The act of whelming draws some comparison to negging. “Neither a compliment nor an insult, a neg holds two purposes: to momentarily lower a woman’s self-esteem and to suggest an intriguing disinterest. (‘Nice nails. Are they real? No? Oh, they look nice anyway.’),” according to pickup artist Neil Strauss, who wrote about the tactic in a 2004 New York Times article. While whelming is not as actively harmful, it may cause the person on the receiving end to feel a little bit badly about themselves, or to feel less important.