Today, we’re going to start a new series all about relationship sabotage (all kinds of relationships, romantic, business, familial, etc.). When we feel insecure or afraid, we can often engage in some crazy behavior that brings about the exact opposite of what we want. In short, it guarantees that we’ll fail. I call this our inner crazy bitch. We all have one (yes, even men). We all suffer from Crazy Bitch Syndrome from time to time.
I’ve identified 4 different types of Crazy Bitch behaviors that commonly pop up when our insecurities are triggered, and will be dissecting each one in a video over the next few weeks. Where does our crazy bitch come from? What makes her come out? What determines which kind of crazy bitch behavior we engage in? And what can we do to heal the crazy bitch?
In today’s video, I begin with a seemingly benign Crazy Bitch behavior that could be making sure no potential partner, friend, colleague or even boss will get near you, even though you desperately want nothing more. It’s called negging, and you may not even know that you’re doing it (or you may know, but be in complete denial about the effect it’s having on those around you).
What is Crazy Bitch Syndrome?
Crazy Bitch Syndrome happens when our insecurities (it’s always our insecurities), cause us to sabotage our relationships. Romantic relationships, business relationships, platonic relationships; it really doesn’t matter which relationship we’re talking about. Anytime we’re dealing with other people, crazy bitch syndrome can cause us to sabotage our relationships in many specific ways. Our inner crazy bitch starts to come out and we engage in what I call “crazy bitch behavior”.
First of all, I want to explain that I’m not talking about “bitch” in the traditional sense, where it’s a used to insult women. Men have inner crazy bitches too; everyone’s got an inner crazy bitch. Even me! The important things here are: Is it (the crazy bitch behavior) being activated, is it coming out, and what can we do about it? Over the next few weeks I’m going to break down this syndrome in 4 different videos and I’m going to talk about the different aspects and the different types of crazy bitch behavior we can engage in, where they’re coming from, how we’re sabotaging our relationships with them, and what we can do if we are doing that. I’ve talked to many, many, many clients over the years that have engaged in crazy bitch behavior, and so I thought it was high time to make a video series about this. It’s something that is really prevalent today.
Now, you might be thinking “Oh, I don’t have a crazy bitch in me.” Well, yes you do and I promise you it has come out at least once or twice in your life. In fact, it may be coming out more often than you realize.
The first type of crazy bitch behavior that I’d like to talk about is what I call “Negging”. Negging is when you engage in behaviors that you would often consider to be playful banter or flirting with somebody. It doesn’t have to be sexual; it can be in a platonic relationship; it can even be at work; It’s when you think you’re joking or kidding or being cute but in fact you’re actually being mean. Now, you might be doing this totally unconsciously and you don’t even realize you’re doing it, or you might be in total denial about the fact that you’re doing it. You might be thinking “Oh no, I’m only joking. I’m being funny. I know this person really likes it.” Or, you might be doing it deliberately, thinking that you’ll get some kind of a positive response from the other person.
Why do I call it Negging?
This is actually a term that I picked up from (see what I did there?) pick-up artists, a phenomenon I’ve always found fascinating. Pick-up artists are men, usually, who teach other men how to pick up women. They tell them what to do to be successful with the ladies, which often involves wearing really flashy things. They have certain lines to say and they demonstrate certain behavior towards the women. One of the behaviors that they teach is called Negging. This entails approaching a beautiful woman and giving her a back-handed compliment to bring down her self-esteem. The idea is that she’ll now enthusiastically vie for the attentions of the one who negged her. And, you know what? She will. If she has horribly, horribly low self-esteem. A woman who does not have such low self-esteem will not respond to that behavior in a positive way. She will not respond to a put-down in a positive way. So, I suppose that negging is a great way to filter out any woman who has any kind of self-respect or self-esteem and leave only the women who will basically go out with just about anyone who pays attention to them (but not too much!). So, maybe that’s the strategy behind the whole pick-up artist thing… But anyway, this is where the term Negging came from and I think it’s really apt for describing the type of crazy bitch behavior I’m dissecting today.
An example of (crazy bitch) Negging is when you might think that you’re joking with somebody, but in fact you’re actually being really mean to them; you’re putting them down. You think you’re flirting, but your flirtation is mean and sarcastic. For example, somebody might be singing a song and your first response is “Oh wow! Haha; that sounds like a drowned cat!” You think you’re being funny, but you’re not; you’re actually being mean. Consider how you’d feel if somebody said that exact same thing to you, somebody was responding this way to you, and continuously putting you down. Would that make you like them more? Would that make you think “Wow, this is a healthy person, somebody who I might want to hang out with.” Or would it turn you off them and make you say “I don’ think that person likes me very much.” And, by the way, if their behavior would make you run after them to try to gain their approval, then you really, really need to do some self-esteem work…
Why would someone engage in Negging?
The reason why we might engage in this type of behavior is because there’s an insecurity within us and a feeling of unworthiness, or a belief that we can’t be loved. But what we’re really doing, which is going to sound crazy when said out loud, which is precisely why we call it “crazy bitch behavior”, is this: You want this other person to like you and to respond positively to you, but you don’t want to let them know that you like them. So, you put the negative stuff out first. For example, “I don’t like you, even though I secretly do; you show me first that you like me.” And if they show you that they do like you then, obviously, you’re worthy and you’re lovable and then there’s no risk. So, there’s a real fear of rejection in there, even though basically what you’re doing is rejecting them before they can reject you. Therefore, a lot of the crazy bitch behavior is really counter-intuitive. It brings about the exact opposite of what we want and it ensures that we never get what we want. Which is why it’s so detrimental and why we want to stop doing it.
My experience of Negging
This happened to me, by the way. I used to do this in my social and dating life because I was really, horribly insecure many, many, many moons ago. I remember I thought I was being funny, sarcastic, and that I had a “sharp” sense of humor and so, I would put people down. Keep in mind, I wasn’t being cruel. I wasn’t being a bully. I would just subtly (or not so subtly) and “jokingly” put people in their place. This is the type of relationship behavior most often modeled in sitcoms on TV, by the way.
I was actually being mean, without realizing it. And when I did realize it, it broke my heart. I couldn’t believe that I was a mean person because I’d never thought of myself as a mean person. I’m not, deep-down, but it was a way to keep myself safe while at the same time deluding myself into thinking that I was actually flirting. I don’t do that anymore, obviously, and I haven’t done that for years and years and years and it’s worked out WAY better for me. It’s amazing how people respond differently when you stop pushing them away… (that was sarcasm. I still use it, just not to engage in negging.)
How do you stop Negging?
You could be doing this at work, your boss might be doing it with his employees, and you might certainly be doing it in your dating life when you’re trying to attract somebody. You probably do it a lot more when you actually really like somebody. You might do it a lot less with your friends (although some people base their whole friendship on insults) but when you see the hottie in the club or at the restaurant or at the party or wherever, this behavior starts to get triggered and comes out. You might catch yourself and think “Why did I say that?” Well, the reason you said it is because it’s a manifestation of your insecurity.
Here’s an exercise that you can do to stop Negging: Go back to some of the interactions that you’ve had, where you might cringe in hindsight about some of the things that you said. Pretend that you’re back in that scene, that the person you negged is standing right in front of you. And now, say the things that you actually wanted to say.
Now, this can get really uncomfortable. You’re going to be facing fears you didn’t even necessarily know you had. But remember, you’re safe. You’re in your own home, and the exercise is all in your head. You can also have as many do-over’s as you want to have because you’re doing this at home by yourself. You’re not going to hit it out of the ballpark on the first try, which is totally normal. So, keep practicing; keep getting more and more authentic and more and more honest about what it was that you actually wanted to say. For example, you might have wanted to say “You know what? I think you’re really cute.”, but instead you made fun of their hair.
The idea of actually saying that you thought they were cute might be totally unthinkable to you at this moment, but keep practicing, because it’ll get more comfortable. And then, go out into the real world and practice actually being authentically positive, authentically complimentary. What do I mean by that? I mean, try giving people compliments. You don’t have to bombard them with compliments and you don’t have to have every second sentence coming out of your mouth be a compliment. Aim for one or two in an interaction. Shit, aim for one in the beginning if it’s totally new to you.
The key to giving compliments while not being a total sycophant, or being somebody who kisses up to other people – one of those people who throws themselves all over others is the authenticity. You want to be authentic in your compliment. Don’t say something that you don’t mean. If somebody makes a joke and you don’t think it’s funny, you don’t have to laugh uncontrollably while gushing “You’re so funny!” You don’t have to do that. You can genuinely compliment somebody – “Wow! That was really funny.” Or “Wow! That was really insightful.” Or “Hey, I love your outfit; I love your shoes.” Whatever feels authentic to you.
The really great benefit of giving compliments is when you start to do it, it gets you focused on noticing what’s right and noticing what it is that you like about that person. So, instead of looking for all the things that are wrong with that person, which you were probably inadvertently doing, especially if you’re Negging, look for the things that you like about them instead. Then you can express it to them. You don’t have to express every compliment, and yes, it’s going to be uncomfortable at first, but notice what happens when you give somebody an authentic compliment. Unless they have horrible self-esteem, in which case they’re going to be like “Ah, this old thing. Pfffft.”, they’re going to light up.
You really want to aim for hanging out with people who can take a compliment, who are going to light up. They’re going to be a lot more fun to hang out with, because they have a higher vibration. The whole idea of doing this is to raise your vibration and to be able to continually raise your vibration, so that your environment and the people in it mirror that back to you.
What happens when you give somebody an authentic compliment?
This is what happens: They can feel the energy of your authenticity and it lights them up; they get really happy. Now, guess what happens if you’re looking for a partner and you do that? You become super attractive. You do! Because we like people who like us. There’s nothing wrong with showing somebody that you appreciate them. There’s nothing wrong with showing somebody that you think they’re attractive. You’re not making any kind of commitment by doing that. You don’t have to marry them by doing that. You can certainly get to know them better and you can let them know by saying “Hey! I like you right now. From what I’ve seen, I like you so far. And here’s what I appreciate about you.” Again, you don’t have to bombard them with compliments, but a few well sprinkled authentic compliments can make you super, super attractive to other people, including potential partners. It can also make you super attractive to potential employers or your co-workers even. It just makes you a way more pleasant person to be around. You’re in a better mood and now they’re in a better mood. It’s a win/win/win all around.
We are going to continue this series over the next 3 weeks. There are going to be 3 more videos where I break down more components of the Crazy Bitch Syndrome; the crazy bitch behavior. And if any of this applies to you (again, I mean men and women), then you’ll get some solutions on why people do this. Maybe you have some friends who do this, and you’ll now understand them better. Again, you’ll get solutions on why people do this and what to do about it if you are experiencing this.