“Negs” are awful. Flirt instead

I think most people have heard of “negs”. Negs and negging were phrases used by Neil Straus in his book, The Game. if you haven’t read the book, then it is a semi biographical description of how Neil got involved in pickup artist society. He describes pickup skills as “game”.

A friend of mine once said to me – isn’t negging saying something like, “you’re pretty hot… for a fat girl”. This seems like a pretty awful thing to say to someone in my opinion. In The Game, negs are introduced by a character called Mystery as:

Neither a compliment nor insult, a neg is something in between – an accidental insult or backhanded compliment. The purpose of a neg is to actively lower a woman’s self esteem while actively displaying a lack of interest in her – by telling her she has lipstick on her teeth , for example, or offering her a piece of gum after she speaks.

Sounds pretty manipulative to be honest. Let’s be clear, saying anything to someone to lower their self esteem is just downright nasty. Neil has since said some other things about negging, such as they “should never be hostile, critical, judgmental, or condescending. There’s a line between flirting and hurting. And [negging] is never intended to be mean and insulting.”


Okay, that seems slightly better. I think there is one word in there that we can latch onto – flirting.

Ditching the neg, embracing the flirt

So let’s get rid of the neg. Dating and dating apps are supposed to be fun, for everyone. Instead, how about we frame things is the same way that Cosmo or Marie Claire might frame them. Don’t ever say anything to deliberately manipulate someone or lower their self esteem. But do be flirty and a play hard to get a bit. Flirt!

To be fair, I know some of us end up out of practice at flirting by the time we get to our thirties. I certainly was. So here are my over thirties flirting tips. 

Flirting should be fun. Make it fun for both of you. A lot of flirting is about being unsure how the person you’re talking to will respond and getting a little adrenaline kick when you get a positive response. If you simply shower someone with compliments, you generally come off a bit needy and creepy. It’s boring for everyone. But being nasty and manipulative is not fun either.

Don’t agree with everything she says. It’s kinda that simple. The whole point is to make the conversation entertaining. So anything you can ask her that no other guy on Tinder asks her will earn you plus points. If she says she has porridge for breakfast every morning, and you hate porridge, say something like “No way, that is my least favourite, I’m gonna show you how to make American pancakes, they’re my fave. What would you put on them?” If she says she is amazing at ice skating, say “that sounds like a challenge we need a skate off.” then two sentences later tell her you’ve never been before, but it can’t be that hard – but throw some smilies in so she knows you’re joking .

Try asking the opposite to the obvious thing. You can even say – I’m not going to be obvious… So if she mentions having been to Bali, try something like “I’m sure all the guys ask what the best thing about Bali was, but what was the worst thing?” If a girl has loads of tattoos, instead of assuming she’s a rebel, assume she’s a goody two shoes and tell her so. Say you think your gran might like the tattoo of the snake and the skull or something.

Another good way is to do the opposite of what’s in her bio – if she says she never breaks the rules, tell her breaking the rules is the best way to have fun. If she says she likes to live life on the edge, tell her you do too, because sometimes you buy dark chocolate hobnobs instead of milk chocolate ones.

I’m sure you get the picture.

Also, don’t be afraid to talk about sex. Don’t get me wrong, you do not want to be some weird Tinder pervert. But be a grown up about it. If the conversation goes in that direction, bring it up. Be bold! Because there are many guys out there on Tinder who are not bold. So if you are, you’ll do better than them.

Something you should also try is mix flirting and teasing with some more serious or sincere bits. That way you’re not just a joker, and the jokes have more impact.

Ditch the neg, embrace the bantz.

Are you someone who’s used negs or someone that hates them. Let me know your experiences in the comments below. Subscribe to the blog for regular updates and share this post if you liked it.

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