Negging is a PUA technique whereby a person makes a deliberate backhanded compliment or outright insult to a woman to undermine her confidence and increase her need of the manipulator's approval or to increase her perceptions of the verbal aggressor's status relative to hers.
The technique was popularized by the PUA Mystery (Erik Von Markovic). He advised it be only deployed in the initial phase of courtship as a "display of high value," primarily intended to differentiate the male suitor in the woman's eyes from the other men who frequently pursue her.
In PUA terminology, the "neg" can be seen as the male form of the shit test (when directed towards women), and in more intense forms, as an example of intersexual bullying. Almost all teasing can be categorized as "negging," although "negging" is often more intense than teasing.
A small amount of psychological research supports the notion that effectively manipulating a woman's self-esteem levels can be beneficial to men's dating prospects. Walster (1965) found that temporarily lowering a woman's self-esteem via the administration of negative test result feedback substantially increased her attractiveness rating of a male research confederate who had asked her out on a date before the test session. It is essential to note this study has not been independently replicated. Also, there was no control group, i.e., the effect only measured the difference between artificially boosted self-esteem versus the condition where the subjects received the negative evaluation. The applicability of this study to negging may also be limited as the "neg" was not delivered directly by the male subject.
If negging works at all, the literature on intersexual bullying tends to suggest that it would be most effective in dyadic (i.e., one-on-one) environments, as male intersexual bullying directed towards women is associated with lower peer status, perhaps owing to the women-are-wonderful effect and men's general tendency to behave protectively toward women.
Examples[edit | edit source]
Some examples of negging are:
- "Nice nails, are they real?"
- "I think I saw some girls with more ridiculous shoes here, but you’re definitely in the top 2/5/10/[whatever number makes sense based on the size of the venue]."
- "With that wit, it’s a good thing you’re pretty."
- "You’re too much of a nice girl for me."
- "In one more drink I’ll be ready to hit on you."
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]