I am familiar enough with the popularity of this scene, partly because my brother is somewhat of a disciple. I have flipped through Neil Strauss’ The Game (known as “The Bible” to some, and it could pass for it, bound in black leather), read (and loved) I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, and have had a few conversations on the topic. I’ve also been on the receiving end of quite a few negative statements.
Most people hearing about the technique for the first time are appalled. Of course it’s horrible! Any sort of dating trick—and the use of deception, which we all use, whether we characterize it that way or not—can be seen as terrible, immoral even. If dating is a game and everyone wants to play, of course you are out to win! Conor understands this:
I suspect that often our judgments about kosher behavior depends as much on who is involved as the specific scenario in question. A friend comes to us for advice about how to handle an awkward situation wherein she's inadvertently scheduled two dates for the same day -- and knowing she is generally an upstanding person, we laugh, sympathize, and help her formulate a solution, whereas if we were on a date with a women who deceived us about having another date immediately following ours -- or even worse, a guy our sister was dating pulled the same stunt -- the whole moral situation would seem to us entirely different.People tend not to flip circumstances and examine their behavior if things were different. That’s because a lot of times it forces black-and-white situations into a gray zone, or merely reduces the justifications for your own behavior, because you wouldn’t want to deal with this crap if it was fostered on you. But people react out of anger, spite, and selfishness, so that’s why many so rarely seek to look at other angles.
But, I can sort of see why the neg works. Sometimes. People, when faced with a criticism, will often try to change it (if it can be changed), in order to prevent the issue from occurring, even if they do not like the person making the comment. The negative statement will reverberate back, insidiously creeping into our consciousness at random times. It doesn’t necessarily matter how true the comment is, or even if we disregard the statement—sometimes it comes back. If we are told we look angry, we will immediately try to soften our look, to prove the other person wrong.