Everyone knows the term ‘alpha male’ and most men would aspire to become one.
However, there are few men who naturally fall into the alpha male role and who really understand what it’s all about; mostly, it takes self-awareness and a modicum of work to earn the alpha male title, just the same same as any other area of self-improvement. It is also a worthy goal, since the traits that mean you are recognized as an alpha male will be of great personal benefit, both at work and romantically.
Before proceeding, it is necessary to eliminate a major myth.
Being a alpha male is not synonymous with bullying, displays of macho strength or over-dominance. An alpha male can still be the perfect gentleman; in fact, softer male characteristics are all a part of the vital mix to be a successful man in any context. Becoming ‘more alpha’ certainly does not mean dumbing down positive characteristics such as loyalty, being a good father, or being respectful, helpful or polite.
Behaving in an alpha manner is more about knowing who are and setting personal goals and boundaries. It also means being self-aware, appearing confident in your role among colleagues and loved ones, and demonstrating consistent assertiveness. If you are the man who always says yes, you are subverting your natural voice and desires, people will see you as weak, possibly even making you a target.
Learn to show you are an alpha male in small, simple ways that make a big difference.
To be viewed as an alpha male, you need to hold definite views and opinions reached by a constant process of self-development and learning.
You will appear more alpha if you enjoy self-improvement and take a healthy interested in the world; alphas can talk with most people from varying backgrounds and social strata on a wide variety of topics, responding with well-formed arguments.
Knowing your views is on thing; voicing them is another, but do not be shy of sharing your opinion is suitable situations. It is important to note, however, that there is a difference between being unafraid to share views, and appearing obnoxiously opinionated, narcissistic and controlling.
While you need to possess firm opinions based on good research, as an alpha male you will still listen to others, happily modifying your stance in the face of credible argument or new evidence. You should not, conversely, amend your stated view just because it sees easier to do so, i.e. to fit in with the crowd or avoid confrontation. It is also bad form to walk away when on the losing end of a discussion; see the talk through even if it does not conclude as you would like, and congratulate the other party for their incisive opinions.
Similarly do not sulk or slink away to lick your wounds if someone else’s idea process better than your own; rather, you can proudly pronounce the other man had the better approach or was the stronger candidate, for which you will only gain more respect. Never be deferential, however, it is not necessary.
Throwing a shining light over someone else’s attachments in a confident manner only enhances your credibility.
You may not feel confident at all, but learning to act the part will help make it so. Quietly observing from the sidelines, you can become the calm voice of authority and reason free of the need to assert yourself all the time.
Your alpha traits will see you unfazed by control battles going on around you, and you will not scream and shout about prowess or suppress others’ thoughts or methods. You can watch others disagree without joining in.
You may, however, step in to defuse a situation but there is no need for you to enter the fray unless it is to stop someone else’s aggression. Your alpha leadership lets you calm inflamed situations, and people will automatically respect your restraint in not pitching in and making matters worse.
Respecting women means, never resorting to jibes, put-downs, foul language or snide remarks about females, and recognizing the individual traits, wants and abilities of women just the same as you do for males. Helping a woman with work or practical tasks is a positive, friendly gesture, and help can be given without making a woman feel inferior or offended. You should, of course, do the same for males.
It is not a good masculine characteristic to behave in an out-of-control manner, either in word or deed, in the presence of the opposite sec: draw up your personal boundaries – for example, that you will be polite, friendly and professional – and adhere to them. Women will be attracted to this behavior, while men will emulate you if they it leads to effective male-female relationships.
Again, contrary to popular belief, alpha males do not seek all the limelight; you should draw others into tasks and overtly praise their achievements when a job is complete. Your abilities to both delegate tasks and reward others mark you out as a true alpha.
Leave tantrums and histrionics for lesser men.
Raising a voice or a hand in anger demonstrates issues of self-worth and poor boundaries, both emanating from early development. Hold back your testosterone and learn to reason with people instead; once you lose your temper, you say goodbye to others’ respect for you. If you have anger management issues, seek professional help.
If you have no well-formed view, do not speak out.
Knowing when to hold silent is as assertive as knowing when to speak. If people consider you worth listening to when you contribute, that is better than shouting over everyone else. As a strong, silent alpha, you are unchallenged by stroppy, volatile behavior. You still need to hold firm views and be willing to stand for them as appropriate, but behaving in a crowed manner is a beta male territory. You will know you are a alpha when – during your silence – people still turn to you, seeking approval.
Sometimes, too, being an alpha male means letting others have their say before weighing up the balance of arguments or ideas, it shows a wish to consider consensus views.
Negotiation is another good alpha skill. It means not to doggedly pursuing your single viewpoint, but remaining aware and accepting of other routes.
The alpha never concedes defeat but acknowledges someone else’s strengths openly and with conviction. The alpha male has the self-belief to say he does not always have the greatest abilities in a certain task or the best physical fitness to undertake a feat of strength, but he confidently leads the crowd in following whatever is best for the group.
This goes back to the days of primeval man, where a group head learning that watching others’ methods and seeking the best approach brought success, and that success meant survival. If another man’s plan – to catch dinner, say – looked more fruitful, he led the group to follow that plan. He was still being an alpha; he not acquiesce but was man enough to quell his idea in favor of someone else’s
Women like males who – as well as being helpful, good role models – exude consistent masculine energy. This means having the confidence in your ability to take care of loved ones in more ways than materially. If you are always at work, the reality is, you are neglecting the family’s greater needs. It is a weak position to over-focus on finances to the detriment of sharing time.
Avoiding romantic laziness is important, too; recognize the male-female divide in such a way that your partner feels feminine. This will keep her interest in you alive, as she will continually be reminded of your masculinity in addition to feeling wooed and appreciated. Plan treats, surprises and trips away, and give compliments.
Alpha males appear positive and decisive, with ideas and plans set into motion.
While you may not actually feel decisive, you can learn to appear as if you are. If you go with the flow, sitting back to watch the world go by, you are being a beta male. The same applies in your workplace; be the man with positive ideas for the team and the instigator of training programs.
Give your best efforts and expect the same back. A man can not always be a giver without requesting – even in an unspoken manner – the same in return. If you always give without expecting equitable treatment, you open yourself up to being walked over; that certainly renders you a beta male.
As an alpha, you will not hesitate to pull others up – as a quiet chat, not a public show of aggression – for not doing their utmost too.
You do not need model looks, but you will need to strive consistently to improve your health, psychological well being and physical fitness without obsessiveness.
Your high personal standards mean you eat well, sleep sufficiently and pay attention to personal hygiene and self-care.
All these points many sound difficult at first, but many alpha traits are based on appearances. The more you practice, the more credibly alpha you will appear. Eventually, the practice will pay off and will kick-start your true metamorphosis at home and at work; soon, people will compliment you on your abilities and on the positive impacts it brings to bear on everyone else.
Craig is the founder of LifeGuider, he is dedicated to improving not only himself but also others in being more physically fit and mentally capable of handling life’s challenges. He is not your regular life coach, no fancy clothes or fast cars, just a regular “Ole Joe” who has experienced the ups and downs of life like everyone else.