Negging is the act of putting a person down/lowering their confidence in an effort to get what you want from them.
Your SO probably isn't aware they're doing it, but it's a disgusting dating tactic we need to talk about.
People who partake in negging are most likely just assholes whose natural instincts are to put people down and manipulate them.
A few months ago, I found myself stuck in a car on a six-hour road trip with a guy I had recently agreed to be “just friends” with. Our definitions of friends were very different… mainly, his definition included benefits.
I figured that out when on the road trip, he ripped apart everything from my choices in friends to my outward appearances, calling me naive and stubborn.
He said all of this with a smile, of course, and invited me to comment on his qualities. I happily obliged.
Halfway through the road trip, I found his hand reaching for mine and quickly retorted, “Shouldn't you use that to drive?”
Of course, that led to him arguing “friends can hold hands.” But we all know it's not normal for a heterosexual man and a heterosexual woman to casually hold hands while driving unless there is something romantic going on between them.
He had been putting me down through the whole car ride, then wanted to hold my hand and kiss me goodbye when we got back to town.
That's when I discovered negging.
It makes sense, really. Tear down a person's confidence, and you can manipulate them to do whatever you want. Make them feel vulnerable, helpless and in need of someone to kiss them and hold their hand, and they'll feel they need you.
Of course, they'll go home later and feel like absolute crap about the whole relationship because they'll remember your harsh words more than your soft lips.
Ladies and gentlemen, that's abuse.
Let's remember a relationship doesn't have to be sexually or physically harmful to be abusive. Mental, emotional and verbal abuse are all severely damaging.
Any person who is willing to tear you down like that, to try to “fix you” by pointing out your flaws and suggesting ways to get around them, doesn't love who you are. You can absolutely find someone who will.
When someone really loves you, they love YOU. They love your accomplishments, your amazing and unique traits AND your flaws and failures. They don't feel like they need to fix your flaws.
Of course, if your SO is helping you get through, say, drug addiction, that's a different story. But if they don't like who you are? Get rid of them. You don't have time for that shit.
Negging is verbal abuse. It's manipulation. It's twisting and playing with words, tearing people down to their most vulnerable state so that you can get what you want from them, even if they wouldn't normally agree to it.
It's the same reason verbally pressuring someone into sexual activity is sexual abuse.
It took me way too long to figure out what negging was. These tips will help you figure out if you've been a victim of this manipulative, abusive intimidation technique.
Your SO is negging you if:
1. They constantly give you unsolicited advice.
2. They think their advice is the only advice that counts.
3. They regularly point out your flaws in a condescending way and rudely recommends ways to fix them.
4. Your find yourself giving in to your SO's desires, even after you've repeatedly said no.
If you're a victim of negging, you're not in a healthy relationship. You deserve more.
Work on your flaws if YOU want to. Work on your own growth, but don't change just because someone else thinks you should.
Don't let their false accusations and insults dig into you so much that you love yourself less.