Negging: Do Pickup Artists Still Use It?

By Sarah Ann

Oh, the “art” of negging… I have rarely seen it executed successfully, yet have seen negging fail so many times it makes my head spin.

Hi! Sarah Ann, wing girl for the ABCs of Attraction, here with a little dating advice and insight into the abuse, er, I mean experiences I’ve had with failed negging from guys who didn’t have a clue about what is negging. The following is an actual negging conversation I’ve had the misfortune of being caught in:

Him: “Red lipstick, huh? You must be the slut of the group.”
Me: “Um, what?”
Him: “I said you mu…”
Me: “No, I heard what you said I was just surprised is all. I mean, does that usually work on girls?”
Him: “So are the rumors true?”
Me: “Soooo, I think you’re attempting this whole negging thing and you’re really not very good at it.”
Him: “Uhhhh, mumblemumble…”-walks off

Need I go on?

I live in Los Angeles, the major birthplace of pick up and the hub of all dating advice experts. I’ve also experienced an unusually large number of pick up artists hitting on me with poorly constructed negging lately. That alone should tell you the skill level that most girls have to deal with on a regular basis. There are certain bars and clubs I refuse to go to anymore because they are overrun with “pick up artists” that, when learning about negging, only heard the part about insulting girls; they are under the illusion that negging is calling a girl a slut and is going to get them laid. These guys circulate around the room leaving utter destruction and mayhem in their wake. I mean, do they ever have a real interaction with a girl?

I’d bank that they’ve probably been slapped one too many times in their lives.

I also have extreme doubts that they can even make it past the hook point with negging like that.

I understand the ideology behind negging as Gareth Jones clearly outlined in his article Negging: You’re Doing It Wrong. I agree whole-heartedly with his sentiment. These other PUAs, the ones using and abusing negging as the first piece of dating advice they’ve ever heard–I call them insult artists (IAs) because they couldn’t give me the correct answer if I asked, “What is negging?” There is nothing proud in what they do. Negging is merely a sport to them, one that they play poorly, and one that most women find exhausting.

Maybe I’m a sensitive soul but when I encounter IAs, unless I’m in the mood to play the negging game back, it doesn’t actually encourage me to want to get to know the guy. That in itself should be a warning sign to them but they are so engrossed in the negging game in which they are playing, their situational awareness goes out the window.

I’m actually really fed up with these IAs running negging amuck in L.A., misusing a set of skills and dating advice that could be used to advance social interaction. I’m associated with a company that teaches down-to-earth, holistic techniques. The ABCs method does make mention of negging, but it is barely a blip on the metaphorical radar of the material in our program and we never really cover the question of “What is negging?” for a very good reason. Quite simply, you don’t need negging as the centerpiece of your pick-up arsenal. I think negging should be on a “use it as you need it” basis.

We always say give fun, give value, and be interesting when we give out dating advice! Negging is only effective on a few select girls that probably deserve to be dropped down a peg or two. We all know these girls. I don’t need to elaborate, but there’s also a proper way to do it. Additionally, it can be used as a “fun” tool for bantering with someone. This generally gets brushed under the carpet because, to these IAs, it’s not fun to actually have a legitimate conversation with a girl.

The purpose of negging is to push the target away, make her emotional, and pull her back in again. What I’ve been experiencing is a negging epidemic! It’s frustrating when I’m making attempts at honest conversation. Is that too AFF of me? I think not. These IAs hide behind their PUA tricks because it’s much easier than being genuine and giving value. Because of my affiliation with and knowledge of the community I think I’m a bit debilitated in my views and expectations of men. However, do I, or any other females for that matter, deserve to go out for a night of fun only to be habitually insulted and poorly at that by some guy who got way too eager about the first piece of dating advice he ever heard?

I’ve been with several different friends when we’ve encountered these IAs and after the initial “interaction” before I can even say anything, my friends are asking why those guys were so weird or rude. Was this the goal of these IAs? Is this the image they’re trying to project? I want so badly for these guys to be good at pick up because I’ve seen it done successfully! The reason is such: girls want the guys approaching them to be fun and good at conversation. This is a little known secret.

Girls want you to succeed when you come up to them because they are used to guys being just awful to them. They want you to be that fun, different guy who is engaging. I compare it to auditioning for a part. The casting director is not wishing for your failure but rather for you to be exactly what he’s looking for so he can cast the show and go home. All of this negging nonsense is just that, nonsense. You’re not fooling anyone. As I said, there is a time and place for it, and the place is more often than not few and far behind.

The bottom line: negging is one of those dating advice tools that is used and abused like a brand-new puppy by amateur pick-up artists who don’t yet have the skill to accurately pull it off. Can it be done? Sure. Should you do it? Probably not. You’re better off putting your talents in an arena that you can handle. You wouldn’t run a marathon if you’ve never trained, would you?

Be safe, be fun, and go out there to rock some awesome girl’s world.

If you just can’t figure out negging and what you should be doing to have a proper conversation with a girl, check out one of our world-famous bootcamps where we’ll kick your ass into dating shape!