Negging is an act of emotional manipulation whereby a person makes a deliberate backhanded compliment or other negative comment to another person to undermine their confidence and increase their need of the manipulator's approval. The term was coined and prescribed by pickup artists.
Negging is often misunderstood as straightforward insult rather than as a pick-up line,
Neil Strauss, in his book The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, also stresses that the primary point of the technique is not to put women down but for a man to disqualify himself as a potential suitor. On this account he refers to negs as "disqualifiers", although the technique described in the book is recognisably the same as von Markovik's. Strauss is equally clear that negs should not be used as insults: "a disqualifier should never be hostile, critical, judgmental, or condescending. There's a line between flirting and hurting. And disqualification is never intended to be mean and insulting." (from Rules of the Game).
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- The Ethics of Manipulation, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- How to Recognize the Signs of Emotional Manipulation and What to Do, Healthline
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