Just remember, life is a lot easier and more fun when someone has your back.
Batman had Robin, Neil Armstrong had Buzz Aldrin, Lewis had Clarke, Bert had Ernie, Fred Flintstone had Barney Rubble and Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor had Al Borland. What can we learn from these examples? You live and die by your wingman.
In any social situation, a good partner in crime can mean the difference between success and failure. All it takes is a little bit of preparation and you will increase your social success exponentially.
For the sake of simplicity, I have written these tips from the perspective of two guys in a bar or club, but “wingpeople” come in all kinds of gender combinations (yes, even married people) and goals can range from entertaining at a party, to networking at a work event. The following tips are easily converted to any situation you might find yourself in.
Have A Plan
Ben Franklin once said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." And while him and his buddies’ goal of forming a new country was probably more ambitious than anything you’ll ever do in your life, this advice still applies. All it takes is five minutes of preparation and you're good to go.
Communication in the field is essential, so set up a few key signals that will allow you and your wingman to subtly communicate with each other. Some examples are: how to tell your wingman to enter the conversation, how to tell him to hold off for a bit, how to tell him you're stuck and need to be rescued and any other situation you anticipate.
Case in point, if one of you is talking to a girl and the other is on the outside of the conversation, have a signal in place indicating when you want the wingman to enter in the conversation (if at all). If you're on the outside, know that barging in on a conversation your friend is having with a girl could hurt his chances more than it helps.
Setting up a signal in advance will eliminate the guess work. That said, make sure that if your wingman is uncomfortably standing there, that you properly introduce him. Few things are more awkward than somebody who won’t introduce you to their group. Fortunately, with some simple planning and communicating, it can all be avoided.
This is probably the most important concept. While it sounds like common sense, you would be surprised how little importance is placed on this point. A good wingman is a partner, not a servant. If you find yourself in a situation where your wingman has to sacrifice something for you, that's ok, but don't leave him in a tough situation longer than you have to. If you do, you had better be ready to make it up to him.
I've been on both sides of this. Once, I was out with a friend and his new girlfriend. Suddenly his ex-girlfriend entered the bar. Let’s just say that she was like pure potassium and he was like water (pro tip: chicks dig chemistry analogies). There was no way to make this meeting less explosive. He needed to escape and since he has helped me out of a countless number of jams, I ran the necessary interference needed for him to make a graceful and undetected exit. An ugly confrontation was avoided and a club bouncer’s night was made a little easier (you’re welcome).
Someone once told me that women are like tuning forks. They will sense and amplify the smallest emotional vibe. It's really an amazing ability. If you feel even the smallest amount of awkwardness, sadness or anger, the woman you are with will feel it tenfold. If you and your wingman are talking to a group of girls, your vibe will be matched and amplified by each additional girl. It’s like a giant emotional conduit. As a result, it is essential that you keep a solid and positive vibe with your wingman.
So many times I have seen guys talk to each other in an attempt to impress a girl, yet all they do is tear each other down. Now, I know this is how most guys relate to each other and it's usually a sign of affection (my friends and I can be merciless to each other at times), however it creates a subconscious negative vibe and can make people who don’t know you as well feel very uncomfortable.
If all a guy does is dog his wingman, women will pick up on that, even if he is joking. It makes them both look insecure. If either of you seem insecure and uncomfortable with each other, how do you expect the girl you just met to feel comfortable?
If you are trying to help your friend impress somebody, be as complimentary of him as possible. You obviously don’t want to over-do it, but think about it this way - if you can’t be loyal to your friend, how loyal does she think you’re going to be to her?
Just remember, life is a lot easier and more fun when someone has your back. If you follow these tips you will achieve your social goals much easier.