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'Negging' is a seriously sly flirting technique - but what even is it?

Have you been negged without realising? (Probably.)

Image: Shutterstock/Khakimullin Aleksandr

EVER RECEIVED A compliment but immediately afterwards thought, “HEY!”? You’ve been negged.

A ‘neg’, or a deliberate backhanded compliment, is a technique used by pick-up artists in their attempts to attract women.

The pick-up artist website seductionscience.com (tagline: “Get girls fast, for smart guys”) suggests the following lines as good ‘negs’:

Your roots are showing.
You know, you look like my little sister. Weird.
I like that outfit you’ve got on, but your shoes don’t really match.

Weird, right? And definitely not easily confused with your average flirty banter.

The idea is that the girl’s confidence will be knocked, and she’ll be so bowled over by the guy’s indifference to her, that she’ll try extra hard to impress him. Or, in pick-up artist speak, she’ll disengage her ‘bitch shield‘.

giphy Source: Giphy

And according to this article from the New Statesman, it has occasionally worked. A woman called ‘Rebecca’ told writer Nicky Woolf:

I had been feeling quite low, as I had recently ended a long-term relationship, and he came up to me and said something like, “You’re a bit less hot than your friend, but it’s OK, because I fancy you.” [I] should have thrown something at him; but instead I was charmed.

Grim, but at least now you’ll be able to spot a neg from a mile off. Godspeed.

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