If you are in any way familiar with the discussions on men, masculinity, dating, and personal development, it is highly likely you have run into the concept of alpha males, and its antithesis: the beta male.
Both concepts, in terms of their recognition and their liberal use, have become a predictable feature of virtually any modern debate concerning men and masculinity. To a point where the idea of assigning some men as ‘Alphas’ and others as ‘Betas’ (to say nothing of ‘Sigmas’) has come to shape the discourse in this particular space.
Is this is a good thing though? Is it good that we as a society go around classifying people, men in this instance, as alphas and betas? And more pertinently what are the standards or measures that are used to determine who is an alpha male and who is not?
In this post that is exactly what we have set out to do. Attempt to, first make sense of the concept of the alpha male, and then proceed to ask, if this is a good thing. For men and society as a whole.
The ‘Alpha Male’ in Action
Picture yourself at a cocktail party, or even a post-wedding reception in a nice hotel.
You are settling down, having a few drinks (soft drinks- as it's still early in the day), and you, like any man with a pulse, start checking out the place around you. Provided you are on a certain side of the spectrum, your eyes will naturally fall on the ladies at the event.
Unless of course, you came in with a date. But even if you did, men are men, and the search for a new hot girl to chat with will naturally enter your mind. But more so, if you are among the now seemingly countless no-sex men who have started making the news lately.
You know who I am talking about! From the no-sex incels to the losers who have trouble approaching real women, but have no problem being the keyword warriors: who have a lot to say but little to show for it. Or worse, the batch of guys who have decided to go their own way.
Anyway provided you are a straight guy, and particularly a single guy and that you are having something of a good time- you know, by eating good food and drinking high-quality booze (if you are into such things-though it is not always advisable) then chatting up a nice chick is going to be the next thing in the equation.
So just as you are waiting around hoping for a nice hot girl to walk over to you and say ‘hi’ to get things moving (not a great plan), you spot a nice lass standing by the cocktail bar. She’s pretty, dressed decently for your taste, and importantly is alone. (As the task of approaching girls who are with or talking to other guys is often a deal breaker for many).
So you decide to approach her. Or you decide about deciding to approach her. Oh rather, you convince yourself that approaching her is the best thing you could do for yourself and her! (The right mindset!). So with your personal demons about approaching women, you are attracted to, now out of the way, you make your move.
You walk up to her and say ‘hi’. And guess what, she reciprocates! She says ‘hi’ in return. And based on the first few words she sounds, unbelievably friendly. Not like some obnoxious b***h who would slam the door in your face. (Black pill anyone).
After you exchange pleasantries, the two of you strike off on what seems like an interesting conversation. The girl has some shared interests, and she is responding to your humor, and guess what… This seems to be going somewhere.
But just when you think about moving things forward: like getting a phone number, or maybe even taking the girl to a quieter area for something more, when ‘down came the spider and sat down beside her and…’ Or worse, some random guy who you haven’t seen all evening, suddenly busts in and starts making snarky comments.
It is uncertain who is he talking to exactly, but he is clearly making things less comfortable for both you and her. As you stand there wondering what to do next, the girl who was chatting with you appears to lose interest. As this somebody (douchebag, in your mind) starts commenting on her, and then quite blatantly hitting on her.
So what do you do!? Well not much if you have not been in such scenarios before, in having the social calibration to deal with this. But staying with this ‘set’, the girl gets confused. One moment she was chatting with this interesting guy, then suddenly this random bloke comes out of nowhere and starts making these comments about her and getting in between you and a hot prospect.
Even if the guy doesn’t take the girl away from you, essentially what has happened here is a blown-up set. You lose, she loses at least for the time. And that’s that.
So what do we make of this? First off the point about taking responsibility for everything that happens to you is important to keep in mind. You, having approached the girl did so with a certain intent. And to have the set blown by some “alpha male” is also on you. The fact is, you could have managed it better.
Remember there one can always do better, with a better understanding.
By the way, if you are having issues with approaching women, moving things forward, and yes, even when it comes to dealing with such contingencies that take the form of “alphas males” (or are they?) who get in the way, then we are here to help.
But returning to the point about alpha males and why they are so much in demand (especially with all the hypergamous women around today) the first question is how do you identify one?
What separates an alpha male from the loser, or more importantly from some obnoxious pr**k who only thinks about himself?
Identifying a True Alpha
When you think of the guy in the above example and we are talking about the random guy who cut in and took the girl’s attention from the other guy she was speaking to her-the question is: does he strike you as a genuine masculine man?
Think about this for a moment. Caz we are not talking about the guy who is able to put himself out there. One is who is not afraid to approach and talk to girls. The one who is not afraid of rejection. Or the guy doesn’t care if the girl is ‘taken’ or not.
Our question is a deeper one: does a guy who is not afraid to put himself out there but is also domineering, inconsiderate, and generally only thinks about himself, a true alpha male?
More pertinently, does a guy who behaves in such an assertive manner, but on that is also socially confrontational within the limits of the environment, the kind of man, other men should look up to?
Notice that there is a fine line that separates men who are brave, who are willing to face rejection, who are ready to stand up for themselves, the kind of men who care about others vs those men who are just out there for themselves.
The whole business of being an alpha male, and this is a strong suspicion on our part, has grown partly in reaction to the nice guy syndrome.
The subject of nice guys probably requires a dedicated post of its own. But essentially the nice guy is someone who lives to please others and has little or no clue, or the will to please himself.
Another word for a nice guy is the people pleaser. The sort of person who has no or little sense of who he is, what he wants out of life, and importantly the way to go about getting it.
When it comes to the business of alpha males, what has happened is that a lot of guys, consciously or otherwise have taken things in the opposite direction. Almost to an extreme.
When the traits of a nice guy were recognized as timidity, overt consideration for the feelings of others, or the lack of emphasis on one’s own thoughts and feelings, the lack of self-expression and a key factor with a lot of nice guys, the fear of confrontation.
What has happened in the social space with men trying to become more alpha or ‘An alpha’, is that they have concluded that in order to BE alpha they, in turn, have to start acting out these qualities.
The trouble is the idea of being a real, masculine man, a subject we have engaged in detail, goes much further than acting like a tough guy. Which is, at one level what the whole business of being an alpha has come down to.
And this mindset does not help the men who want to better men, or interestingly enough the so-called alphas themselves. When it comes to being a healthy, confident masculine man, just being the tough guy in the room is not going to cut it. At least not in the long run.
Look at it this way, being uber confident, not having social anxiety, being able to converse with and date attractive women, all on the basis of a sense of I am (or I want to be) the tough guy in the room is not enough. Being such an alpha male does NOT qualify as being a fully-rounded human being. Let alone an authentic masculine man.
Essentially the trouble with the alpha male stereotype-which is what it is-is that it reduces positive characteristics of masculinity to a rather simplistic image, one that ultimately is likely to work against him in the long term.
So where does this leave us? If men today are called to be more masculine in how they carry themselves, to be assertive in their social interactions, to be confident when engaging the opposite sex, and not fear conflict. Then what example or archetype should men aspire to be?
The answer is simple but also complicated. Before we get to it, consider the words of wisdom from the great Marcus Aurelius: He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.
Become a Man of Value First
When it comes to the discussion on men and masculinity, often the focus tends to revolve around a few issues. Usually around women, fitness, diet, dating, self-help, women… You get the picture.
The trouble is that a lot of content online, informative or otherwise, tends to narrow its focus to a specific problem and seek to correct it. This is most notable in the dating and pickup space.
Where a lot of attention is placed on helping men approach and date women. Which is good in itself. But is it enough? Does it go far enough?
Look, life is a journey. There is a lot that happens in the time that you have. Being a fully rounded human goes beyond one’s ability to relate to women. It concerns your ability to grow and develop in all areas of your life.
Which means your social life and your finances. Your ability to grow your business, or to have one in the first place, the ability to build a productive network or to be a part of one; to have the ability to speak your mind in a social setting, and to do reasonably; to take a relationship with a girl to the next level, or to make the hard choice and end it. All of this matters.
These are questions you need to ask when you embark on a journey toward being a masculine man. So the question is: does the alpha male formula, if there is one, address this matter?
To be clear the idea of the alpha male is not without merit. In life, some men do better than others. And a lot of men are pretty weak in comparison. Not only when it comes to girls, but in virtually all other areas of life.
And bridging this divide, or preceding that, helping these so-called beta men on the other end, find their way forward is important. But, and it is important, this does not mean simply wanting to ‘become’ an alpha, and start acting like some tough guy with no basis.
Nor does getting good in one or two areas of life: like dating, make you a high-value man.
So what does? In answering this question: we need to understand what is meant by the term ‘high value man’.
What makes a High-Value Man
Let’s return to the words of the Roman Emperor-philosopher Aurelius: the point about living in harmony with yourself may seem straightforward at one level. For it could be taken to mean someone who is just happy being who they are: their job, family, relationships, etc.
However, what does it actually mean to be in harmony, not just with yourself but also with the universe, or the wider world that you live in?
Our response to this is the mindset solution. One that not only fixes a person’s thought process when it comes to his personal and professional life, but provides the tool and tips, and specific guidance to become a productive member of society. A man who is able to give the world his full potential.
To be a high-value man is not just about being rich, famous, or great with the ladies. These things are important, but what it should not be missed is what these things imply: the deeper principle one might add. And that is the idea of living out your true purpose.
The question is: does the pursuit of the alpha male life, or lifestyle, entail simply success with women, having more confidence, or does it also correspond to the improvement of having financial freedom, having a better relationship with your family etc?
If the answer to the question is ‘No’, ‘Maybe’, or ‘I am not sure’, then it might be time for a rethink.
Consider that men who succeed in life: the high performers so to speak in whatever field, these guys are technically alpha males in virtue of the fact that they contribute their best in whatever field they operate in. Are you doing the same?
The subject concerning alpha males, beta males sigma males, or whatever else that is out there is an endless one. And really there is no aim or end to such discussions if one chooses to pursue them. Our philosophy is that men must seek to improve themselves.
The aim of life is to improve yourself. To become better, stronger, and more knowledgeable. When you are on a mission to succeed in life with the right guidance, working to get better day by day then these questions about who is alpha and who isn’t ten to sort themselves.
Your focus must be your mission in life. And that mission starts with your mindset. Get that right. Then the path to success follows.