How to Tell If Your Date is Negging You
First of all, we should explain what Negging is. It’s a term that was coined by pick-up artists and is a form of emotional manipulation designed to make you doubt your self-worth and consistently seek someone’s approval. More commonly it’s known as a ‘backhanded compliment’ and it can be subtle, but over time it can erode your confidence.
It relates to gas-lighting in the way that its purpose is to make you open to more manipulation and have you believe that whatever your date or partner is telling you is the truth. Negging has become a common occurrence in the dating scene in recent years, and if you’re not sure how to tell if you’re being negged we’re here to help.
You feel like you’re being watched
Not in a ‘I just can’t take my eyes off of you’ romantic sort of way, in a ‘they’re scrutinising you for things they can point out as “flaws” kind of way.’
Their ‘compliments’ always have a dark side
A lot of people have experienced awful messages on dating apps such as ‘wow you’re smart for a girl,’ ‘you’re actually prettier without makeup on than I would expect’ or ‘you’re hot for a bigger girl.’ These ‘compliments’ are awful, deceptive ways to make you think that you should be grateful for their praise and that you could never actually be smart AND pretty, gorgeous AND barefaced or hot as hell AND curvy.
They make up the most random critiques
Your date or partner may say that the way you pronounce a certain word is ‘weird,’ that you do something ‘differently’ to other people like eat food a certain way or you ‘look awkward’ behaving however you usually behave. No one has the right to tell you how to live your life or that the way that you do it is ‘wrong.’ You should never have to reach to meet someone else’s criteria of what they think is ‘acceptable.’
They’ll tell you they were just teasing
Here’s where the gaslighting element comes in. When you’re rightly upset or angry about the negging, they’ll spin the situation and make it seem like you’re over-reacting and all they were doing was ‘being helpful’ or ‘offering constructive criticism.’ This is the same tactic people use when women are catcalled or harassed and are then told that they ‘can’t take a joke’ or ‘should appreciate the compliment.’
If you’ve experienced these signs it’s time to move on and find someone who can give you a genuine compliment with no ifs or buts and loves you for who you are.