What does it mean to be an alpha male? What are the alpha male traits that separate them from the beta males? How can you develop your alpha personality and eradicate the toxic beta male traits from your life?
In this guide, I’m going to set the record straight and break the false narratives of what an alpha male really is.
I’m going to teach you exactly what it means to be an alpha male by dissecting the 9 alpha male traits required to become the strongest version of yourself and live your best life.
By the time you’re done, you’ll understand the difference between alpha vs beta males and have a clear, path to becoming the alpha of your own life.
Now let’s get started…
What is an Alpha Male: The Real Alpha Male Definition
The term “alpha male” has gotten a bad rap in recent years.
Pick up artists, wannabe tough guys, and gym bros whose muscles have muscles have bastardized the phrase to a point where it seems impossible to agree on what it actually means to be an alpha male.
When most people hear the phrase, their mind immediately conjures up images of a ripped bodybuilder with a fat bank account, a few models draped over his shoulders, and a palpable, aura of superiority with a dose of arrogance.
Alpha males are often thought of as “knuckle draggers”…domineering, condescending, and boorish characters like Jordan Belfort, Hank Moody, or Don Draper.
It’s time to redefine what it means to be an “alpha male.”
Today, more than ever before, the world needs real men (women would agree with this statement too). Men who marry the masculine and feminine energies together in a balanced and effective way. Men who are strong, but kind. Confident, but humble. Assertive, but at times gentle. Powerful, but tempered and calm.
So let me explain exactly what I mean when using the term “alpha male.”
To start, we must first dispel the myth that the alpha male is always the “pack leader”. Being an alpha male has nothing to do with comparison. It isn’t about being the biggest, richest, or best-looking guy in the room and it has nothing to do with how many women you’ve slept with, what car you drive, or how many inches your… biceps are.
Sure, some alpha males are jacked like a bodybuilder, rich enough to buy their own NFL team, and more charming and seductive than Casanova. But this isn’t always the case.
Being an alpha male is all about being the alpha of your own life.
It’s about leading yourself and those you care about to a bigger and better future. It’s about knowing your values, being in integrity with yourself, and dominating your unique path in life.
Do you know what you value and live by it every day?
Do you have a vision that is bigger than yourself and that you are actively working to bring into reality?
Do you set firm boundaries in your life, stand up for yourself, and prioritize your own well-being while still acting kind, compassionate, and respectful to the needs of others?
Then congratulations. You are exuding alpha behaviors.
Throughout this article, I’ll be delving deeper into the alpha personality and alpha male traits, but for now, suffice it to say that the old views on what it means to be an alpha male are dead. It is time for men to evolve. To step into a new way of being and to develop a new relationship with themselves and the world around them.
But before we can discuss how to become an alpha male, we must start by examining what it means to be a beta male…and why you must avoid this archetype at all costs.
What is a Beta Male? The Real Beta Male Definition
To understand how to be an alpha male, we must start by understanding what it means to be a beta male.
And the best place to start is by watching this video…
Just kidding (but damn if that guy isn’t funny!)
It’s important to understand that, being a beta male has nothing to do with how “manly” you are or how you stack up against other guys.
Just because you…
- Are feminine (e.g. preferring art and dance over hunting and boxing)
- Are homosexual or bisexual
- Are emotionally sensitive
- Are highly expressive
- Are vulnerable
- Are intellectual
- Rock a bitching man bun
…Does not mean that you are a beta male.
I know artists and scrawny Ph.Ds who are more “alpha” than UFC heavyweights and rich investors.
Because, when it’s all said and done, the #1 factor in the alpha vs. beta male debate is this:
Alpha males are the leaders of their own lives. Beta males follow the crowd.
This doesn’t mean that being in a position of leadership or followership automatically makes you an alpha or beta male. Rather, beta males tend to be reactive to the world around them whereas alphas are proactive in creating the life they desire.
Beta males have no vision, no values, no purpose, and no opinions of their own. They simply go with the flow, do what they’re told, and blindly accept what others say.
Betas males are the types of men who will go to college without knowing what they’re pursuing, settle in relationships out of comfort, stay in a soul-sucking job for the health plan, and give up on their hopes and dreams because it’s “What they’re supposed to do”.
They don’t value or love themselves enough to take a stand for their own life and bravely charge forward toward the life they desire. They lack self-esteem, confidence, and integrity and, because they lack a strong sense of self-worth, will bend over backwards to make others like them and feel “good enough.”
Betas are, by the very definition, more concerned with the opinions and thoughts of others than their own.
And you don’t need to look far to see where these patterns and behaviors lead.
Alpha vs. Beta Males: Why You MUST Develop Alpha Male Traits to Live Your Best Life
At the end of the day, the decision to become an alpha male–and make no mistake it is a decision–is one of the most important steps that you will ever take in your life.
Not because it will help you get more money, have more sex, or be respected by others. But because a life lived as a beta male is what Thoreau called, “A life of quiet desperation.”
Modern men have lost their backbone. The fire in their belly has died, reduced to ashes as they attempt to placate society by conforming to the status quo. They no longer stand for anything noble or courageous or true.
Instead, they sedate their numb existence with an endless stream of alcohol, drugs, porn, TV, video games, and anything else that will distract them from the inescapable fact that they aren’t truly living.
They’ve adopted a “shadow life”. Attempting to fit in and refusing to do anything that may rock the boat.
Beta males always die filled with regret. Wishing they could turn back the clock and pursue their dreams, express their authentic selves, and live the life they always wanted to live but lacked the courage to pursue. Beta males hate themselves, hate their lives, and tend to experience a life where “everything sucks.”
Alpha males, on the other hand, die with satisfaction. They may not accomplish every goal they set or achieve every ambition placed on their heart. But they die knowing that they gave this life their all. They took bold risks in the face of uncertainty, marched to the beat of their own drummer, and lived a life that was true to who they wanted to be. They were, as Teddy Roosevelt put in, men in the arena, whose faces were marred by sweat and blood and tears. Who strove valiantly, erred greatly, and dared mightily.
When it’s all said and done, being an alpha male is not about making more money, having more sex, or enjoying more prestige.
But living more of life.
It’s about breaking free from the confines of society and shunning the ways of the masses. It’s about going all out and making your life mean something.
And this is why you must be an alpha male.
Because, when it’s all said and done, the path of the alpha male is the only path that will lead you to a well-lived and fulfilling life.
Alpha Male Traits and Beta Male Traits: A Primer on What Separates the Alphas from the Betas
To understand how to be an alpha male and develop an alpha male personality and mindset, we must go beyond the esoteric and enter into the practical.
Beyond the philosophical, what does it actually look like to be an alpha male?
What is the difference between an alpha male and a beta male in day-to-day interactions?
After years of studying masculinity and personal development, I’ve discovered that there are nine core traits that separate the alphas from the betas and, in this section, I’m going to break them down and illustrate them to help you understand exactly what it means to be an alpha male.
1. Alpha Males Are Assertive, Betas Are Passive
One of the key delineators between alpha and beta males is that alphas are assertive and betas are passive.
An alpha male knows what he wants out of himself and life and is willing to do whatever it takes to get it. He speaks his mind, owns his desires without shame or guilt, sets clear boundaries and speaks up when they are crossed.
If, for example, an alpha male was married and noticed that his wife was spending an exorbitant amount of money on his credit card, he would respond by first setting a boundary with his wife. He would explain their financial situation and would firmly but compassionately ask her to reign in her spending.
If, after making this new boundary known, his wife refused to forgo her midday shopping sprees and $25 mimosas, he wouldn’t tiptoe around the problem. Instead, he would confront her head on and enforce the boundary (likely by lowering the limit on her card or closing her account outright).
Betas, on the other hand, are passive. They may know what they want, but lack the backbone to go after it. When confronted with conflict, they bite their tongue and nod, even though every fiber in their being is begging them to speak up. They may set boundaries, but they do so with timidity and trepidation. And, when a boundary is crossed, they do little more than hint at the problem, refusing to accept conflict and face it head on.
In the same situation described above, a beta male wouldn’t even make it to the first step. Instead of confronting his wife about her irresponsible spending habits, he would passively jab at her throughout the day, allowing his resentment and frustration to boil.
Eventually, he would either explode, blindsiding his partner and taking all of his rage out in a single profanity-laden tirade. Or he would simply endure. Allowing his wife to unwittingly bleed them to the brink of destitution.
Alpha males do not actively seek conflict. But when it arises, they assertively deal with it and move on. They know that passivity solves nothing.
2. Alphas Are Gentlemen, Betas are “Nice guys”
True alphas are kind to others. They are courteous, polite, and considerate (although they respect themselves first and do not allow others to treat them like a doormat).
Even though they prioritize their own well being–because they know that they cannot serve others without first taking care of themselves–they genuinely care about the needs of the people in their life and they want the best for others.
They don’t do any of these things because they crave attention or validation or want to be liked by those around them. They do it because it’s the right thing to do and it’s simply a part of who they are.
Betas, on the other hand, fall into “The Nice Guy Syndrome.”
Outwardly, they are almost indistinguishable from alphas…at first. They too are polite, kind, courteous, and considerate. But only when they believe there is something to be gained.
A beta male is agreeable to a fault. Attempting to get others to like him with “niceness”. He will agree with beliefs or opinions he doesn’t truly hold, go along with the crowd, and supplicate himself to earn the approval of others.
The true difference between alphas and betas is not their outward actions, but their inner motivations. Alphas are kind to others even when they have nothing to gain. Betas leverage a faux “kindness” to earn the approval of others and feel validated.
3. Alphas “Change or Accept It” Betas Bitch About It
One of the hallmark alpha male personality traits is that alphas take full responsibilities for their lives. Period.
They know that everything in their life and everything not in their life is their responsibility and no one else’s. This doesn’t mean that they believe everything is their fault. Life can be cruel and unfair and none of us can control what country, ethnicity, sexuality, or family we were born into.
But alphas have accepted the cards they were dealt, fair or not.
And their response to any alleged unfairness is always the same, “What am I going to do about it?”
READ ALSO: 11 Rules That Will Change Your Life Forever
For example, if an alpha male loses his job due to workplace politics or an economic recession, he doesn’t waste time complaining, blaming others and wallowing in self-pity. He accepts what has happened, learns from his mistakes, and sets out to find a solution.
Betas, on the other hand, believe themselves to be a victim of their circumstances. They refuse to take responsibility for their life and will seek out any scapegoat they can find in hopes that they can avoid the painful truth that their situation is a direct reflection of their decisions. They will blame their parents, the government, their “ex wife”, the weather…anything but themselves.
They are too weak willed to change the situation and lack the courage to accept their role in it, and so they adopt the modus operandi “blame and complain.”
If a beta male were to lose his job, he wouldn’t learn from the experience. He wouldn’t attempt to figure out what he did wrong or how he could improve in the future. And he wouldn’t take ownership of his situation until the last possible second.
Instead, he would simply complain and blame the world around him. He would do anything…except to own what had happened to him and resolve to make a change.
4, Alphas Seek Genuine Connection, Betas Seek Validation
One of the easiest ways to determine whether a man is alpha or beta is to watch the way that he interacts with women.
As the stereotypes suggest, alpha males are often popular with the ladies. Because they are on their path and living a fulfilling life this more easily allows him to share positive emotions with others because he feels good about his life and direction. They tend to have a magnetic allure that makes it easy for them to meet and attract high-quality women.
What separates true alphas from the pretenders and the betas, however, is the way that they interact with the women they attract into their lives.
Unlike beta males, alpha males do not need validation from anyone, man or woman, to feel good about themselves. They don’t go out with the intent to “get laid” or “pull”. They go out to share positive emotions, have fun, and connect with others in a value offering way.
Alphas will often turn down casual sexual encounters because they aren’t interested in sex for the sake of sex. Instead, they crave connection. They want to genuinely enjoy the women with whom they choose to share their time and their bed.
Betas, on the other hand, need validation. Especially validation from beautiful women. Beta males do not feel like they are “enough”. Think of a common “pick up artist”. They lack a sense of self-worth and constantly seek women who will validate them and make them feel like they are worthy as a man.
They don’t care about things like connection, shared values, and intimacy and crave validation so badly that they will suffer through hours of banal conversations and a few minutes of lackluster sex with someone they don’t like just to get it.
Beta males need women to like them and have placed the feminine on a pedestal. They will tolerate disrespect, sleep with women they don’t find attractive, and throw themselves on the floor to act as a doormat…just as long as their actions get them laid and help them feel better about who they are.
5. Alphas Trust Themselves, Betas Look to Others for Answers
Because alpha males take full ownership of their lives, they tend to develop high degrees of trust in themselves. Yes, they seek out expert advice, mentorship and have the humility to know when they need to ask for help. But at the end of the day, they are the ones steering the boat and they know that the important decisions always come down to them.
For example, a young alpha male may find himself questioning whether or not he should stay in college. He consults his parents, teachers and friends (all of whom encourage him to finish his degree). But something doesn’t feel right. He knows that there is more to life than the classroom and decides to trust his gut, drop out, and pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions.
Whether met with success or failure, he trusted in himself and knew that the pain of charting his own path is nothing compared to the pain of regret.
Seeing themselves as victims, betas do not possess this level of self-trust. Instead, they seek solace in the advice of others, allowing their family, friends, society, and government to tell them how to live.
They stay on a path that doesn’t fit them, get that soul sucking office job, marry Betty from accounting, and have 3 kids…not because they actually want this for themselves. But because they were told that this is what they should want and blindly followed suit. There is nothing wrong with these goals, it just matters that you want these goals.
It’s important to understand that this concept of self-trust has nothing to do with arrogance or purported intellectual superiority.
An alpha male, for example, would not ignore the advice of successful entrepreneurs when trying to start his own business.
Rather, self-trust is about trusting your desires. Alphas turn to others for advice on how to achieve the life they want. Betas turn to others to be told what life they should want to live.
6. Alphas Strive for Growth and Mastery, Betas Accept Mediocrity and the Status Quo
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is a habit, not an act.” ~Will Durant
At the end of the day, one of the most important alpha male characteristics is an obsession with excellence.
Alphas seek to give their best in every situation. They understand that this life is a gift and that it can be taken away at a moment’s notice. They seek out and eradicate mediocrity wherever they can find it and they refuse to hold back or play small in any area of their life.
Alphas are obsessed with “having it all”. They believe in their potential and they strive to reach it every day. Instead of resigning themselves to a life of mediocrity, they strive for excellence in everything: their relationships, physical health, career, happiness, finances, and spirituality.
They do not seek excellence for the sake of recognition or fame. They seek excellence because it is a part of who they are. They believe it is their responsibility and obligation to make the most of the experience while they still can.
Betas, on the other hand, accept mediocrity. Or, at their very best, strive for domain-specific excellence to impress and earn validation from others. Any attempt at excellence is done to earn the approval of others. Not to satisfy themselves and live their life to its fullest potential.
Although betas may achieve excellence in one field, when you look at their life as a whole, their acceptance of mediocrity is obvious.
For example, and to many men’s surprise, many beta males are incredibly successful in their careers and finances.
However, this does negate the mediocrity that runs rampant through the rest of their lives. If a beta male earns a lot of money–in hopes that he will be accepted by others–he will often spend it to acquire fancy “toys” and prove his self-worth. He will earn his money at the expense of his health, his happiness, and his family and allow his entire identity to become wrapped up in the number of 0’s in his bank account.
Alphas, on the other hand, seek excellence in every area of their life. Even if they earn less money than validation-seeking beta males, they are happier in their careers, have more time for the people they love, and prioritize health, connection, and fun above the opinions of other people.
7. Alphas Face Their Inner Demons, Betas Hide From Them (Or Use Them As Excuses)
I’m going to let you in on a little secret…
We’re all completely fucked up at least a little. It seems to be an inherent symptom of the human condition and an unavoidable fact of life.
But, as always, the question that you must ask yourself is “What am I going to do about it?”
If you are an alpha male, the answer is simple. “Deal with it.” If you are a beta male, your answer is, “Hide from it or use it as a scapegoat.”
Listen, we all have our own demons. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, alcoholism, or childhood trauma, we all have internal battles that we must fight.
Alphas accept these battles and choose to face their demons head on, wrestling them into submission and asserting control over their lives and destiny’s. One day these battles will turn into life lessons to make himself stronger.
Betas allow their demons to run and ruin their lives, hiding from them or using them as an excuse for why their life sucks so much. A classic example of this principle in action is depression. One of the most sinister diseases of our time.
An alpha male struggling with depression will accept the facts. He’s depressed and he knows it. But he doesn’t stop there. Once he has accepted his situation, he will do everything in his power to face the black dog and control it. He will seek out help, go to therapy, and take an objective look at his life to find the hidden causes of his condition.
A beta male, on the other hand, will run. He will either deny that he is depressed and refuse to take action to fix the problem or he will use it as an excuse for why he can’t live the life he wants. He will blame his depression for marital problems, his floundering career, and various addictions.
But he won’t do a damn thing to accept it, fix it and grow from it.
8. Alphas Acknowledge their Weaknesses, Betas Pretend They Don’t Exist
Despite the common myths surrounding alpha males, true alphas are not good at everything. Although their commitment to excellence means that they will likely have a wider breadth of expertise and knowledge than most people, they are still acutely aware of their weaknesses, and willing to accept them.
They don’t act like they know it all and they aren’t afraid to ask for help. In fact, when faced with a situation where they don’t know what to do, they are quick to own their ignorance and seek the input of others.
Betas tend to be die-hard “know it alls”. They will give you their opinion on topics they know nothing about, exaggerate their successes and skills, and, when backed into a corner, will fight tooth and claw to prove they’re right.
For example, if an alpha male and beta male both started a new business, the alpha male would turn to mentors, coaches, and experts for guidance. He would still trust himself and his vision for the company, but he would have the humility to reach out for help and get feedback from those who had “been there, done that”. If his work or ideas were criticized, he wouldn’t recoil or start screaming, “You’re wrong!” Instead, he would listen to the wisdom of those who had already achieved what he wanted and heed their advice.
The beta male, on the other hand, would not ask for help. He would say to himself, “I know what I’m doing! Mentors? Coaches? What are you? A little bitch?” He would ignore the advice of experienced entrepreneurs and insist that things be done his way.
The reason is simple. Betas want to be liked and accepted by others. But more importantly, they feel the need to prove themselves to others and will do anything in their power to appear strong, smart, and capable (even when they aren’t).
Betas, cannot acknowledge their own weaknesses and, as such, their lives are ruined by them. Alphas are intimately familiar with (and accepting of) their weaknesses. They acknowledge them and ask for help in mitigating their damage.
9. Alphas Communicate and Persuade with Class and Respect, Betas Throw Temper Tantrums to Get their Way
It’s a typical Friday night and a beautiful woman is sitting at the bar, alone.
One man, a beta male, approaches her and strikes up a conversation. He deploys every pickup line and canned routine he knows, but she sees right through it and, within a few minutes, rejects his advances and asks to be left alone.
Unable to contain himself, the beta male makes a scene. He screams at the woman, calling her a “bitch” and asking with indignation, “What! You think you’re too good for me?!” He continues kicking off until the bouncers throw him outside where he continues his drunken tirade until he tires out and goes home.
Thirty minutes later, another man, an alpha male, approaches the same woman. Although he’s charming, funny, and polite, she’s so frustrated after her previous encounter that she once again, asks to be left alone.
The man looks at her, smiles, and replies, “I understand. It was a pleasure talking to you and, if you change your mind, I’d love to get to know you a little better and share a drink with you on this beautiful evening.”
Alpha males negotiate and persuade others with class and respect. They never try to force their will or demean others for disagreeing with them. Betas cannot stand rejection and will do everything they can to get their way to prove their worth.
Being an alpha male vs a beta male has nothing to do with how you compare to other men in your social circle or city. It has everything to do with who you are and how you show up to the game of life.
By intentionally cultivating these 9 alpha traits, you will have taken your first step to becoming the alpha male of your life and taking complete ownership of your destiny.
Take action on what I’ve shared with you today, and I promise, your life will never be the same.