How To Be The Ultimate Wingman

ALEX MANSELL is the Wingwoman

Alex Mansell wingman

Wingmanning. A skill, an art form, one of the best characteristics a friend can have. It’s a concept essential to our student lives, one that comes into play in many amorous encounters, and something that shouldn’t be underestimated.

Combining delicate machinating, skilled risk-taking and an audacious attitude, when executed properly it can lead to great results. Be warned, however, that this is a profession that shouldn’t be entered into lightly.

(And do note, girls, this applies to you too. ‘Wingman’ is a deceptive term; it implies this is solely a male pursuit. Believe me when I say it’s not – girls are all over this sh*t. I am very much the female Goose to my Mavericks, and believe there’s a definite lack of appreciation for the wingwoman).

How to be a f*cking great wingman:

1) Show dedication to the cause: you have to commit yourself. Willingness to sacrifice some of your own dignity in order that your friend can know success is fundamental. I’ve found that by being that annoying drunk friend, and making myself an object of ridicule, I allow my friends to appear cool and normal in comparison. You might look a fool. You might lose some pride. You may well end up cockblocking yourself. The true wingman doesn’t care about such things.

2) Be prepared to get yourself into uncomfortable situations. More often than not there will be an unattractive/devoid-of-personality friend on the side lines, and they will need distracting. You’ll definitely have to chat to them. You’ll probably have to flirt with them. You might have to pull them. This self-sacrifice – popularly known as leaping on the grenade – is one of the less pleasant sides of wingmanning, but I’m afraid you just have to take the hit. How deep you get into danger territory depends on how fast your friend and their target work, but you’ve got to just keep up the pretence until the dart hits the board. (In the name of optimism, I will point out that the friend you have to distract might well be pull-worthy. If you’re lucky).

3) Have an armoury of techniques and tricks. The wingman has to be assertive in the creative process and the execution/application of techniques. My advice would be to keep it simple. Sometimes just dancing drunkenly into a crowd and dragging the friend with you can have the desired effect. Particularly effective in Klute where I swear people smashing up against each other, rolling their eyes and smiling about the claustrophobic dance floor and proceeding to pull is the most direct route to hook ups. I know that sounds like pretty awful advice but I can vouch for its success. You are the middle man. It’s up to you to make the link, and no matter how you choose to go about it, as long as you do it with absolute confidence, it’s unlikely to fail.

4) Perceptiveness – should I stay out? Should I intervene? The skilled wingman knows when conversation is hitting a plateau, if the target is getting distracted, and any other potential cockblocks. It’s up to you to figure out when your presence is needed, and when to back off. If there’s a lull in chat, go provide your drunken presence to add a spark to the conversation, and then find an excuse to leave. If there’s a threat in the form of a hottie giving the target the eye, it’s your place to diffuse this bomb. You must distract them in whatever way you can, whether by pretending to know them or, again, being drunk and annoying (never fails).

A few cheeky seal-the-deal wingmanning techniques include demanding the target walk you and the friend home (normally only works for girls), suggesting you all go get food, proposing an ‘afterparty’, insisting they get out of the rain by coming to yours (normally only works when raining) or just drunkenly shouting in their faces COME BACK TO OURS. Can’t hurt.

One thing I should mention: sometimes the wingman, in their zeal for the task at hand, can go too far. Case-in-point: last week, assuming my housemate was on a mission, I demanded her guy come back to ours for a cup of tea. “I MAKE SUCH GOOD TEA” I screamed, to the point he couldn’t really refuse. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself until my friend signalled that she wanted to get rid. How to get rid of a guy who thinks he’s getting some?! That in itself is probably another article for another day, so I’ll just issue the advice that you need to ascertain the intentions of your friend in advance.

So there you have it: a professional guide written by a semi-professional wingwoman. Right, I’m off to Studio. If I start talking to you for no apparent reason, I’m probably wingmanning, or trying to get with you. You’ve been warned.