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Perhaps this is not a Chinese thing (and if not, Chinese people are probably best off without it). However, a vital part of a pick-up artist's (把妹达人) skill set is negging (not nagging, but negging):

Negging is an act of emotional manipulation whereby a person makes a deliberate backhanded compliment ... to undermine their confidence and increase their need of the manipulator's approval.

A typical instance of negging is where a man deliberately insults a woman in a preconceived subtle way. Why do this? To lower her self-esteem and make her susceptible to him. For example:

You look like you're on a diet. That's great!
XKCD comic 1027: Pickup Artist

Question: How do I say "negging" in Chinese?

The only thing I've found so far is:

Also a popular phenomenon known as negging or offering a "back-handed" compliment which was meant to make a man look confident and self assured, was more likely to cause her to "run for the hills".
此外,有一种流行的趋势,就是批评抨击或者讽刺挖苦,能使看起来更加自信,但这更有可能把身旁的女性吓跑。
YouDao, attributed to bbs.51ielts.com but is no longer available

But it more accurately says:

In addition, there is one kind of popular trend, it is criticizing or mocking, it can appear more self-confident, but more possibly scares away the woman next to you.

So it's not much help.

(PS. Don't read too much into this question. I'm writing fiction.)

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'Negging' is a specifically coined term by the author of a specific book about methods of picking up girls. I presume the end game is either acquiring a life partner or building a casual romantic relationship with a woman.

Negging is in effect, a code name for a technique, and this technique is using subtle and mild insult to manipulate the target to 1. be curious 2.feels challenged 3. be willing to engage.

The true goal is not to repel but attract her. It is opposite of another technique pozzing: (whereby one pays a person a compliment in order to gain their affection)

Since it is not a general English term, I think I would treat the translation with more liberty

There's an idiom in Chinese called: 欲擒故縱 (When you try to capture a target, intentionally distance yourself instead of approach closely)

If pozzing (奉丞手法) shows a 欲擒態度, then negging (挑衅手法) would show a 故縱態度 (displaying dismissive sign to attract the girl's attention and get her to engage)

I would translate "to neg" as "挑衅" and "negging" as "挑衅手法"

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    欲擒故縱 is not negative, but negging sounds very negative to me according to the descriptions in the question and your answer – sylvia Dec 21 '19 at 23:26
  • I suspect "neg" came from the word "negative", meaning "using clever negative remark as your tool. When pozzing (pay compliment) doesn't work, try it the other way. It is just one way among others to attract a girl, – Tang Ho Dec 22 '19 at 3:20

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