0052 – How to be an Amazing Wingman/Wingwoman


How to be the best wingman (or woman) for a friend in need.

Teaser Bullets

by the end of this episode you’ll learn:

  • The difference between “good” and “bad” wingmanning
  • Top tips to be an amazing wingman
  • How women, in particular, can be better wingmen

Describe the problem

Let’s face it, the “wingman” sometimes gets a bad rep…we often think of the “Nature channel” and imagine two (creepy) wolves culling (bored) lambs from the herd. Or, you think if you have to be your friend’s wingman AGAIN, you’re in for a night of watching your friend have all the fun while you play goalie with someone you’re not interested in. But the truth is, we all need a little help and support when we’re trying to meet someone new. So what are the best ways to wingman? And how can you make sure that you’re having a great time, too?

Segment #1

Distinguish “good” from “bad” with these two basics…

      • 1. The approach. It’s hard to go up to someone you don’t know and start a conversation with him/her…and 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.

      • 2. Credibility. 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!
      • The fancy term for this is social proof. If you are hanging around your friend, you are demonstrating that he’s worth hanging around.

Beware the “oversell” though…

    • Men’s Health | How to be a Great Wingman
      • According to a new study in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, good friends will fudge the truth to protect each other. In one scenario, researchers found that when participants learned that a friend had been ripped off after buying a new car, they downplayed what the friend had paid to stop him from looking bad in front of others. And in a follow-up study, the participants lied even more when their friend was in the same room.
      • But a great wingman must know the difference between being a good friend and being a liability…“Sure, you can embellish things about your friend—like what a great guy he is—but if you lie for your friend, then he has to live up to that lie.” And that can get dicey…

(See also, why moms make bad wingmen)

Next segment, best tips for wingmen

To get a weekly link to all of the bonus content, show notes, and interviews with relationship experts simply go to www.relationspodcaszt.com/subscribe and we’ll send you one email a week with links to everything so you can stay up to date, and we can continue to relate!

Segment #2

  • What are the best tips for wingmen?
    • AskMen.com | Top Ten: Traits of a Good Wingman
      • He understands his mission
      • If you approach two attractive women, the good wingman will give you first dibs and set about keeping the other one occupied. His interest in her is irrelevant; he’ll act like he’s interested. His skill extends beyond mere distraction; the good wingman will actually elicit and sustain the other girl’s interest while you work her friend.
      • He reads the terrain
      • The good wingman knows whether to enter the conversation to keep things moving forward or to just back off and let you do your stuff. He can also sense whether you’re barking up the right tree or just wasting time. More importantly, he’s not afraid to tell you so, potentially saving you from a night wasted on a girl who isn’t interested.
      • Your backup will adapt to every situation. He’ll know when he needs to be talkative and when he needs to keep it shut. He’ll change his colors in an instant, getting involved when appropriate and blending seamlessly into the background when not.
    • Lovesystems.com | How to be a Good Wingman
      • “Your Friend is Always the Coolest Guy in the Room”-One way women use social cues is in how you and your friends treat each other.  If you and your friends treat each other with respect, women are more likely to be attracted.  But if a woman sees you blowing off your friends to talk to her, when you’ve only known her for ten minutes, she will actually be less attracted.  This will hurt you if you want to get her to like you.
    • The Rules Revisited | No, You Aren’t a Good Wingwoman
      • “Girls seem to think that ‘being a good wing woman’ means walking up to another girl and asking her about some article of clothing she is wearing, or where she gets her hair done, and then ‘subtly’ (and by subtly I mean abruptly) transitioning into ‘hey, you have to meet my friend Andrew.’ It’s completely transparent, makes me look like I don’t have the balls to do it myself…
      • I realize that not every girl thinks she is a “great wing woman,” but I am continually surprised at how many do…My only guess is that, being so used to a passive role in the whole “pickup” exchange, these girls believe that the opposite task is simple, and simultaneously want to exercise some kind of agency in the process for once…

To get a weekly link to all of the bonus content, show notes, and interviews with relationship experts simply go to www.relationspodcaszt.com/subscribe and we’ll send you one email a week with links to everything so you can stay up to date, and we can continue to relate!

Final Thoughts:

  • Elijah’s Thoughts
  • Sarah’s Thoughts
    • Be careful of the “desperate” vibe
    • Have fun, provide value, and see what you can learn from someone else (even if your friend is now making out in the corner)


In Closing

In closing, on behalf of my fantastic co-host, Sarah J. Storer, author of “How to be Dumped: The Definitive Breakup Guide” I want to thank you for spending time with us today, now let’s continue the conversation at relationspodcast.com/52 and:


Final Question:

Tell us about a time that you got set up by a wingman, or was a great (or terrible) wingman for someone else.


Tell us about it in the comment section and let’s see if we can’t continue to relate to one another. We’ll talk soon.

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