This article was written by D.Fish, a contributer to the MingleAround website.
Okay, you got the call. It's the moment you've been training for. Your friend has asked you to be his wingman and yes, I said his wingman, because even though women have "wingwomen," it's a totally different ballgame.
If you're a woman who goes to a social gathering alone, guys will come up to you anyway. If you're a dude at the bar alone, unless you're Jon Hamm, you are viewed as the creepster who came alone and will go home alone.
Too often, being a wingman gets a bad reputation. You think that you'll have to confirm your friends b.s. story about how he's a pediatric surgeon and a millionaire software entrepreneur and how all his exes say he ruined them for other men, but the truth is much simpler: we all need help and support when we're trying to meet new people.
As the wingman (note: it's a non-gender specific title), there are two important duties that you will assist with. It doesn't matter if your buddy is looking for the love his life or the love of the next eight hours, you are there to facilitate two critical parts of "the dance."
1. The approach. It's hard to go up to someone you don't know and start a conversation with him/her. Think back to how tough it was talking to new people on the first day of school — and that's an environment where everyone shared a common background.
When you're at a bar, party, BBQ, air guitar championship or whatever, the stakes are a little higher. You don't want your friend to be viewed by the object of his attention as a strange loner who comes out of nowhere and starts talking to her.
Do you have to be like Barney in How I Met Your Mother? Not at all. Sometimes you'll be the one to start a conversation. Most often, you will simply back up your friend by providing moral support. Your strength comes from the fact that you aren't attached to the outcome, so even if you end up looking foolish, it's not a big deal.
I've tried many different ways to start a conversation with someone, and all of them work better if you have a friend with you, which brings us to your second important job as a "wing-person"...
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