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What Is Negging? Signs of Negging

Until recently, it was customary to begin a conversation with a girl with a compliment, but inventive men have come up with new ways to catch the attention of the opposite sex, and now they use offensive statements in their repertoire. Why do men tell bad things and how to react to it? Yet first off, let’s answer the question of what is negging?

What Is Negging?

Let’s define negging.

Negging is a way of approaching someone you don’t know, in which a man tries to attract the attention of a woman in a very contrived way, by attaching an insult to a compliment, and while a stranger tries to figure out how to respond to a controversial compliment, a gentleman takes a pause and engages her in conversation. A phrase with which a man approaches a woman must necessarily be contradictory, for example, "You are so skinny, do you have health problems?" or "What a beautiful dress you are wearing, but this is absolutely not your color." The essence of this strange method is to cause confusion - the standard answer of a girl in this situation is unlikely to ignore a guy, but while she will think about how to react, she will have an opportunity to look more closely at a man, and he will have a little time to prove himself.

What Is the Point of Negging?

What is the exact point of negging a girl? It is in the fact that it causes a short-term stupor, it quite definitely makes a girl pay attention to a person who said a controversial compliment, and also gives a man a chance to prolong a conversation. The process of negging women is about contradiction. Two contradictory messages (“you are beautiful,” “but I also see a flaw in you”) are packed in one message, they stun their prey by their contradictory nature.

It is also difficult for many people (not only men, by the way) to say “no” and accept the refusal, and the art of accepting compliments, even completely unambiguous, is not easy. Therefore, it is not surprising that flirting is often based on the exchange of such “clumsy” messages: I would like to draw attention to myself, but I worry that I will be rejected (and, quite roughly at that), so I will try to make a joke, even if I do not know how.

Direct communication is possible when both of its members are self-confident people who can survive rejection, even as insignificant as a failure of in a casual acquaintance. Needless to say that negging in a relationship is useless at best, and is just as weird as it was before.

how to spot neggingWhy Is Negging So Popular?

It would seem that a message that contains not only a compliment but also a hint of a flaw should cause not the most pleasant of emotions, nevertheless, it has become a trend. There is a large number of self-doubtful people who cannot face any refusal, even from a stranger. A somewhat aggressive way of dating is just a defensive reaction, which in case of refusal helps pretend that it was not so desirable to get acquainted in the first place. Therefore, if you hear a compliment like, “You are so beautiful, but your nose is crooked,” you can state with confidence the fact that its author is too worried about rejection. Resorting to an unsuccessful joke and thereby belittling a girl is a sick trick that no one should play.

Here are the most unpleasant of news: this method is rarely used by people without complexes. The desire to humiliate the other means even a small but a good feeling in a person, which also softens the blow of rejection. Whether it is necessary or not to deal with such a man? Each woman decides that for herself. But the main thing that should not be done is to think about the opinion of every guy that comes around and makes a mean compliment. But how to spot negging, what are the signs of it?

What Are the Signs of Negging?

It’s contrived

The trick lies precisely in an original controversial message. It seems to be a compliment, but it seems to be an insult. For example, "You are so beautiful that even your inability to pick the right outfit doesn’t spoil your look." And how to react to this? Ladies are lost, their resistance is weakened, and it seems that they are not even opposed to engaging in dialogue in order to understand what exactly was meant by a phrase like that.

And here it is very important not to cross the border between the “dubious compliment” and outright rudeness. But for most practitioners of negging, this, with time and a few slaps on the face later, is obtained. By the way, it is worth distinguishing negging and simple unsuccessful compliments of a man who sincerely wanted to say something pleasant. Alas, it happens just as often as negging.


To start an acquaintance with an insult and humiliation is low. Pointing to the faults of a stranger is not polite. Playing on someone else's insecurity is mean. Yet it is very easy to encounter such a negging pickup artist. Even from a subconscious point of view, such a person will feel somewhat hostile. And a relationship is unlikely to drag on more than a few dates onward. But this is exactly what these men want. I mean, who would ever try to start a serious relationship by pointing out someone's flaws?

They try to double-down on their compliments

There is another funny psychological mechanism - the desire to prove their case. Say, "You are mistaken, I didn’t mean it that way. I will explain myself!" And when the dialogue has already begun, it can be translated into something more productive. But you will not be able to wash away the aftertaste.

They target the weakest

There is a whole art in the ability to choose the right target. They don't try to cling on calm and self-confident ladies, but they choose those who feel unconfident, out of place and those who seem desperate for attention and will accept any kind of it. We’ve talked a lot about guys using it, but does negging work on guys?

Does Negging Work on Guys?

Negging will work on anyone, but it depends on your definition of the word “work.” If you want to offend a person, make them outraged by your words, make them stunned for a few seconds, then go ahead, all the best of luck to you. But don’t make a serious and reliable pick-up tactic out of it, it isn’t worth the risk.

However, something tells me that guys may be more tolerant of such a way of approach, I think that many of them will accept any kind of an approach at that.

How to Respond to Negging?

Now you know what it is and how to spot it, but how to respond to negging? A compliment containing criticism can make you feel humiliated and insulted. First of all, such a statement should not be taken personally - this is how you will be able to control the situation, not agreeing to the rules of the hapless pickup artist’s game because they are just waiting for you to hesitate. Calmly inform a man that you do not consider this compliment appropriate, besides, you can even ask him to explain the meaning of the doubtful statement. Most likely, after such words, it will be the turn of the unskillful flirter to be embarrassed and try to justify himself. If he begins to justify the meaning of his attack, it is best to say goodbye to that person right away, without engaging in further discussions with him. By maintaining self-control and self-esteem, you will not allow a man with low self-esteem to feel more confident due to your humiliation, so the best reaction to the negging will be calm and indifference.

In addition to embarrassment, these “offensive compliments” cause the addressee to have rather unpleasant emotions: humiliation, insecurity, resentment, and feelings of inferiority. First of all, it’s worthwhile to point out the fact that their compliment is doubtful. Phrases like, “That was a very controversial compliment, what do you mean by this?”, “Your compliment is incomprehensible” will surely help you to point a conversation into the right direction.

how to respond to neggingOften there are situations in which a man did not try to offend you at all with an awkward compliment; on the contrary, he tried to say something pleasant, but the excitement played a cruel joke on him. Or maybe he is just awful at compliments, this is a completely normal thing. The main thing is to be able to distinguish intentional rudeness. It will be easy to find out that by asking a few questions to a person but do it only if you have some time to spare and feel like giving a chance to a guy. The lack of eloquence is not a vice, and a slightly awkward speaker can easily be given a chance, perhaps their other virtues will more than pay back this little imperfection.

All of the above was just the theoretical part, now for some examples of negging.

Examples of Negging

Here are some negging examples that you may encounter.

  • “I’ve met a guy, we liked each other, and we're going to have dinner together. I said something, I don’t remember the essence, but he answered, “Oh, you are smart! I didn’t think you are intelligent.” That was the end of our dinner.”
  • “I worked as a teacher at a school, and he commented on it, “You are just a teacher, and I am a programmer.”
  • “I told him about my savings, he was surprised and laughed, “How ridiculous! And how much money is in your tiny bank account?" This is one of the worst examples of negging I’ve ever heard.
  • “I don’t like redheads, but I made an exception for you because your tits help forget about your hair color,” he said, and there was no need to go any further from that.
  • "Nature gave you a nice set of tits, but I prefer small tits myself.” Like… why are you telling me this information?
  • “I don’t like lipstick, don’t put it on,” he warned me on the first date. Then he added, “Try another shade. Tell me, are you using makeup because you are not sure of yourself?"
  • “I found your profile in a social network, do not take it to heart, but you look better with long hair.” Ok, that’s a good way to start a conversation.
  • "You need to work on your ass, start crouching every evening, and you will thank me." Ok, thank you, stranger…
  • “You look good, but only for a one-night-off girl, you don’t reach the level of the one you want to date for a long time.” I think I am going mad, I can’t handle these men with their weird pick-up lines.
Comments (1)
I don’t like negging at all. It seems to me that only people without good sense of humor engage in negging as they can’t come up with a really funny joke.
28.02.2020 12:24
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