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I've been in an upswing lately (although I think I'm gonna be dipping soon, but that's beside the point), and I've been thinking a bit more about all the odd little tic-like things I tend to do while in an upswing (since I've recently noticed that a lot of it stops or slows down during downswings). I say tic-like because I don't think they are actual tics, just odd little twitches and habits.

My most common is hand movements, leg or foot shaking, and sticking my tongue out, all of which can vary a little. The tongue thing has the least variation: usually I just poke it out, but sometimes, mostly if I'm around a mirror, I try to see if I can make it look like my bottom lip. I'll just walk around with my tongue sticking out, letting the tip dry out and analysing how it feels. The hand movements, of course, have the most variety: clenching, finger wiggling, small shaking, shaking it side to side, and other varients. I'm very aware when I'm doing it, and I'm in control of it, but I don't really know why I do it beyond maybe energy management (mostly happens when I'm feeling most high-energy, regardless what emotion might be tied to that energy, and regardless of often simultaneously wanting a nap). I'll do it while waiting, and I'll do it while up and about on my way to get stuff done.

What about you? And odd little habits, quirks, or tics you'd like to share?

Edit: If you think some might find your habit disturbing, please tuck it into a collapse tag with a little warning! If it's a dangerous habit, please don't share it here.

Posting anonymously, because I'm self-conscious about it. Lol

I get the kind of tics that I had when a was younger coming back a bit when I don't get enough sleep. So it's the opposite of you, in a few. If I miss a night of sleep and stay up the next day, it's almost guaranteed that I will do my head movement thing every once in while when I think no one's looking.

A lot of the time it's just flexing my neck muscle, but sometimes it can look like a tiny, tiny little twitch. If it's really out of control (well, it's always within my control but it's almost like an itch, you can control whether you scratch an itch but you're compelled to do it and you're probably going to eventually do it, even if it's inconvenient to do so.)

So but if it's really hitting me (unusual) I'll actually twich my head in a sharp motion, or my hand. I think it's for the feeling of the sensory stimulation.

Also...I did it just now, because I'm thinking about it! Lol

I bounce my knee sometimes. I think it all goes back to my body wanting to feel something for some reason, like it doesn't feel enough stimulation from just sitting still, or something.

Hehe that's interesting about the tongue thing. I have a breath thing. Like I'll let my breath out in little sections...putting a stop in between them, for the sensation that makes in my throat, I guess. I think it's called a "glottal stop." I'm like breathe-glottal stop--breath glottal stop--breathe--global stop.

I literally didn't notice I do that until right this minute, either.


Interesting topic!

Disturbing Habit
I tear my nails, no I don't bite them, I don't cut them, I tear them. It doesn't hurt as much as you think it would either, but basically, whenever one of my nails gets too long I use my other nails to pick at the side of it until a bit hangs off, and then I LET IT RIIIIIP XD
you've been warned. Also I don't really see it as dangerous, I can see how it might be disturbing though

Added a note about potentially disturbing habits to first post.

Novalyyn wrote:
Added a note about potentially disturbing habits to first post.
fixed mine lol

I've got a habit of constantly shifting my weight onto different feet every five minutes. I'm also very OCD, so I have a lot of little routines and habits which I follow, such as adjusting things to be straight, making things symmetrical, positioning things in certain orders, etc. I think I have too many to list XD

StaticNightmares wrote:
I've got a habit of constantly shifting my weight onto different feet every five minutes.
Super good habit to have, actually, since you're less likely to lock your legs. I've learned the hard way not to lock my legs when standing, and folks in the military are apparently taught to avoid locking their legs as well.

It screws up circulation. For someone like me, who already has low blood pressure, that can lead to dizziness pretty quick. ^^;

I also have a habit where when I am wearing a hoodie I have the hood on sideways and I cover my left eye, maybe because my right eye has better vision or something? but I just do it without thinking about it until one of my friends mentions that I'm doing it

Novalyyn wrote:
StaticNightmares wrote:
I've got a habit of constantly shifting my weight onto different feet every five minutes.
Super good habit to have, actually, since you're less likely to lock your legs. I've learned the hard way not to lock my legs when standing, and folks in the military are apparently taught to avoid locking their legs as well.

It screws up circulation. For someone like me, who already has low blood pressure, that can lead to dizziness pretty quick. ^^;

Never thought about it like that. Huh. Thats interesting 🤔

Very long list. A few may be considered disturbing to some so those will be in smaller print.
The tag of my blanket must be in the lower left hand corner of my bed due to the fact that I cannot stand it in my face. Every night I go through the process of rearranging my blanket the right way so it's always down in that corner.

When riding in a car as a passenger, I count the interrupted lines on the road. I go as high as I can until we get to our destination. I also count the amount of letters and numbers on boxes, signs, book and magazine covers along with various other things like that, usually multiple times for the duration in which that objects in sight.

All of my colored pencils and regular, non mechanical pencils must be at maximum sharpness at all times. It drives me crazy when they aren't sharp.

I frequently bounce my knees up and down and jiggle my legs while sitting. It's a habit that I can't break and my dad always gets after me for it because apparently it shakes the house.

When I eat colored candies like M&Ms or Skittles by the handful I must eat them in a specific order in which I alternate eating the different flavors until they're gone.

I pull on my eyebrows and eyelashes. Usually it's gently so I don't pull any hairs out but other times I intend to pull them. Thankfully I don't do it enough to be space or bare in either area.

When using a tv or radio, the volume must be on an even number. If it's odd, I have to change it to be even. This goes for writing lists as well.

If my lips are rough, I pick or bite at the skin while making sure not to cause bleeding. I always take the skin out and toss it in the trash. I also do this with the skin on the tips of my fingers.

I will not eat in a basement, garage, or any place that smells musty or looks like it may have rotting or decaying material. Sometimes I'll hold my breath until I exit.

This one may sound weird or even crazy, but I feel that people in photographs can see and/or hear me. I know it's irrational but due to this I never undress if someone in a photo is "looking" at me for fear of them "seeing" me naked. I have to cover their faces; always has been a thing for me.

Almost daily I intentionally pop my knuckles, neck, back, ankles, toes and occasionally elbows. It doesn't hurt and actually feels good.

Now that I am out of school I will only write with pen. I refuse to write with a pencil, those are reserved for drawing. Shem I was in school though I would only write with pencil unless taking notes than it had to be in pen. This is a bit of a stretch so as to count as a weird one but I needed an even number so...


Guess I'm a bit of a weird one XD What can you do about it though...

When I was in Jr High, I took up something my mom and many aunts and uncles did. At the time it was considered “cool” to do by my peers. That was to smoke cigarettes. Through 7th and 8 grade, I smoked quite heavily, and I didn’t do things half-assed. I smoked Camels and Lucky Strike no filters. I saved the butts to roll in a paper for when I was out and had no money.

After a serious breathing scare in 9th grade, I quit cold turkey, but ever since, my hands have to be doing something, and I tend to stick things in my mouth. Even now, years later, I find myself reaching to my breast pocket for my pack of smokes.

If I’m sitting, I pick up things and fiddle with them, like pens or rolling up scraps of paper and such. I’ll take a toothpick at the restaurant just to put it in my mouth and I treat it like a cigarette for a while until I toss it. When at meetings at work I’ll doodle on my notepad just to keep my hands busy. It’s a nervous energy thing I picked up from those few years of heavy smoking.

PastelGalaxy wrote:
Very long list. A few may be considered disturbing to some so those will be in smaller print.
The tag of my blanket must be in the lower left hand corner of my bed due to the fact that I cannot stand it in my face. Every night I go through the process of rearranging my blanket the right way so it's always down in that corner.

When riding in a car as a passenger, I count the interrupted lines on the road. I go as high as I can until we get to our destination. I also count the amount of letters and numbers on boxes, signs, book and magazine covers along with various other things like that, usually multiple times for the duration in which that objects in sight.

All of my colored pencils and regular, non mechanical pencils must be at maximum sharpness at all times. It drives me crazy when they aren't sharp.

I frequently bounce my knees up and down and jiggle my legs while sitting. It's a habit that I can't break and my dad always gets after me for it because apparently it shakes the house.

When I eat colored candies like M&Ms or Skittles by the handful I must eat them in a specific order in which I alternate eating the different flavors until they're gone.

I pull on my eyebrows and eyelashes. Usually it's gently so I don't pull any hairs out but other times I intend to pull them. Thankfully I don't do it enough to be space or bare in either area.

When using a tv or radio, the volume must be on an even number. If it's odd, I have to change it to be even. This goes for writing lists as well.

If my lips are rough, I pick or bite at the skin while making sure not to cause bleeding. I always take the skin out and toss it in the trash. I also do this with the skin on the tips of my fingers.

I will not eat in a basement, garage, or any place that smells musty or looks like it may have rotting or decaying material. Sometimes I'll hold my breath until I exit.

This one may sound weird or even crazy, but I feel that people in photographs can see and/or hear me. I know it's irrational but due to this I never undress if someone in a photo is "looking" at me for fear of them "seeing" me naked. I have to cover their faces; always has been a thing for me.

Almost daily I intentionally pop my knuckles, neck, back, ankles, toes and occasionally elbows. It doesn't hurt and actually feels good.

Now that I am out of school I will only write with pen. I refuse to write with a pencil, those are reserved for drawing. Shem I was in school though I would only write with pencil unless taking notes than it had to be in pen. This is a bit of a stretch so as to count as a weird one but I needed an even number so...


Guess I'm a bit of a weird one XD What can you do about it though...

The two you find disturbing are things I also do all the time Except I definitely make my lips bleed when I pick at them. Good to know I'm not alone with those habits.

As someone on the autism spectrum, I have a looooong list of stims, some of which I don't do anymore and have replaced, whilst others I still continue to do. Couple that with a strong case of pica and yeah...


I don't find any of this disturbing personally, but.... you never know...

I'll get the pica out of the way first. Anyone who doesn't know what pica is, it's an eating disorder. For eating things that aren't meant to be eaten. In my case, it's hair, plastic, certain fabrics and wood, primarily. Though I've also been known to eat leather. It started from a very young age, and still progresses now. I've eaten entire pens before (minus the ink cartridge), as well as coat hangers and socks. I've put holes in any number of things and have taken huge chunks out of cots and bunk beds.


As for stims...

- During primary school, my most memorable stim (because it was the one that drove people up the wall most) was forced coughing.

- I say/shout random phrases to stimulate the passing of embarrassing thoughts/memories in an effort to get them gone from my mind.

- I went through a period of making turkey noises. And also of meowing. I still occasionally meow.

- Beatboxing. Especially when waiting for things.

- Hand flapping, wringing, nail chewing, knuckle cracking!

- I pace a lot when I have to wait whilst standing up.

- Rocking back and forth when sitting down. Drives my parents up the wall because they think it makes me look crazy.

- Talking to myself in a bad Scottish accent. Because why not?

Other stuff...

- I HATE when cold and hot food touch each other. If I find that happening on my plate, it MUST be rectified immediately.

- I can't stand 41%s or 29%s or whatever... when I want to set something like volume to a specific percentage, it has to be EXACT. Unless it's a stubborn slider where it's not possible to do that, in which case every time I see the number I get uncomfortable.

Riik wrote:


I don't find any of this disturbing personally, but.... you never know...

I'll get the pica out of the way first. Anyone who doesn't know what pica is, it's an eating disorder. For eating things that aren't meant to be eaten. In my case, it's hair, plastic, certain fabrics and wood, primarily. Though I've also been known to eat leather. It started from a very young age, and still progresses now. I've eaten entire pens before (minus the ink cartridge), as well as coat hangers and socks. I've put holes in any number of things and have taken huge chunks out of cots and bunk beds.

I can relate!
things I'd eat
I would eat chunks of drywall, chalk, eraser shavings, and grains of sand.
I've found that now that I'm older I don't have the urge to do it as much but occasionally I feel like I need to though it's easily repressed.

first two are kinda gross
  • i’ve been a nail biter for as long as i can remember. i also pick at the skin around my nails.
  • i don’t know if this counts as a habit because it’s a disorder but i used to have trichotillomania, meaning i would have “recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out body hair.“ some people have it with their eyelashes, eyebrows, and basically anywhere on the body where there’s hair, but i only had it with the hair on my head. it was BAD. i didn’t realize how bad it was until my grandma showed me all of my hair that she picked up off the bathroom floor and that pile alone was about the size of her palm. it started to go away once i cut my hair short, but i still have a habit of pretty much constantly touching my hair. i run my fingers through my bangs a lot and i also rub my roots and pick at the skin by it.
  • this is also a disorder but i’m constantly moving my legs, if i don’t then they start to cramp and ache to the point where sometimes i can’t even walk. the closest diagnosis my doctors can think of is restless leg syndrome, but it doesn’t bother me more when i’m trying to sleep or anything. it’s like i have the symptoms but not in the way people usually have them, lmao.
  • i fidget with my septum ring.
  • i have this??? sniffling habit???? when i pause in between sentences/words/whatever i tend to sniffle and i have absolutely no idea why. i didn’t even know i did it until i took speech class and my teacher pointed it out and now i’m constantly aware of it.
  • pacing. especially when i’m listening to music.
  • i have this eyebrow twitch when i get really anxious. it’s only my right eyebrow and it just. twitches. i wasn’t even aware of it until someone pointed it out (not rudely, just mentioned it). i don’t even move my eyelid with it, it’s just the eyebrow. something like this, i’m assuming. i’ve never even seen myself do it lmao but that’s how someone described it to me.

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Forums > Smalltalk > Weird Little Habits