‘Negging’ Women – Does This ‘Pick Up Trick’ Work?

By: Alicia Drewnicki |

negging a girl
For those of you unfamiliar with the term ‘negging’, it was first mentioned in Neil Strauss’ 2005 book ‘The Game’ which instructs ‘average frustrated chumps’ how they can turn themselves into master seducers by transforming themselves into ‘pick up artists’. Negging is all about giving an attractive girl a backhanded compliment so it knocks her down a peg or two and makes her feel insecure.

This is the way to not only stimulate conversation, but to show the girl that a guy isn’t afraid of talking to her or intimidated by her looks. It’s also a way to stay on a girl’s mind and make her feel she needs to prove her worth to a man. Think of it as a form of reverse psychology; a man makes a woman feel uneasy so she subconsciously ends up being the one doing the chasing.
‘Pick up artists’ claim it works especially well in a group scenario where you make a b-line for the prettiest girl but then insult her to indicate you’re not interested in her above anyone else.

So what are examples of ‘negs’?
Negs are short and sweet and often have a humorous edge. A friend told me how he once said to a girl “nice dress, reminds me of my Nan’s curtains.” This is a classic example of slamming down a compliment. Admittedly this is quite a funny one rather than getting personal.

Another example could be “nice nails, are they fake?” or “Nice hair, you really need to get your roots done.”
I’ve actually noticed a neg attempt in a bar before, when a guy said to me: “nice smile, who did your veneers?” Luckily, I had the comeback that they were actually my own teeth, not veneers so his neg fell flat and he was silent instead of having a rehearsed comeback.

Do I think it’s a good pulling technique?
One answer: no. Maybe it sometimes works on girls who don’t know the method by playing on their insecurities, but now this technique is ‘mainstream’, most of us have heard it and can recognise it a mile off.

To me, a man who sees negging as the only way to get girls seems a bit desperate and artificial. Why do guys feel they have to resort to a stockpile or rehearsed lines of seduction rather than just being themselves? I also think it can highlight certain men (perhaps uncharacteristically) as bullies.

Why I dislike the concept of negging
I hate the fact that the whole principle of this technique lies around trying to undermine a woman’s self worth so she has to defend herself. What makes a guy assume that a woman has such a high opinion of herself in the first place just because she’s attractive? There are plenty of modest attractive girls who don’t carry the trait of arrogance.

Negging is just a very ugly way to act. If a man approaches me then insults me, rather than making me feel insecure, worthless and with a desire to get him back ‘on side’ and impress him, I would just feel like running in the opposite direction. I would rather have a sincere and genuine compliment over a backhanded compliment any day.

I asked some girl friends the question: “what do you think of negging?” Here are their answers:

1) “I think the guy must be a bit desperate who does this. He obviously finds difficulty in chatting girls up and he thinks it makes him look big, especially in front of his friends. It wouldn’t work on me at all. I’d just think I was being addressed by a complete idiot.”

2) “For me, a guy who uses rehearsed lines rather than behaving naturally is the ultimate turn-off. I want to date a genuine, sincere man, not a robot who labels himself a ‘master seducer’.”

3) “Not a fan of negging! Men should be championing girls and everything about them, they should win them over on their own merits, not making them feel insecure so they feel lucky to go out with them. Those relationships never last.”

4) “Pathetic mind games for people who lack the skills to make genuine connections with people.”

5) “No I HATE negging! Where do guys get off thinking it’s ok to put a girl down just to increase their chances of pulling? Not sure I would want to be with anyone who wants to crush my confidence so I may be ‘lucky’ to be asked out. Urgh.”

To sum it up…

Guys, we don’t appreciate your negging. This isn’t saying we haven’t got a sense of humour, we’ll happily exchange in some flirty banter, just stop acting and be yourself. It might have worked for one of your friends to neg a girl, but now the secret’s out, we’re all aware of these techniques and if we realise you’re using them, you’ll just look like a fool.

If one girl isn’t into to you, why waste your time trying to win her over? Maybe you’re just not her type, but I’m sure there’s a girl out there who would happily go out with you. The way to get girls is by acting like Mr Confident not Mr Arrogant, so focus on being charming rather than insulting and you’ll be well on the way to dating success.

Image via weheartit.