office expressions.

musings from my experience at the home/office.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nail Biter

Look, Ma! Nice hands! 

Forever, and, ever, amen...I have been a bit of a picker.nailbiter.nervous nellie. 
It was probably around second or third grade when Mom broke out the 'No Bite Nail Polish': 
The bitter concoction would get painted onto my nails so that it would actually taste like I was sucking on combination of paint thinner and vinegar whenever I tried biting my nails. It was supposed to stop my bad habit. But no m'am, I am about as stubborn and determined as they come, No Bite wasn't getting in my way! (I just realized, this post is probably totally grossing some of you out. Bear with me, I PROMISE it ties into werking from home:).)

As I grew older and more self conscious, I continued to bite my nails. Even having a friend's sister tell me about her friend who bit her nails so low they NEVER GREW BACK didn't deter me. I just was careful not to go overboard. 

Now nailbiting is one of those unconscious habits. You have no idea that you are doing it until your mom gasps at you in the middle of a church service and slaps your hand down from your mouth. Total humiliation. I wonder if they could bottle that? It might do wonders for the nailbiters, knuckle-crackers, and skin-pickers of the world. 

For me, Nailbiting is a compulsive behavior, that's usually expressing some sort of stress, emotion, or boredom that I have found no other way to deal with. I'm pretty sure my triggers are stressful or overly emotional situations. You never want to see my hands after watching a scary movie, I have probably picked them to death in an effort to warn the stupid actress in the movie NOT TO GO IN THERE ALONE! Or stressful meetings, where nothing is being accomplished and I have already figured out (or so I like to think) ten ways around the roadblock in front of us. 

I just looked it up on Wikipedia, but it appears that nailbiting is an impulse control disorder: "The onset of these disorders usually occurs between the ages of 7 and 15. Impulsivity, the key feature of these disorders, can be thought of as seeking a small, short term gain at the expense of a large, long term loss. Those with the disorder repeatedly demonstrate failure to resist their behavioral impetuosity."

Good grief, that explains a lot about the impulse shopping. 

Any-who...earlier this week Jake noticed that my nails are actually normal and look healthy. I was secretly and proudly watching my hands transform into grown-up hands over the past few weeks...and the biggest thing I can attribute this to is my werk.environment. Rarely do I find myself trapped in pointless meetings where I am stressfully picking at my hands under the table. I can't remember the last time I dreamed about work or led meetings in my sleep (very true). It appears that werking from home has helped me develop a much more balanced approach to stress, emotions, and boredom. One wonderful side effect is that I am no longer unconsciously destroying my poor little digits, one painful nibble at a time. 


  1. The last picture is SICK!!!! (But the first picture is VERY nice - way to go! :))

  2. I know, right?! Why are the back of the teeth sooo brown and dirty?!

  3. I agree with E manders...Sick!...some things never change... also this makes me happy for you!