When I first heard the word "negging," I genuinely had no idea what it meant. I had never heard the term before. When I Googled it, though, it was all too familiar.
According to Wikipedia's definition, negging is "an act of emotional manipulation whereby a person makes a deliberate backhanded compliment or otherwise flirtatious remark to another person to undermine their confidence and increase their need of the manipulator's approval."
This is nothing that most women haven't experienced. More likely than not, you've encountered a guy on Tinder who tries to put you down a peg so that he has the upper hand.
This trend isn't something that just started, though.
When we were younger, we were taught that when a boy is mean to you, it meant he liked you. We became okay with being made fun of because it meant that a boy liked us. We were taught that verbal abuse was a form of flirting.
This isn't healthy. Being taught this from a young age leads us to second guess how we're treated in the future. If we've only known this form of subtle abuse as a positive, we might not notice abusive behaviors in later relationships.
It starts with the children. We need to stop teaching little girls that a boy bullying her means he likes her. We need to stop teaching little boys that the only way it's acceptable for him to express his emotions is through harsh words.
It ends with us. Women, it's time for us to stand up against men who think they have power over us, who think they can kick us down, who think the only way they can get laid is through verbal abuse.
You are powerful. You are strong. You are important. Don't let shitty men who try to belittle you knock you off of the pedestal you belong on. It's time for us to end negging, it's time for us to end the notion that verbal abuse is flirting.
If a guy bullies you, it's not because he likes you, it's because he's an asshole.