2. Credibility. Guys get nervous when striking up a conversation with someone new because we're not sure how the new person views us, and we have to blindly flail about to find a way to create trust.
Face it, she's not going to give us a phone number — at least a real one — if she doesn't trust us. One of the easiest ways to gain credibility is to have a third-party testimonial because we tend to trust other's opinions (think: Amazon reviews), and when you are out with your friend, you are that third party. So get ready to give some good reviews!
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In fact, you don't even have to say anything; your presence is enough. By being there, you are letting everyone know that your friend has friends. This shows that he at the least possesses basic social (and hygiene) skills and is worth talking to for a few minutes.
The fancy term for this is social proof. If you are hanging around your friend, you are demonstrating that he's worth hanging around.
Warning: don't go overboard! It's great to say nice things about your friend, but it's counterproductive to oversell. This is why moms are usually bad wingmen; they try too hard.
Desperation is never attractive, so just provide a low-key source of positive information and be okay with talking up your friend a little when they start getting off track.
In the end, just have fun. The best thing you can do for your friend is keep things light and relaxed so that everyone wins and has a good time, whether the evening was "successful" or not.
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