Before we get into the essentials of wingmannery, here’s a kind of anti-tip to get you started: whatever you do, do not take your lead from movies and television shows. While their wingman techniques may work when the love interest has no choice because it’s in the script, if you tried any of their overly aggressive, persistent, or cringey moves in real life, the results would not be so predictable. In fact, you’d be more likely to get a drink in your face than a phone number in your hand. Take for example the entire plot of “The Wedding Crashers” — the wingman puts himself through hectic situations just to help his buddy get into bed with someone. While it was undeniably funny, it’s no way to get ahead in real life. A real wingman doesn’t need to fake anything which, when you think about it, takes a whole lot of pressure off. With that in mind, here are our top 5 surefire tips to be a classy (and successful) wingman:
Subtlety is everyone’s best friend:
While you’re primarily there to help your shy buddy, a true wingman is all about working with the kind of subtlety that helps everyone present. No girl wants to feel like she’s being approached in some staged way. So you need to be aware of the flow of the crowd around you, like when people are engaged with their own group and when they’re more open to being approached.
These social currents are constantly changing. Interrupt a group when they’re deep in conversation and you’ll ruin your chances for good. Wait for the right time, and not only will you be doing a solid for your mate, but you’ll also be making your new friends happy too as you’re fitting in with the rhythm they feel comfortable with.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, this isn’t the kind of skill that’s usually made better by alcohol. It’s essential to be sober enough that you can accurately read all the subtle social cues going on around you. We’ve all seen the wasted wingman trying to score some action for his equally hammered bud. And we’ve all seen how many times that works out for them: precisely zero.
Get to know everyone
Being a good wingman isn’t about hunting people down for your friend. It’s about being the life of the party, the cheerful, happy person who’s interested in everyone. When people see you moving around and chatting with different groups (rather than just zeroing in on hot chicks like some kind of predator) they relax in your company because it becomes clear you’re just a friendly person.
Over the course of the night, you will have an amazing time and, if your friend really wants to meet someone, you can re-approach that person and casually introduce them. It actually helps if you put the idea of being a wingman second to the goal of meeting as many people as you can and having a good time with them. Then the whole wingmanning side of things will just unfold organically.
Don’t just talk up your buddy (hint: it’s too obvious)
Finding the right match for your friend is just one small part of the wingman’s job. You’re going to be chatting with her too, and a girl can tell a lot about a person through their friends. If a guy’s got cool friends it gives her confidence that he’s decent too.
The most important thing here is to be yourself and be interested in her. Ask questions, pay attention to her answers, and for the love of God, don’t cut her off or boisterously interrupt her. There’s no need to take over the conversation and definitely no need to keep talking your friend up. That comes across as fake and the girl will quickly get bored. All you need to do is keep a fun conversation rolling, where everyone is participating, and you’re golden.
Know when it’s time to walk away… and then do it!
No matter how friendly and non-sleazy you’re being, there are always going to be people who just aren’t in the mood for chatting to a stranger. If the person you’re talking to is looking around, giving monosyllabic answers, displaying awkward body language, and just generally giving off the vibe that they’re merely obliging you, make a polite excuse and bail.
Most guys don’t realize just how thoroughly girls are conditioned to be polite. While of course there are ladies who are more than happy to tell you where to go if they’re not interested, many will keep talking to you and this kindness is often misconstrued. If she’s really interested, she’ll be looking into your friend’s eyes, laughing at his jokes, and maybe even touching his arm mid-conversation. If you’re not getting these vibes, don’t think “she’s just shy” or “she’ll come around soon.” This kind of persistence is a nightmare for women. Instead, make an excuse, grab your friend, and move away. If she really was into your mate, she’ll find you again.
Make friends with the friends
If your buddy is doing well with someone in particular and it’s looking like they’re both into each other, then get to know the friends. If you’re all having a blast together, then there’s way more incentive for everyone to keep hanging out.