As I learned, abuse is not always a clear-cut issue (e.g.
someone either hits me or doesn’t; either someone puts me down or doesn’t; someone either attempts to control me in very visible ways or doesn’t).
People who partake in negging are most likely just assholes whose natural instincts are to put people down and manipulate them. I figured that out when on the road trip, he ripped apart everything from my choices in friends to my outward appearances, calling me naive and stubborn.
A few months ago, I found myself stuck in a car on a six-hour road trip with a guy I had recently agreed to be “just friends” with. He said all of this with a smile, of course, and invited me to comment on his qualities. Halfway through the road trip, I found his hand reaching for mine and quickly retorted, “Shouldn’t you use that to drive? It’s twisting and playing with words, tearing people down to their most vulnerable state so that you can get what you want from them, even if they wouldn’t normally agree to it.
The art is wholly intuitive (in women) and we men even after having lived with it for thousands of years haven't been able to fully figure it out let alone work out an appropriate counter-strike.
For these reasons it is you, and you alone, who is responsible for the relationship’s problems — or so you tell yourself.
I feel oddly — perhaps disturbingly — lucky and certainly thankful that I do not have any extreme tales of abuse to report. It is often insidious: You go from thinking you are falling in love to wondering why all of the “problems” in your new relationship seem to be your fault, and have no clear idea of how you got from point A to point B.
Perhaps you blame it on not having been in a relationship for a while; you decide you simply forgot how to be in a relationship.
Any person who is willing to tear you down like that, to try to “fix you” by pointing out your flaws and suggesting ways to get around them, doesn’t love who you are. If you’re a victim of negging, you’re not in a healthy relationship. Don’t let their false accusations and insults dig into you so much that you love yourself less. Songwriting is my #1 passion, followed closely by all other prose. I'm also an avid traveler, and you can keep up with my travels at
I'm also an avid traveler, and you can keep up with my travels at