A woman standing with her arms crossed
Negging: What It Means, And How To Avoid The Toxic Trend
"Negging" is a form of manipulation and verbal abuse. People who neg will insult or undermine you to hurt your self-esteem and gain power over you so you seek their approval.
Negging has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the other person’s low self-worth and immaturity. They put other people down to make themselves feel better.
One sign of negging is backhanded compliments, which are "said with the same tone of a compliment, but actually put the receiver down," per Silvi Saxena in Women's Health Magazine.
People who neg disguise their mean comments as "constructive" criticism, and they may tell you what you "should" do or look like. It can feel like nothing you do is good enough for them.
To respond to negging, look at how long you've been with someone. If it's a first date, ignore it or speak up, but if it’s long-term, it's time to reevaluate where you stand.