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Approaching women for the purposes of dating isn’t easy. At all. What should you say to women that will make them want to talk to you or even get them interested in you? The answer to this question will vary depending on who you ask.

Recently, a guest commented on the blog about “negging” and whether it’s a useful tool in picking up women. He wanted my opinion; so today I’ll discuss what negging is and how it works.


What is Negging, Anyway?

Negging is a term that was created, or at least popularized, by a Pickup Artist known as Mystery. Mystery wrote the book The Mystery Method: How To Get Beautiful Women into Bed and is even better known for his prominent role in Neil Strauss’s bestseller The Game and his VH1 show “The Pickup Artist.” Yes, I’ve read both books and watched a season of the show.

Negging refers to the pickup technique of issuing a mild, even humorous insult to a woman you meet. For example:

“You must have spent hours getting your hair to look like that.” (from the man who commented on the blog)

“I just noticed… your nose wiggles when you speak… ha, it’s so cute.” (from Mystery’s book)

“I like that dress. I remember seeing you at a club before and you were wearing the same dress. It is nice, though.” (from Mystery’s book)

The neg is intended to replace the standard compliment. Why? According to its creators, it will increase a woman’s interest. In their eyes, women get tired of being hit on by guys who lay on compliments or seem obviously interested; the neg offers a challenge, some humor, and a potential way to appear confident and in control.


Does Negging Work?

You’re probably expecting me to say that negging doesn’t work or that it backfires. But the truth is, in some situations and with some women, it can work. I’ve known men who’ve had some success with negging and I’ve heard a few women admit to liking it. Why would it work? If a woman is out a lot and accustomed to men drooling all over her or issuing silly pickup lines, it might be refreshing to meet a guy who’s willing to stand up to her in a funny way.

However, there are several caveats to this:

  • The insult has to be mild, funny, and have a complimentary aspect to it. If you go too far, it will backfire, big time. In my experience, most men who try this fail because they don’t do it right and wind up looking like jerks.
  • According to Mystery, negging works best on very attractive women, who are not only used to being hit on a lot but who may have the confidence to tolerate the mild insult.
  • Negging is part of a general pickup strategy that is aggressive and intense. Many women don’t like such methods and many men aren’t at all comfortable using them. This is one of many reasons I wrote Changing Your Game, to give men an alternative to pickup books.
  • Finally, if you’re good at reading and understanding people, you will see negging for what it is: a power play. It’s a game, a tactic, an attempt to give the illusion of confidence. There’s always some element of tactics and power play in dating. But when dating becomes about the tactics, rather than about connecting with someone, it’s easy to lose your way. I’ve seen this happen to many Pickup Artists. You can try to make yourself look confident using silly tactics, or you can build confidence the old-fashioned way – through experience. Then, you don’t need negging because you’ll be able to issue a compliment in confident way.

What do you think of negging? If male, have you tried it? How did it go? If female, have you been negged? What did you think?


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