How To Be A Good Wingman

The wingman, that courageous brother-in-arms who puts the well-being of a crew member above his own.   Like peak 2011 Lob City Chris Paul, a proper wingman sets up the chosen one for a smooth, effortless scoring opportunity and takes limited credit in the process.  But like the specifics of the perfect pass, being a good wingman takes some technique and awareness. Here are a few simple rules a good wingman follows to be the perfect team player.

Be Subtle
Unlike your standard stereotype, a good wingman operates like a Ray Donovan-style fixer, unnoticed and behind the scenes.  There shouldn’t be any obvious orchestration, forced introductions, or aggressive coupling. He should be able to gauge the situation and find the right people to interact with, in a subtle, organic way.  It’s all about knowing how to read the room (aka the bar) and knowing how and when to start making moves, and, more importantly, when to move on (more on that later).

Talk It Up
Just like being a great host, being a good wingman is all about being a solid emcee and directing the action.  Talk to everybody in the group, keep the conversation (and drinks) flowing, and make everyone feel included. Become friends with her friends and mingle the groups.  It’s not about forcing direct interactions immediately, you’ve got to warm up the crowd and set the stage first.

Find The Right Moment
Now that groups are interacting, find the right moment to talk your boy up.  Again, subtlety is the move here, and the best thing you can do is make both of you seem like the cool, fun, definitely NOT CREEPY guys you are, so start there.  Lead with a funny story or two to lighten the mood, a few low-key compliments and let your boy take the lead. You want to be a complement to him, not someone who’s overpowering.  Now is his moment to shine.

Know Your Cue
Part of trusting the process is knowing when to walk away.  Gauge the chemistry and see where it’s going. Maybe it’s time to excuse yourself and just let your boy take it on his own. Or maybe it’s time you rally the group to another location or an after party to keep the vibe going.  Either way, don’t overstay your welcome

Everyone should take up the mantle of wingman on a regular basis, whether you’re single or taken, it’s the noble thing to do, but just makes sure you’re doing it right.

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