There may be no more usage of the word "wingman," than on the hit television show How I Met Your Mother. Barney Stinson, one of the show's primary characters, swears by his wingmaning ability and his dedication to the art of being a good bro.
Barney embodied several characteristics that help make up only the best of wingmen. The best wingmen are the ones that you know will help support you. Together you can hopefully create a clear level of communication of each others expectations and break all kinds of ice! Remember above all else, that your wingman is your bro! He was the one that entered the bar with you, and he is the one that is going to hear about your hangover at 4pm the next day.
You may have many amazing friends, but those friends may also not make the best wingmen. It is a delicate balance trying to get to know somebody new. It is even harder if you are trying to do it in a pressurized environment like a bar. That is why above all else, the best wingmen help you always feel comfortable and relaxed. A bro that is relaxed, is a bro that will let his personality show through (which is generally recommended).
For all the positive qualities that a wingman must possess, there are many wingmen out there that would bring Stinson to shame. It is with that in mind that I bring you the dreadful 10 biggest signs your wingman totally sucks and you need a new one ASAP. After all, Halloween is coming!
10 They Steal Your Girl
Remember who you entered the bar with - your bros! Nothing says an awful wingman like the ones who swoop in and take the girl that you are trying to ‘woo’. Wingmen are supposed to value loyalty above all else, and that loyalty falls to you. Talk about an awkward banter the next morning, how are you supposed to high-five your buddy who swooped in and stole the person you were trying to get with? Remember to communicate beforehand on which person you are trying to pursue, so you guys do not get your signals crossed. A battle over which guy the girl actually likes, often has a very quick answer. She wants neither of you.
9 They Are Unreliable
You need a wingman that you can count on when the going gets tough. You know that you would be there for your bro in his time of need, so you should expect the same. Nothing says "uncool guy" at the bar like the person who needs to constantly be on his phone because his friends still have not shown up. Not to mention the awkward moment when you are unable to get a table by yourself so you just stand by the bar silently. There is nothing wrong with being late, provided you are given a heads up with enough notice. If your friend constantly shows up late or not at all, you need to ask yourself if they value your friendship.
8 They Are Arrogant
If I need help trying to convince a girl that I am a cool guy, let me be the one to try and lead things. Nothing is worse than a bro who will only help if things are done his way, or not at all. Even worse is when his arrogance comes through in his personality. You might think you are God's gift to women, but you very much are not. Make sure both you and your wingman know some warning signs if either of you starts to get uncomfortable. Someone who is arrogant however may also blow past potential warning signs and risk making everyone, including the new friends, feel incredibly awkward. Remember that being out of your element helps nobody and that your wingman plays to your strengths.
7 They Get Too Drunk
You need your wingman to be there and have a good time with you. Alcohol is fine when it is being used to make you more social, but you need to know your limit and play within it. That does not happen when your wingman has now passed out on the couch beside a DQ ice-cream cake tin they’ve make-shifted into a garbage can. Plus, let's not forget that the night life can get expensive! You may be okay with only one pitcher of beer, but end up having to help pay for 3 because your wingman decided that tonight was a night to go big! The party life gets a lot more fun when you create memories that you can actually remember.
6 They Turn People Off
One of the first requirements of a strong wingman should be the ability to talk to strangers, without coming off as creepy. If your wingman possesses a great air of confidence around him, it is hopeful that you too will look good and start feeling more confident within your own personality. If you constantly find yourself unsuccessful, evaluate what about your approach is or is not working. Sometimes the problem might not be yourself, but how your image is being given off. Does the extra friend make you seem needy? Is it a comfortable environment with, and without him? Both questions to ask yourself.
5 Different Bar Timelines
Everyone has different expectations from their wingman and what they want to achieve with their night. Some may want to find a woman to go home with. Others may use a wingman to help break the ice with a pretty stranger. However, everyone also has different expectations on how long at a bar is a good time. It does not work if one of you wants to leave at 9 while the other is hoping for midnight. Nobody wants to feel like the pushy friend keeping the other out, and nobody wants to feel like a homebody leaving the party so early. Similar to making sure you are on the same page in terms of drinking, knowing just how ‘crazy’ a night your wingman is up for beforehand can help avoid communication conflicts once the alcohol starts flowing.
4 They Do Not Help You
For every great experience that you have wingmaning for one of your friends, you would hope there is an experience where they did the same. It is not an easy task to do sometimes, but sometimes you do what is necessary to help your friends out. You will be a lot less likely to help your friend out if you do not feel like he will do the same for you. Nobody wants to be left alone, and if you are a selfish wingman you may find yourself often leaving your friends back at the bar while you go off with your new friend. This becomes extra sad when you realize you needed your friends to help break the ice with the new girl because you are shy but you abandoned them. Now the new girl is going to leave you and nobody will ever wingman for you again!
3 You Cannot Agree On Who To Approach
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to what they look for in the opposite sex. It is incredibly helpful if your wingman understands what is 'your type' and can help identify women who may not be a good match. If you two spend all night bickering over who to go up to, you will quickly find yourself approaching nobody. If there are two women alone at a bar, you may see that as a great opportunity. Communicate clearly on what you and your wingman find attractive. If only one of the two of you wanted to approach the women, it could lead to an awkward situation.
2 They Cannot Dance
We all know the type. The music hits and all of a sudden he is doing the Macarena. The music gets more upbeat so he starts doing the headbob from A Night At The Roxbury, WHO LIKES THAT GUY? I am totally not that guy! Hah…But in all seriousness, you need your wingman to have some kind of rhythm! Everyone knows that dancing is essentially the only way you can get close enough to actually hear people in nightclubs. All of your cool points go out the window if you’re trying to be smooth and he is looking like he might need medical assistance. If your buddy is not comfortable dancing, make sure that is established before you get there. Then at least if the ladies ask to dance, you can be all “oh actually, I scratched my leg up badly defending a baby… from a bear…so I can’t dance…sorry” and then guess who just got manly points? You did, buddy.
1 They Won't Talk
You need a wingman out there that can communicate with new people. Your best friend might seem like a great wingman because he’s a great guy, but that doesn’t matter if the girl can’t get to know him. This all centers around both of you being comfortable in your element. A friend that is quiet can sometimes be worse than no friend at all if it adds an awkward tension to the air. Work on easy conversation topics that help create open discussion so that everyone feels involved in the conversation. It is hopeful that your buddy appreciates your efforts to include him, and this creates a longer lasting wingman relationship.