Beware of the mythical “neg”


lisa fabrega



(photo by GeneticBoi)


I was working away at my computer when it came in.
The familiar ding of a Facebook message, distracting me from what I was doing…

For some reason, this time, I clicked over to read it.

I don’t normally check my messages, my assistant does.
And when I read his message, I felt it was a little too personal for someone who doesn’t
know me at all.  Something in my intuition felt “off” about this dude.

But I saw that we had a very dear friend of mine in common and I saw his native
language was not English (he was European).  I dismissed my intuitive “red flag” as me
being paranoid and excused the overly intimate tone as having to do with a language barrier.

“Nice to meet you.  I see we have my dear friend xxxx in common. How do you two
know each other?”, I wrote back, brief, courteous and professional.

His response mentioned they did some personal development work in the same
circles…and then he ended the email by saying that he had looked at my website and
at my latest offering and he found it to be “interesting” except for the fact that he felt it
was so “American” and he didn’t like how I marketed.  The words felt quite condescending.

I remember reading that message and feeling my entire body be a no to further
communication with this person.   He had just introduced himself to me, barely knowing
me, yet speaking to me like we had been friends for years.  Then proceeded to
compliment me and then simultaneously tear down my work…without me ever
requesting any of this feedback.

My mind didn’t know why my body was an immediate no,
but it would soon catch up.

I never responded to his message. And I got busy.
And over the course of several weeks, his comments below my photos and posts
began to pop up.  The words seemed innocuous, but every time I got a notification
of one of his comments on my posts, I felt like my energy & personal space was
being intruded upon.  It never felt good.

Still I dismissed this as being “my issue” and being paranoid and I just didn’t respond to
the comments assuming he would eventually just go away.

Then this week, I got one final message from him.

“Wow, you’re so American.  It’s kind of amazing.”

It was then that I knew in my mind what he was doing.

I immediately blocked him from all of my Facebook accounts.

I texted my friend who we had in common and told him I had blocked the creepy dude
and I didn’t understand how they were friends.  He said “wow, that’s kind of harsh”.

No, it’s actually not harsh.  Not at all.

Let me tell you why.

That guy was doing what is known in the world of sleazy, “pickup” dating advice as a “neg”.

The definition of a neg is this:

A neg is a backhanded compliment, usually said by a man to a woman, to surprise and/or annoy her so she does a double take and tries to prove her value to the man. Negging comes from the Pick Up Artist community and was a very popular method suggested to men who wanted to take very attractive women “down a notch” in the mid 2000s…if the neg works properly, the woman will try to prove her value to the man by engaging him, chasing him or other preening behaviors that show sexual or romantic interest.

Let’s rewind to the part that I find most fucked up about this “tactic”:
The part that says that the neg is meant to get the woman to “prove her value to the man”.

You know why I find that part to be the grossest about this tactic?
Because it requires that we ask people to step into their brokenness so that we can gain
power and control over them.

Think about it.

We live in a world where our “brokenness” is taught as if it were a given.

From the moment we’re born we are told there is something to fix.
Our religions…
teach us all about our original sin that we must wipe away through acts of contrition.

Our work ethic…
in Western culture teaches us we must kill ourselves in order to prove that we are of
value and worthy of reward.

Old paradigm marketing & selling…
insists we must remind people of how broken they are in order for them to buy a
product or service from us that will fix their problems.

Many coaches, therapists and personal development leaders… coach from needing to
“fix” their clients and keep them in co-dependent relationships for years (and this also
guarantees their income for a long time…how convenient).

“I am broken” is a story that permeates our entire world.
It’s a story that I have spent years shattering with my clients and in my programs.

It is such a deep story that our egos are attached to, that I have actually had clients
get angry and insult me because I refused to coach them from the story of “yes, you
are broken, so let me fix you” and instead kept bringing them back to their wholeness
and back to the truth that they already know.

And why is it such a popular belief?

Because when you can convince someone that they are broken and that you, in
turn, have the solution, you have power over them.

And when you believe in your brokenness, you get to surrender your sovereignty
and not do the sometimes hard work of being personally responsible for creating
your own life.  Much easier to blame someone else instead of taking responsibility.

Ouch. I know that one hurt.
It hurts me to admit it whenever I catch myself believing in my mythical broken-ness, too.

When you reinforce the belief in people that they are broken, through your speech and
your actions, you can manipulate them by using their wounding against them.

If you believe you’re broken, you will never trust your intuition that says “I know what I
need and want” and instead you will constantly be looking for some guru outside of you
to give you the answers.  Because how could you trust intuition that comes from your
“broken” body and soul?

That’s the power of propagating the “We are broken” story.

And that is exactly what that creepy dude was trying to do to me.
He was “negging” me.

The person who tries to “neg” you, basically requires for you to be broken
in order to engage with you.  

Beyond the fact that this is incredibly screwed up that someone would want you to be
in your brokenness in order for them to talk to you…the person who negs does this
because they believe in the story that they are deeply broken too.

Rather than step into their wholeness and celebrate a woman who has good self esteem
& high confidence, they would rather stay in their smallness and bring you down a notch
to their level.

So you’re damn right I blocked him.

And no, it wasn’t harsh.

In fact, it was the greatest act of self-respect and self-love that I could do for myself.
And it is the greatest act of self-respect and self-love that you could do for you, too.

Any person that requires you to be less than all of who you are in order for them
feel comfortable being around you, should not be a part of your world.

But this doesn’t just happen between men and women and in the pickup world.

After I blocked this man permanently from my space, I got to thinking about when else
I have had this “off” feeling in my body.

I started to realize all the ways that “negging” has show up in my world.  And all the
ways which we allow it to happen, because we dismiss our intuition that something
feels wrong.

You see, the person who negs is a master of words.
They will cut you down but you will have a hard time finding evidence of it
in their words.
They’ll slam you with a big smile on their face and you’re the one left
doubting yourself.

Like the Facebook commenter who thanked me for the free 30 minute video I made
on Periscope but then proceeded to tell me it was “delivered a bit late”..

Or the person on Instagram who I have never met, giving me a “compliment” about how
much better I looked now that I had lost some weight. (No one ever has the right to
make comments about your body without your consent).

Or the person who emailed me after I spent 2 hours teaching some of my best content
on a totally complimentary call to serve my community, to say “thank you for 2 hours of
free content but honestly I was disappointed in you because you didn’t talk about _____,
which is what I wanted you to talk about. I expected more of you, frankly”.

Or the client who I used to leave every session with feeling like I had been repeatedly
punched in the stomach, but had no words of hers to point to that would show me why
I felt that way.

Or the friend and colleague who I promoted and referred so many clients to, who
became more and more threatened, the more I moved out of my own “I am broken”

As I began to move into my wholeness I began to speak about my gifts more publicly.
Every time I posted about it, I would get a text message about what was wrong in my
post astrologically or veiled comments about “newbies” needing to respect that the
masters know more and have been doing it longer.

I started noticing that every time I walked away from interacting with her or hanging out
with her, I felt like I had been cut down. Like I was a bad person just for finally letting
myself be fully me. When I finally confronted her about it, like a true neg afficionado,
she denied it all and told me I must be imagining things.

Or the other friend who, when we sat next to an attractive man on the plane, cut my
accomplishments down in front of him by saying, with a laugh “oh well Lisa, that’s not
true”, right after I had finished sharing with him.

The people who like to “neg” have this down to a science.
They will cut you down and then act like you’re the crazy one.
In fact, I think some people have gotten so used to negging, that they don’t even realize
they are doing it anymore.

The danger in being around people who neg you, is that you doubt your intuition.
Have enough people negging you in your life and you suddenly snowball into losing all
trust in your gut feelings and you begin to take the advice of people outside of you,
instead of trusting the wholeness and wisdom within you.

Before you know it, you’re doubting your dreams, you’re doubting that you’re a good
person, you’re doubting the messages from your heart and you now believe in your brokenness.

And you stop creating.
Because you now believe that your own impulses are broken and cannot be trusted.
You give up your power to the opinions and thoughts of the person who is negging
you and start requiring outside answers to make any decision in your life.

You lose your sovereignty and your access to the divine wisdom within you.

My love, choose the people who are lifted up by you soaring to new heights and
want to be the wind beneath your wings.
Choose the people who see you already in your wholeness and who address you
in that manner.
Choose the people who challenge you to believe in nothing but your wholeness.

Does believing we are whole mean believing we are perfect and can do no wrong?
No. Absolutely not.
Like a famous Buddhist monk once said…
“We are all whole and we have a lot of work to do.”

But if your intuition tells you that something is “off” about the way this person speaks
to you, if you constantly feel cut down when you leave a person’s presence…even if
you can’t put your finger on it, even if you can’t “prove it” entirely, listen to your gut.

Deep down, you know, my love.
You know.

Just like, if I’m honest with myself, I knew the minute that creepy Facebook dude
messaged me that something was off. Just like I knew, months in to my friendships
mentioned above, that these people were not totally on my side. Just like I knew that
that was the wrong client for me and endured energetic punches in the guts for months
until I was fed up and fired her. Just like those commenters on social media and
newsletter subscribers that wrote in with backhanded compliments were actually
repeat offenders and I let it slide for too long.

All of those people are not in my life or my energy field anymore.

Be fierce about who or what you allow around your energy field because it will
affect the fate of your dreams.

This doesn’t mean we can’t view those who neg us with compassion.
It doesn’t mean we are making them “bad people” or “other”.

People who neg are just people who are caught up in their brokenness.
They see someone shining brightly in their wholeness and it frightens them.

Because it means they just might have to take responsibility for themselves and
step into their own wholeness too. And living your life as a sovereign being vs.
a victim that gets tossed around by the Universe is scary because it means we have
to stop blaming other people for the circumstances we have the power to change.

So, today I want to issue you a challenge, love.

Are you willing to step out of the story that you are broken and into the reality
that you are whole?

Are you willing to take a fierce stand for your heart, your intuition and your dreams
by stopping the pattern of allowing people who neg you to rule your life?

If so, comment “I am whole and I claim my sovereignty!” below.
Better yet, share this post with an “I am whole and I claim my sovereignty!” to
inspire others to step into their wholeness, too.

It’s time to give up the illusion of brokenness once and for all.

And you have nothing to prove. To anyone. Ever.
You are whole.