Hey Baby, Mind if I Insult You?

Has this happened to you?

You’re at a bar, minding your own business, talking to your friends and occasionally turning to see if that cute guy by the bathroom is actually with that girl he’s standing next to, or is just waiting in line to pee, when out of nowhere, a dude steps into your line of vision and says something slightly to very insulting. Don’t understand how it’s possible? Here are two real life examples:

Dude: “You two girls suck�?

My friend and I freeze, staring at him in complete confusion.

Dude: “Seriously. You suck.�?
Me: “Ok.�?

I don’t know what else to say, and don’t care enough to trade insults with him. Nudging my friend with my elbow, I signal that it’s time to vacate the area.

Dude: “I mean, I’ve been here for an hour and haven’t been able to talk to either one of you!�?

He grins, and asks us our names, and starts to talk to us. He’s actually friendly, but we leave soon after introductions because neither of us can forget how utterly rude he had been only moments ago.

At another bar with another friend, I’m trying to squeeze through an insanely huge crowd of people to get a beer. I can hardly breathe, and am in no mood to be yelled at by some tall, skinny, bi-speckled geek, but he continues to shout directly into my ear.

Dick: “Seriously! Is that real?�?
Me: “What do you think?�? I scream extra loud into his face, hoping he’ll back the hell off.

Dick: “It doesn’t look natural at all!�?
My Friend: “Your face doesn’t look natural!�?

And with that, she pulls me away and deeper into the crowd, leaving the geek and his geek associates to sketch out an algebraic graph of the chances of them getting laid.

Apparently, insulting girls to get them to notice you is something certain men (read: idiots) do all the time. There’s even a book written about it. The Game, by Neil Strauss, is all about how Strauss, a former social outcast, turned himself into a sex machine by becoming a Pick Up Artist.

“Most women respond to routines involving tests, psychological games, fortune telling and cold reading like addicts respond to free drugs�? Strauss writes, going on to explain how a “neg�? – a “barbed compliment or vaguely humorous insult�? – should be employed on women who are used to getting compliments because it’ll make them “crave the PUA’s (Pick Up Artist’s) attention and approval�?. Sure. If they have no self-esteem and enjoy jackasses.

I, for one, never respond well to this idiotic way of thinking. If I don’t know you, don’t insult me—it’s as simple as that. There’s a difference between being charming and being sleazy, and Strauss’s advice seems to rotate around the latter. Why insult a girl when it’s just as easy to smile, ask her a question, treat her like a cool chick you’d like to get to know? Those are the men I’m attracted to, the ones who have enough real confidence and charm to start up a conversation, without using lines or attempted psychological mindf**ks. He may consider himself a P.I.M.P, but Strauss, and all his followers, will forever be geeks in my eyes. Who needs a book to tell them how to interact with the opposite sex? Who needs to rely on games and step-by-step instructions to land a date?

Grow some balls. Talk to me like a human being. Make me laugh. And leave the manual at home.

6 thoughts on “Hey Baby, Mind if I Insult You?”

  1. "Grow some balls."

    That's just it. I haven't read Strauss' book so I can't comment with a high level of confidence on his philosophies.

    But, I can say that at the root for developing "negs" is a desire to mimic the idiosyncrasies of a guy who does have the courage to approach women and strike up some sort of conversation. My criticism with this is that it's all fake. Instead of teaching young men to be men, with all its virtues, it teaches men how to pretend to be a man with balls (courageous). In a sincere environment, guys and girls crack on each other. It's part of the playful nature of flirting and the guy/girl dynamic.

    Unfortunately/Fortunately, depending on your perspective, it works. Maybe not all the time, but enough to reinforce the behavior. Why? Because the majority of the guys who read this type of book become motivated. They actually get up, leave their house, and start approaching women. Even if it's not sincere, it's something. It's too bad the mature aspects of positive masculinity are rarely – if ever – discussed.

  2. I have read the book – it's quite interesting. I suggest you read it. Clearly you haven't. You are looking at it all wrong. The examples you have written about in no way reflect what the book is about. The book is just a story about what happened in Strauss' life during that period of time. It isn't a "manual", although there is a lot of useful info in it. The other people he mentions in the book do have there own manuals and how-to guides etc.

    I agree that the people in your stories sound like douche bags – they did insult you – but a neg is more about timing and being subtle. I would love to hear from you after you have read the book.

  3. What a stupid article written by a woman that gets all of her personality and dating attributes from Cosmo, but thinks guys are lame for seeking to better themselves through reading.

    And for your information, negs usually don't work on ugly girls (hint hint), which is the main fault of the guys that came up to you.

  4. So… you must be fairly attractive, but not enough that guys are constantly hitting on you. Women of value and beauty are hit on all the time. Guys always come up to THEM and compliment them and start a REGULAR CONVERSATION. and 99% of the time they blow them off. You, on the other hand, are probably delighted that any guy would actually come talk to you. These other girls, the hot ones, require a different sort of approach, one that says, "I'm not interested, but you are fun to talk to… for now."

    Sorry honey, but it works. "Negs," as you call them, is just semantics for another form of flirting, called "teasing!" This is what people do when they are attracted to someone.

    So… no one teases fat girls… because it would crush your, I mean their, self esteem.

  5. These guys with whom you speak of obviously read the book wrong. You never start with a neg unless the woman you want to speak to is extremely attractive and is used to getting hit on in the same generic "You're so hot can I buy you a drink" type of way. If you did read the entire book, you would know that they should have used an "opener" instead. A simple question or statement without sexual overtones what-so-ever. Something interesting that would get a dialog going without showing interest in anything but the woman's opinion.

    Negs are needed and used in every successful pick-up because they do a number of things: 1) Brings the woman (who, if is aware or thinks she is being hit on, thus having the power in the conversation) down to an even level, 2) Shows the man is used to being around attractive women, thus making him attractive (pre-selection/social proof), 3) Stops her friends/boyfriend/potential suitor from thinking she is being hit on and as a result will stop them from "cock-blocking" anytime in the near future.

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