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What is negging, and how do you recognise it?

What's negging, and is it happening to you?

How do you recognise and stop negging? [Women'sHealth]

Maybe they backhanded you with compliments, dismissed your opinions, or made subtle jabs at your appearance or intelligence. If so, you might be wondering: "Was that normal? Am I overreacting?"

Well, there's a term for that kind of behaviour – it's called "negging." It's a form of emotional manipulation where someone attempts to chip away at your self-esteem by making disguised insults or negative comments.

Here's the thing about negging: it masquerades as a compliment or even just friendly teasing. It can be hard to spot at first, especially if you're not familiar with the signs.

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Here are some common red flags to watch out for:

These sound like compliments on the surface, but they have a hidden barb. For example, someone might say something like, "You're pretty for someone who doesn't wear makeup."

Playful teasing can be fun, but when it's constantly targeting your insecurities or making you feel belittled, it's not okay. Jokes about your intelligence, skills, or appearance can be a form of negging.

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A negger might try to make you feel like your thoughts and opinions don't matter. They’ll constantly disagree with you, interrupt you, or dismiss your concerns as silly or unimportant.

Someone expressing concern for your well-being can be healthy, but extreme jealousy or possessiveness that makes you feel insecure or controlled could be manipulative and neggy.

Everyone experiences relationships differently, and what might feel like negging to one person might not bother another. But if you're consistently feeling belittled, confused, or insecure after interacting with someone, it's a sign that something isn't right.

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Trust your gut: If something feels off, it probably is. Don't dismiss your feelings or tell yourself you're being overly sensitive.

Set boundaries: It's okay to tell someone their behaviour is unacceptable, and you don’t appreciate the way they talk to you.

Cut ties if necessary: You don't owe anyone who makes you feel bad a place in your life. If someone is unwilling to respect your boundaries and continues to neg you, cut them off!

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