Whether it's a dating, a marriage or something more casual, the man and the woman need to be seen as equals for the relationship to work. More than that, this vision of equality is important in building the partnership, trust, and intimacy that makes relationships last. A relationship that works on the basis of fear, violence and criticism is not a relationship, it’s abuse.
We live in an oppressive society in various ways, and one of them is against women. It’s common knowledge - I hope - that we women, regardless of biological sex, suffer daily with a constant pressure for us to reach the standard of beauty that has been imposed on us. Even if it's impossible, we should keep trying. This the message we get from commercials, magazines and billboards.
In a society where women are criticized for healthy self-esteem, confidence and self-respect (criticized by men, of course), it was to be expected that there would be a "flirtatious technique" (with many quotes) using a mechanism for lowering female self-esteem (even more): it's the so-called negging.
You may have never heard the term, but you have certainly suffered with it. Do you know when a guy comes to you saying that your hair is beautiful, but that it needs a moisturizing? Or that you could be a model if you lost a little weight? Or that you get so much lipstick that he doesn’t even want to kiss you? Well, that's negging.
If it’s not yet clear what the term means, I ll explain it better. Negging is a “seduction strategy” in which a man offends a woman to disarm her. This is an idea designed to deal with competition against beautiful women - and in theory they know they’re beautiful. The “admirer” criticizes her somehow to get her out of her pretty woman's pedestal and get attracted to the guy who doesn’t pay attention to her appearance.
The guy, most often subtly, tries to take her down to conquer her. Saying it like that sounds absurd, doesn’t it? It doesn’t make any sense. But it does for them. It follows this "logic": women are accustomed to being treated as a supreme prize to be contested. Men must conquer them. Their ego and self-esteem are very high for this (because, of course, we only live by male approval, right?), then by lowering a girl, the guy pulls her off the pedestal, confuses her (this part is true, I'd be deeply confused by what the hell that idiot thinks he's doing and who he thinks he is) and from there she seeks approval, the reason why he rejected her, making her submissive and telling her to take it down a notch.
Often, when approaching a woman, she will be on guard, being the prize and, with that, she will ignore you, often being able to respond badly and cut your chances. With the neg, a guy can disarm her and demonstrate superior value by making the woman listen to him.
For those who practice and adopt this kind of behavior, this is a technique of seduction. Yes, it's true! As it’s true that there are workshops on the subject. “Negs” or “disqualifiers” are tactics that are often used with certain women: arrogant women (according to men), because they know they are very beautiful, or superior intellectually or financially to the men who approach them. According to the concept, this type of woman is accustomed to a certain flattery and therefore needs a challenge where there is a change of position of power, that is, she needs a man who doesn’t give any kind of value to what she thinks. On the other hand, to the man who assumes this kind of posture, he is promised that they will be seen as self-assured, detached, powerful, bold and sincere.
How to identify the neg and know if I am being victim of negging?
Not too complicated, right? As I’ve explained up there, negging necessarily needs to balance a compliment with a criticism - and certainly, these are comments centered on the appearance of a woman.
In addition to this "I am superior to you" posture, negging adepts memorize phrases for use in dates or messages. Make sure to notice the patterns of private messages sent by a man using online dating services or social media. He could be starting to play you by testing his arsenal of negs along with seduction techniques. Be wary that you’re in this trap if the guy behaves rather arrogantly and speak or write things like:
- "I do not think I would recognize you if I saw you without make-up."
- “You talk a lot, where is the OFF button?” (as if joking);
- "I think you spat on me!" (while the woman says something);
- “You could be a model if you were taller / leaner / had more hair / better skin”;
- "You always put on too much lipstick, I don’t feel like kissing you like that”;
- "Your hair is beautiful. Is it a wig? No? It looks like it!”;
- "Are your breasts silicone?";
- "You're delicate, but your hands are a bit rough, how funny" (when taking the woman's hands);
- "You're not that beautiful, but I don’t care about the dictatorship of beauty” (especially for very beautiful women).
You got it, right? The idea is to disqualify the woman, to make her feel insecure and give thanks to the heavens for this "human preciousness" to be with her. It's a blatant way of trying to fiddle with female self-esteem.
Imagine the scene. You and your friends are at a party and the seduction artist wants you. As you approach your group, he will make eye contact with your friends, be funny, spontaneous and very nice... to them. You'll be ignored by this weird-nice guy who's entertaining your friends: and this is already the first step to "lowering your guard”.
When a different guy show up and use a neg, it makes the woman's feel confused. After all, this had never happened, no guy ever came and snubbed her, stopped observing her beauty and praising her. And guess what? This will mess with her "vulnerable" head so much that it will make her more receptive and interested.
Some approaches are quite varied, but you can easily identify them. The guy will say that something in her look doesn’t fit, that the root of her hair is already appearing, that her eyes look like lenses, and so on. Girl, listen to me: if you find yourself in a situation where you feel uncomfortable, it's a big red alert, no matter the circumstance!
The stance adopted usually begins with certain comments about the appearance of the potential partner, comments that are derogatory and rubbing the offensive. Phrases such as "You're not the prettiest woman I've ever been with", "It's better for you to eat a salad” (in a restaurant, for example), "I don’t think I would recognize you if you weren’t wearing any make-up”, among others, are a clear example of a person who stopped in time. Someone who feels threatened by the woman in power, who is afraid of not being accepted and, as such, behaves aggressively, because they have low tolerance for rejection and lack of maturity.
The choice to make comments primarily about the potential partner's appearance makes it clear that these men have stopped in time because they believe in social conventions that are steadily falling behind. Do you think a woman gets dressed (or not) and acts in certain ways because of they only want to be accepted by men? In the middle of 2018? Oh, okay, talk to my hand.
When your friends are involved, he will apply the neg
In this process, he may also use anchoring, a NLP (neurolinguistic programming) technique. It’s a pairing of an emotion with an external stimulus. When you smile, for example, and rejoice to hear something he says, he’ll touch you in some part of your body. That way (according to theory), you would be happy every time he touches that part, being able to bring back that emotion anytime he wants.
Unfortunately, as we all have ups and downs, we can all fall victim to this and actually have our self-esteem scratched. The important thing, when you realize this, is to understand that it’s not your fault, but the asshole that adhered to this tactic and applied it to you.
Negging is the door to an abusive relationship
Those who hear about abusive relationships soon think of physical assault. But know that this is not the only sign that a relationship is totally harmful to the woman. In many cases, in fact, there is no physical violence, but there is obviously moral violence.
From the moment a man uses a way to lower a woman's self-esteem to conquer her, it’s to be expected that he will continue to do so in order to maintain his “position of power” over her. Yes, because negging has a lot to do with power. Since these (sexist) men believe that women feel superior because they’re beautiful and successful with the male audience, they need to override them (that is, make them feel bad and smaller than them) to have some type of active voice in the relationship.
Abuse can appear in the form of imposition of ideas or thoughts, when one considers himself always right, never gives in, admits no mistakes, nor asks for forgiveness, for this is seen by him as a sign of weakness. He never sees the qualities and virtues of the other, never recognizes, praises or motivates his partner. There is a constant need for him to be the center of attention.
But we already know that true relationships are built in a way that always - ALWAYS - improve the self-esteem of the two people involved. This means that any relationship that doesn’t work as this place of support, respect and mutual encouragement can be considered abusive. Especially if one side makes a point of keeping you in an inferior position.
It’s not difficult to be affected by this behavior, and you should back-up as soon as you realize it.
The train of thought usually goes like this: "This kind of comment affects my self-esteem, yes, because if I get attacked because of my hair or my body, it's my fault in theory. I didn’t do enough”.
But the woman should not blame herself. We cannot diet, dye our hair and choose our clothes because of someone else. When listening to a typical negging phrase, it’s best to accept it as a mere opinion. Nothing more. It's the case of saying: “I'm sorry if you think that about me” and leave that man there.
If the guy tried to downplay your self-esteem, it’s because he’s so insecure himself that he needs someone even more insecure than him, otherwise he won’t be able to cope, because he has the need to feel superior. Do you want to be with someone like that? Of course not! Immediately cut off this type of conversation put him in his proper place, which is far from any woman.