Does Negging Work? (useful tool or pua trick...)


The term Negging has evolved over the years. Originally, negging was about giving a woman a backhanded compliment to make it seem like you're not trying to "win her over." 

The purpose was to seem less of a tryhard than others, and to increase her curiosity about you.

While not exactly bad per se, it's still a pua tactic at its core.

As the term grew in popularity and gained mainstream attention, its meaning started to change.

Negging ended up solely referring to insulting someone to build attraction.

A similar thing happened to "red pill" communities, who's initial philosphy was about viewing the world more objectively. 

It was harmless at first, but it did attract some negative people (especially after the spotlight was on them). Today, those groups are perceived as toxic and hateful.

So (in either meaning of the word), does negging ever work?

Whether Negging Works or Not...

Here's the truth...

Negging does not work

The factors that make you attractive are not positively influenced by insults or backhanded compliments. 

The attempt to manipulate is futile at best or damaging at worst

Focusing on building a connection is more successful than distracting yourself with "game."

You need to look at the big picture to understand why negging is ineffective.

As a guy- would you love it if a woman were to neg you? 

Do you think it would impact whether or not you like them? 

Do you think you would perceive it differently if you were a woman?

Advice from the pick-up industry just distracts you from what you should be doing.

You will otherwise always have your guard up. Anything she says must be filtered by how you think you should act. You're not paying attention to her or her body language. 

Having a needless focus on pua information and techniques won't help move the needle on the dating scene.

Negging will never work.

If "pickup" had any legitimacy, it wouldn't just be young men doing it. People grow out of it once they see how little use it has and how damaging it can be.

Your appearance and experience level matter most. 

Fortunately, there's always room for improvement on both.

A woman being negged at a university.

How to Tell if Someone is Negging You

If you think someone is negging you, you should confidently know how to recognize it.

First off, a guy using a PUA tactic is a bit of a red flag

At its core, negging is a form of emotional manipulation.

He could be a legitimately good dude who got misled while trying to put himself out there. 

So, you should proceed with some caution if you happen to like him. Just acknowledge how negging reflects a lack of experience with dating.

Overall, you can best recognize negging by how unnatural it typically comes across.

Generally, he'll have a "negging pick-up line" locked and loaded. He'll feel for the right time to say it, which will probably catch you off-guard.

However, a one-off line doesn't necessarily mean he's trying to neg you. 

It's easy for guys to say something without realizing it can be taken differently. So, try to gauge if it comes across more intentional and calculated.

Negging can be both insults and backhanded compliments, so you should watch out for both. Also, he'll likely repeat it a few times in different ways. It's no longer a coincidence by his third or fourth neg.

Lastly, you can always ask him. If he's intentionally trying to neg you, he'll be a bit flustered when you call him out on it. If he reacts by being closed off and defensive, he is probably negging you.

To recap- you can tell someone is negging you if:

  • They're giving backhanded compliments.
  • They're insulting you "out of the blue."
  • Their comments come across unnaturally.
  • They're repeating it in multiple ways.
  • By how they respond if you ask them about it.
eBook ad.

Examples of Negging

  • "I wish I could be as carefree as you. Ignorance must be bliss."
  • "That's an awesome dress. You're brave to wear it, though"
  • "You're so ambitious. I never would have expected that from someone like you."
  • "I'm surprised you managed to finish that class"
  • "You're pretty cute, in a quirky sort of way."
  • "I wish I was as carefree like you"
A young woman on her phone being negged by a guy.

Is Negging Flirting?

Negging isn't flirting. 

Its intent is to have a woman believe you're not chasing her, or to reduce her self-esteem and confidence (with the belief it actually creates attraction).

Even if it was meant as a way to flirt, it still wouldn't be very effective.

However, flirting can technically involve some means of negging.

The key distinction here is that you wouldn't really be saying anything negative to her.

Instead, you're playfully teasing her and joke around. Even if you make fun of something about her, you still have complete confidence that she won't take offense to it.

Your tone also helps convey that your words are lighthearted and fun.

Be careful, as too much teasing can easily cause you to say something that can be taken the wrong way. At the very least, you should feel your tone is light and casual. 

This way, she is more likely to tell how nothing was intended in a negative way.

Regular Flirting Works Best

Flirting is genuinely enjoyable. Having someone neg you is not.

It's best to do it with the sole intent to have fun. You shouldn't feel or expect to get anything out of it.

If you're ditching negging as a means to flirt, check out How to Rizz up a Girl for a much better approach.

If you have any experience with negging (or someone negging you), share your experience with it below.


APA: Green, K., Kukan, Z., & Tully, R. J. (2017). Public perceptions of “negging”: lowering women’s self-esteem to increase the male’s attractiveness and achieve sexual conquest. Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, 9(2), 95-105.

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