Everyone knows that a good classic wingwoman will be the goofy, forward one and do whatever is necessary to make sure her friend “gets the guy.” But I believe that wingwoman duties should encompass more than just helping your boo get her flirt on. After all, a wingwoman’s job description is basically to make her own needs take a backseat to the needs of her friend. That means putting away the “me first” attitude and making your friend the focus for the night. That sounds like a pretty awesome, selfless thing to do. And isn’t love supposed to be selfless? Here’s what you need to know to be the most kickass wingwoman in your lady bromance.
1) Know when you’re needed
A few years ago I threw my first big birthday party. I’ve had birthday parties before, when I was younger, but stopped somewhere after turning 18 because every year it felt like the celebration was hijacked by people who lacked the awareness to realize that they weren’t the ones being celebrated. I’m not normally interested in being the center of attention, but if it’s my birthday (weddings fall under this rule too), then I expect my friends to try and make me feel special.
So when I decided to throw my first big party after a long hiatus, I was understandably nervous. What if the same thing happens again? What if someone drinks too much and runs amuck and it happens every year like a terrible version of Groundhog Day?! I shared these insecurities with Jayne, knowing full well that it made me sound a bit like a narcissist (EVERYONE MUST CELEBRATE MEEE!). And what did she say?
“Don’t worry, boo. I’ll be your bouncer.”
Bam. Jayne was willing to put her own good time at my party on the back burner to make sure that no one interfered with my fun, because she recognized that this was important to me. Fortunately, the group of friends I’ve gathered over time since my teen years is just the best, and the party went off without a hitch (even though I would have enjoyed seeing Jayne strong-arm someone into leaving). But having Jayne there as insurance was super reassuring and just what I needed.
2) Think about what your friend would want, not what you’d want
Incidentally, one of the many things we have in common is that Jayne used to feel the same way about birthdays as I did: someone always stomps in and ruins your fun. So because our birthdays are within a month of each other, after helping me celebrate my first awesome birthday in years, I knew I had to do the same for Jayne.
Now, while my birthday was larger, more formal, and perfect for my tastes, I knew that Jayne’s more of a “burgers, booze, and bad-assery” kind of girl. So, I offered to organize her birthday completely from start to finish, keeping in mind all the things she’d like (and avoiding the things she didn’t). The theme was “Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll” and in between the loads of delicious greasy food, the heartfelt toasts, and the bowls of spiked punch, a rowdy good time was had all around. Most importantly, the birthday girl had a great time (RIGHT, JAYNE? RIGHT?) and didn’t have to worry about a thing but enjoying herself.
One of my favorite stories from the beginning of our lady bromance involves a boy. It was a boy I liked. In the eternal and wise words of Avril Lavigne, “Can I make it any more obvious?” Oh, I can? Ok. Basically, I liked this boy, I thought he might like me, and I needed to know what to do about it. I solicited advice from other girlfriends and they suggested I play “hard to get,” appear disinterested, and basically reverse psychologize him (COINING IT) into asking me out. That seemed counterintuitive and frankly pretty exhausting.
I came to Jayne with my dilemma. Her advice was simple and honest: just suck it up and ask him to hang out. And despite how scary that suggestion was (to me), Jayne convinced me because she knew (and I knew, deep down, underneath all those butterflies) that it was the best choice. It may have taken a bit of cajoling to get me to do it but spoiler alert: it worked.
4) Don’t overdo it
Knowing when to be a wingwoman is just as important as knowing when to not be one. If you place your friend’s needs before your own too often, you’ll slowly come to resent it (and her), stewing bitterly on the thought that you’re always the one making the sacrifices–even if your friend doesn’t realize that’s what’s happening. So, don’t make yourself the martyr because that’ll create needless drama. Just learn to identify when your help is truly needed and if it’s not, relax and have a get a drink or a burrito or something. Your lady bromance will thank you.
And don’t forget: be excellent to each other.