Some are better at flirting than others. Others think they’re better at flirting than others by dishing off comments that playfully tease, but are actually harmful and toxic.
This is known as “negging” or as dating and relationship coach Ali Jackson defines it as when someone "deliberately insults you and undermines you as a form of flirting.” The toxicity of the technique is catching on on TikTok. The hashtag #negging currently has over 2.9 million views.
"It's a form of emotional manipulation disguised as a backhanded compliment or 'constructive' criticism," says Ernesto Lira de la Rosa, a licensed clinical psychologist. "It's meant to leave you questioning if you were insulted or complimented, and it disarms the person to being seduced."
Negging can come in the form of backhanded compliments, comparisons to others, and constructive criticism. Some examples of negging are:
- “You look good for your age”
- “You look way better than your Instagram pictures”
- “You’re not like other girls”
- “you’d like so good if you lost five pounds”
Although negging usually isn’t intentional, it can still be damaging especially if it’s used constantly towards someone in a relationship. So next time you go to make a move, do your best to just give a compliment - a plain and simple compliment.