advancements of social media and a rapidly increasing average workload and stress level on most individuals. However, if you’re concerned that you might be a perfectionist, then checking out several notable habits might be suitably indicative, namely biting your nails or picking at your skin.

For as long as the idea of perfectionism has been around, certain behavioural ticks, habits, and behaviours have been associated with the stereotypical image of the perfectionist – the high maintenance, the Type-A, the highly-strung. However, while the stereotype has long since become part of the modern day society’s pressures, the associative behaviours remain.

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Research conducted by the University of Montreal has found that people who have the typically nervous habits of biting their nails or picking at their skin, usually around their nails, are more likely to exhibit and report behaviours, traits, and attitudes consistent with perfectionism. They found that people who are generally impatient, or who get bored or frustrated easily, are more likely to engage in these behaviours; said behaviours and traits are believed to be rooted within the feelings of restlessness and anxiety that are so often associated with perfectionism, with the need to adjust and repeat an action until a perceived notion of ‘perfection’ is achieved in the mind of the sufferer.

This comorbidity between perfectionism and these almost self-mutilating, if extremely minor, behaviours has been previously documented in pre-existing research. Dr. Kieron O’Connor, Professor of Psychiatry at the university and the study’s lead author commented on the research’s findings: “We believe that individuals with these repetitive behaviors may be perfectionist, meaning that they are unable to relax and to perform task at a ‘normal’ pace. They are therefore prone to frustration, impatience, and dissatisfaction when they do not reach their goals. They also experience greater levels of boredom.”

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These ‘perfectionist’ behaviours, such as biting your nails when you’re stuck waiting or in a tediously boring position, can even sometimes have a positive effect; “The positive effects of the habits are stimulation and a way of regulating emotion,” O’Connor discussed with The Huffington Post. “What triggers the habit is largely frustration and impatience so the action substitutes for more constructive action.” However, in the long term, these behaviours can cause more harm than good.

Treatment for these conditions is being developed – one is a treatment of behavioural modification that involves replacing said habit (such as biting your nails or picking at your skin) with an equal, less self-injuring action. Another possible avenue of interest seems akin to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT); investigating the root cause of what factors cause the tension that lead to the behaviours, and aiming to challenge and defeat of the behaviours.

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O’Connor seems particularly interested in the latter approach: “We look at all the thoughts and behaviors present in situations at high risk for the habit and change them through cognitive therapy to more resemble the thoughts and behaviors in low risk situations,” O’Connor told HuffPost. “We do not address the habit directly so the person does not need to learn a competing response to replace the habit.”

Perfectionists face more than the social associations of their condition – the wider world might seem them as the high-maintenance divas of the world, never satisfied and never willing to let anything go until it’s perfect to a point. However, those suffering with anxious and perfectionist tendencies know that the associated behaviours and habits, however minor, are still irritating and infuriating; any avenues of help that can be given to them should be wholeheartedly and thoroughly encouraged.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/13/nail-biting-nervous-habits_n_6854152.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

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Chris Haigh

Writer, baker, co-host of "Good Evening Podcast" and "North By Nerdwest".

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Last Updated on June 13, 2019

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

Sleeping next to your partner can be a satisfying experience and is typically seen as the mark of a stable, healthy home life. However, many more people struggle to share a bed with their partner than typically let on. Sleeping beside someone can decrease your sleep quality which negatively affects your life. Maybe you are light sleepers and you wake each other up throughout the night. Maybe one has a loud snoring habit that’s keeping the other awake. Maybe one is always crawling into bed in the early hours of the morning while the other likes to go to bed at 10 p.m.

You don’t have to feel ashamed of finding it difficult to sleep with your partner and you also don’t have to give up entirely on it. Common problems can be addressed with simple solutions such as an additional pillow. Here are five fixes for common sleep issues that couples deal with.

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1. Use a bigger mattress to sleep through movement

It can be difficult to sleep through your partner’s tossing and turning all night, particularly if they have to get in and out of bed. Waking up multiple times in one night can leave you frustrated and exhausted. The solution may be a switch to a bigger mattress or a mattress that minimizes movement.

Look for a mattress that allows enough space so that your partner can move around without impacting you or consider a mattress made for two sleepers like the Sleep Number bed.[1] This bed allows each person to choose their own firmness level. It also minimizes any disturbances their partner might feel. A foam mattress like the kind featured in advertisements where someone jumps on a bed with an unspilled glass of wine will help minimize the impact of your partner’s movements.[2]

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2. Communicate about scheduling conflicts

If one of you is a night owl and the other an early riser, bedtime can become a source of conflict. It’s hard for a light sleeper to be jostled by their partner coming to bed four hours after them. Talk to your partner about negotiating some compromises. If you’re finding it difficult to agree on a bedtime, negotiate with your partner. Don’t come to bed before or after a certain time, giving the early bird a chance to fully fall asleep before the other comes in. Consider giving the night owl an eye mask to allow them to stay in bed while their partner gets up to start the day.

3. Don’t bring your technology to bed

If one partner likes bringing devices to bed and the other partner doesn’t, there’s very little compromise to be found. Science is pretty unanimous on the fact that screens can cause harm to a healthy sleeper. Both partners should agree on a time to keep technology out of the bedroom or turn screens off. This will prevent both partners from having their sleep interrupted and can help you power down after a long day.

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4. White noise and changing positions can silence snoring

A snoring partner can be one of the most difficult things to sleep through. Snoring tends to be position-specific so many doctors recommend switching positions to stop the snoring. Rather than sleeping on your back doctors recommend turning onto your side. Changing positions can cut down on noise and breathing difficulties for any snorer. Using a white noise fan, or sound machine can also help soften the impact of loud snoring and keep both partners undisturbed.

5. Use two blankets if one’s a blanket hog

If you’ve got a blanket hog in your bed don’t fight it, get another blanket. This solution fixes any issues between two partners and their comforter. There’s no rule that you have to sleep under the same blanket. Separate covers can also cut down on tossing and turning making it a multi-useful adaptation.

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Rather than giving up entirely on sharing a bed with your partner, try one of these techniques to improve your sleeping habits. Sleeping in separate beds can be a normal part of a healthy home life, but compromise can go a long way toward creating harmony in a shared bed.

Featured photo credit: Becca Tapert via unsplash.com

Reference

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