Negging In A Relationship: How To Recognize & Overcome

Last Update on January 27, 2023 : Published on January 28, 2023

Negging has been existing for years and has the capability of ruining an individual’s self-esteem and self-worth. Negging comes in disguise, sometimes it is in the form of criticism, and some other times it comes in as flirting.

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like your partner has been making a lot of negative statements about you? Well, it can be possible that your partner is negging you. Negging is a sly way of ridiculing you or trying to control you.

Such control-seeking techniques are often used by narcissists. In order to exercise their superiority, complex they often use negging to manipulate you and make you behave in a way they want.

Today we will explore different signs of Negging in a relationship and how you can overcome such emotional manipulation. But first, let’s quickly look at what negging means…

What Is Negging Someone?

Negging is a form of emotional abuse and manipulation where an individual deliberately complements the other to pull down their confidence. The one who engages in negging will also make you feel like you can never get their approval.

This feeling makes you work even harder to get their approval and change the way you normally function. It is a very clever way to manipulate someone but what many people fail to realize is that it can hugely impact someone’s mental and emotional well-being.

The ‘Neg’ in negging means negative feedback. When you constantly receive negative feedback from your partner, you start to believe that you’re not good enough. This can infect you with low confidence and low self-esteem, depleting your mental health.

Also read: Why is it So Hard To Leave an Abusive Relationship?

How To Tell If Someone Is Negging You?

If you feel like your partner’s compliments have a hidden intention that is slightly peeping through their smile? To tell if your partner is negging you or not can be difficult. You need to trust your instinct because they never lie.

However, it can be difficult to rely on your instinct all the time, therefore, here are a few signs of negging that you need to watch out for;

  1. Their compliments embarrass you rather than making you feel special
  2. They often compare you with other people
  3. They give you a lot of destructive criticism but call it constructive criticism
  4. Their insults are disguised as questions about you
  5. They use “just kidding” to justify their backhand compliments
  6. They make you feel guilty or regret sharing your opinions openly
  7. They manipulate you into believing that they are victims when you express your concerns
  8. They engage in a lot of ‘I, Me & Myself
  9. They always make you seek their approval
  10. They praise their X-partner a lot in front of you

Also Read: Beware of These 11 Signs of Superficial Relationships!

How To Respond To Negging In A Relationship?

Negging is a kind of emotional manipulation that is not very easy to recognize, therefore responding to it correctly is very important. When dealing with negative feedback and manipulation every day can take a toll on your mental health.

Here are some ways you can respond to negging without letting it mess with your mental and emotional well-being;

1. Do not give in to the insults or return them: you need to understand that these insults are intended to only manipulate you, therefore, do not take those insults too personally or return insults at them.

2. Express your feelings and observe their reaction: it is very important to know how much your partner values you and your feelings. Upon sharing your feelings if your partner does not value them and makes it about them all over again, you’re not with the right person.

3. Point out their negging: it’s very important to point out their abusive behavior. They feel like their negging can go unnoticed but pointing it out is one way they can stop doing it. Make sure you firmly tell them to stop negging because it’s not good for your relationship.

4. Avoid unnecessary arguments and know when to leave: while negging they might instigate you to make strong argumentative statements so that they can use them to play the victim again. If your partner refuses to stop negging you despite pointing it out many times, you should know it’s time to leave.

Also Read: 6 Types Of Common Relationships And Their Mental Health Impacts

That’s All Folks!

I hope you found this blog about negging in a relationship helpful, informative, and thought-provoking. Do share this blog with your friends and family so that identifying negging in a relationship becomes easy and learn how to respond to it.

Thanks for reading.

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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