Picking an already bleeding cuticle
At first you just fiddle with the dead skin. Then it splits. Then you snip the dry bit with some nail scissors except you cut skin that isn’t dead. Then it starts to bleed a bit and it bloody well hurts. Then you spend the next 24 hours rubbing it until the dead bit gets longer and you realise you are Natalie Portman in Black Swan and are now in the process of tearing a piece of skin all the way up to your elbow.
Pulling a thread until the button comes off
You know it’s precariously hanging on for dear life like someone who has been dangling over the edge of a cliff clinging onto a handful of weedy grass that is being torn up by the root. And yet… there is something so tempting about its loose threads and its half-on, half-off limbo. So what starts out as a gentle nudge with your finger ends with you just pulling so that the bastard comes off in your hands and you realise you have now created an open window to your bra through the middle of your shirt. That was clever.
Tampering with a spot that was not ready to be tampered
You know, the kind that are so deep they feel like they were formed in the Earth’s core. You go in with unwashed hands knowing full well it’s not ready for you and attack. Nothing comes out but a bit of blood and watery stuff. It hurts like f**k. It then swells to twice the size, delighted by the bacteria you threw in with your grubby nails. It becomes a goblin king on your face, monstrous and prominent – a creature you will be unable to cover with make-up. You will panic-attack it several more times until it repeatedly scabs and refills, eventually leaving a scar. Just hand yourself into the police.
Trying to gouge earwax out with a cotton bud
How many more times – do not go near your ears with a cotton bud. What are you, deaf? YES BECAUSE YOU JUST PERFORATED YOUR EARDRUM.
Pulling apart your own split ends
It was a slow night. You were watching repeats of Friends on Comedy Central. You started off with one split end, giving in to the satisfaction of pulling it apart. And then another. And then another. That one went up so far, the bit left has shrivelled! Let’s stop and think about this: you’re making your own hair thinner. That’s actually happening.
Switching the light on when you wake up at night and then staring at the clock
Trying to get rid of your plaque with a safety pin
Oh look, you just stabbed yourself in the mouth. Self-dentistry is registering quite low on good ideas now, isn’t it?