What Is An Alpha Male: 10 Traits & Weaknesses

what is an alpha male infographic togeter with the most important alpha male taits

Alpha males are high-power, confident, dominant and successful. They earn more, are universally more attractive, date more and better women, and are healthier and happier.

In our premium course Power University we share more practical advice, real-life examples, and all that we cannot share publicly.

But for now, this article is the one-stop resource to tell you everything you need to know about alpha males.

infographic explaining what's an alpha male in a simple sentence and pictures
Social power, in both status and rank, is the #1 state to define an alpha male. Drive is the #2 defining psychological trait

What Is an Alpha Male?

In common parlance, an alpha male is a man who is high-power, high-status, driven to achieve, and generally confident and successful.

Men with alpha male traits seek more power and responsibility, tend to rise through the social and organizational ranks, and tend to become leaders of men.

Alphas, Chads, & Schemers

There are two sub-components of an alpha male: the physical, and the psychological.

These two components form two archetypal sub-categories:

  • De facto alphas are the highest-ranking males in any given group and hence have the most power, independently of everything else.
    1. Schemers think the most like alpha males, have the drive, will to power, strategic predisposition, and more alpha-typical psychological traits, independently of how much power they have.
      It’s a psychological profile, AKA “alpha male type”.
    2. Chads look the most like alpha males and score high in some or several alpha-typical physical traits, independently of how much power they have.
      It’s a physical profile.
      Note: albeit “chad” originates in online forums it’s a valid real-world concept.
alpha sub-type infographic
Schemers think in ways that facilitate status and power acquisition. And chads look like stereotypical alpha males -the name references Internet slang for a hyper-masculine, muscular man-

The psychological component matters more in achieving real-world results, but the physicality of the “chad” looms larger in men’s minds.

Obviously, chads, schemers, and de-facto alphas are interrelated and can be one and the same person.

Still, the three aren’t necessarily the same.

Chads & Cads

Let’s bust a first myth:

There is NO “sociosexual hierarchy”.

The social and sexual spheres are two different spheres.
Obviously they overlap, but they’re far from the same.

In simple terms:

  • Chad/alpha male is a social construct, referring to social status and organizational rank, both of which are mostly promoted by men
  • Cad/lover is a sexual construct, referring to sexual access and dating behavior, largely based on women’s choice
alpha male divided in social chad and sexual cad
The chad is always hyper-masculine, but the cad lover type has no strongly pre-defined profile. The only constants are seeking and getting multiple sexual partners. That often means that he has “game”.

Also read:

Now let’s see how to become an alpha male:

Alpha Male Traits

Every hierarchy has its own peculiarities.

However, these traits help in all male-dominated hierarchies:

1. High Status

social hierarchy shows the most important trait to become an alpha male
The alpha male prospect becomes a de-facto alpha male once he reaches the top

The upward ascension to the top is THE main defining trait of an alpha male.

All other traits only serve to facilitate the acquisition of status and power.
It’s the most important trait of them all because the standard definition of an alpha male is being at the top of the power hierarchy.

And between two men only, the alpha male is simply the higher power person between the two.

The alpha type instead is the man who is more likely to gain status.

As simple as that.

Everything else are personal opinions, conjectures, hot air, and noise.

Also see:

2. Ambition & Drive

The #1 trait that facilitates alpha male status is ambition.

Drive is the only necessary trait to become an alpha male.
One may be the perfect leader or greatest chad, but if he isn’t driven to lead, he’ll never be the top dog.

On the other hand, one can be unconfident, sloppy, or short and unattractive, but if he’s extremely driven to win and acquire power, chances are he will find a way.

3. High-Power Behavior

Here’s a good general rule to become an alpha male:

To become an alpha male, act like an alpha male.

Some of the many traits and skills of high-power behavior include:

  • Leadership and all sub-components such as influence and managing the group’s hierarchy with “social promotions/demotions”, etc.
  • Assertiveness and speaking up early and confidently
  • Frame control

Also read:

Better yet, join Power University.

3.2. High-Power Body Language

brad pitt blowing a kiss as an example of smooth alpha male
The quintessential smooth alpha: steals the show with a flying kiss that’s charming, cool, and high-power at the same time

Alpha males tend to move and act:

  • Purposefully
  • Slowly
  • Lower energy

Learn more at:

3.3… No Low-Power Body Language

Including:

  • Hunched over
  • Making yourself smaller
  • Too high energy

3.4. Social Power & Dominance To Gain Status & Respect

Storr explains in The Status Game:

As humans evolved, our game of status also evolved from mostly physical, to mostly verbal and sub-communication.

The general rule of that power game is:

The more you let others one-up you and disempower you, the more status you lose, and the more you stay stuck at the bottom.
Conversely, the better you check power moves, defend yourself, and counter-attack, the more status and respect you acquire.

When someone pulls a power move, they’re betting against you.
Their bet is that they’re above you -either more dominant if their move is very direct or more power competent if it’s more covert-.

To borrow from pick-up artist terminology, you can see a power move as a “social shit test.

If you let it slip, miss it, or submit, you confirm you’re below them and lose status.
But if you can check it and turn it around into a win, you turn a loss into a win -and a status boost-.

4. High Power Mindsets

The mind is the backbone of the alpha male type.

High-power thinking includes:

  • Positive associations with power: “power is good (and I want more of it)”
  • Entitlement: “I deserve power”
  • Outer confidence: “I can get power”
  • Inner confidence: “I am a high-power alpha”

Importantly:

You can never acquire alpha male self-confidence if you remain an eternal learner of mediocre teachers.

Let’s see:

4.2. Teachers More Than Learners: The Pupil Is Never An Alpha

alpha male teachings beta male pupils

The teacher is higher power than the students. Alpha trains, beta strains

The rule of alpha male mindset is:

You’ll always have a beta male mindset until you’re learning how to be an alpha because the learner is inherently lower-power than the teacher.

Simply accepting a teacher means that, in some shape or form, you submit and accept to be below someone else.
And you sink even lower into a “slave mindset” if you accept the teacher to be the judge of whether or not you’re “alpha enough”.

Of course, always balance:

You must learn in the beginning, so absolutely learn.
As a matter of fact, never stop learning.

HOWEVER, always remember:

  1. Never be an eternal pupil
  2. Learn as an equal -especially in the mindset, never elect someone as “above you”
  3. Keep in mind the end goal: eventually you want to become a de-fact alpha male -and think of yourself as an alpha male-
  4. Never elect anyone as the judge of your “alphaness status”.

4.3. Pick Teachers Who’ll Make Way For Your Future Alpha

Remember the power dynamics of teachers:

Teachers have a vested interest in keeping you a pupil.

And watch out for dark triad teachers if you prefer to be a “honorable man”.
If you learn from these guys you’ll more likely be a “limited success asshole“.

Solution: Enlightened Narcissism

You can both learn, and learn as a high-power student.

Rather than fully submitting yourself to (dubious) teachers, start learning to also trust yourself a bit more:

And of course, many students 10xed both their status and mindsets with Power University.

5. Strategic Intelligence

As a rule of thumb:

Social strategists beat strongmen in the race to the alpha male role.

Even in chimps alpha males are seldom the biggest or most aggressive, and are not the highest testosterone.
Cooperation is key for social rank, and studies show that “smart coalition managers” out-rank and out-reproduce less socially skilled chimps.

And if that’s true in chimps, as Ridley points out, social strategies are even more fundamental for human alpha males.

Also read:

Or better yet: get Power University.

6. Goal Focus

Typical alpha male traits facilitate goal-achievement.

They include:

  • Risk appetite
  • High demands and expectations, both of himself and others (note for female readers: being in a relationship with an alpha can be challenging since they’re most demanding of the people around them, including their spouses)
  • Courage, to do what needs to be done. Sometimes even “bravery”
  • Competitiveness and “drive to win”
  • Goal-orientation and mission-focus, not wasting time on side issues
  • Emotional steadfastness, keeping an “emotional even keel”, without wild mood swings (note for female readers: relationships can be challenging with alphas who have little patience for emotional swings)
  • Emotional self-reliance, with internally generated self-esteem and confidence. People and events have little control over the alpha emotional states
  • Actions, goals & results over feelings
    • “F*ck happiness”, alpha males weren’t born to be happy, but to achieve
  • Pride, in yourself, your work, your values, your background, your team, etc., etc.
  • Decisiveness and bias for action, with little time for endless talk and purely theoretical
  • Focus on what’s possible, avoid daydreaming and “castles in the skies”

Of course, mind the law of balance.
Any good trait can be taken to a self-defeating extreme. Extreme risk appetite for example turns into ineffective recklessness, and you’d struggle to lead any high-performing group.

7. Competence

When you become a master you have already reached a top.

You out-competed countless others in the same field.

And men respect that.

Becoming a master also sub-communicates many great alpha-like qualities such as grit and perseverance, staying power, dedication and, of course, drive, willpower, and ambition.

You may gain even more status points if you master a typically masculine profession or hobby.

Modern societies handsomely reward competence/mastery.
It’s one of the reasons why “modern geeks” can do great in life.

8. Masculinity

Remember:

Alpha male status is a game of status among men.

And masculinity is important because it helps earn respect from men.
On the opposite effeminate men struggle mightly to gain male respect.

In our day and age alpha male masculinity overlaps with “conservative values and gender roles”.
Hence, just to be on the safe side:

8.2. Avoidance Of Anything That Feels “Not Very Manly”

The list is endless, but just some examples:

  • Endless “relationship talks”
  • Gossiping
  • Drama
  • Stay-at-home daddying

To capture the concept in a meme:

alpha male vs soyboy meme
Albeit a for-fun meme, it’s not wholly baseless. The more conservative alpha males think exactly like that

9. Pursuit Of Power & Personal Success

Alpha males tend to be more on the right of the political spectrum.

Studies linked testosterone supplementation to a “shift to the political right” for weakly affiliated Democrats.

However, hormones are only one little part of it.

Beocming an alpha male is about self-advancement.
It’s antithetical to left-wing ideals such as equality, redistribution, and collectivism.

And it’s closer to right-wing values such as competition, individual success, private property, and the ideal of the “self-made man”.

So alpha males tend to:

  • Prefer low taxation over socialistic redistribution
  • Believe it’s fair for the rich and powerful to be rich and powerful
  • Believe it’s fair for the destitute to be destitute because it’s up to them to advance (instead of scrounging and leeching off)
  • Reject most of the latest left-learning woke trends, including:
    • Affirmative action
    • Virtue signaling, which to alpha types is “weakness signaling”

10. “Alpha Looks”

Yes, physicality matters.

Both in chimps, and still in humans as well.

Often, it’s not even larger men who turn size into an advantage.
Instead, because of men’s natural reverence for size, smaller men self-inflict all the damage by making way and quitting the race without even starting.

The same goes for voice, beards, and penis size.

See Power University for the mindsets, strategies, and techniques to win as a smaller guy.

Bonus: Prestige

Yoda as an example of alpha male based on prestige

Yoda, an avatar for “wisdom”, would attain high status and power in most social groups

Psychology research has long recognized two different paths to both social power and status-based attraction:

  • Dominance, or acquiring power with more forceful approaches (win-lose)
  • Prestige, or acquiring power because willing followers admire a man’s knowledge, abilities, skills, achievements, wisdom, character, etc. etc. and elect him as higher status and/or alpha male (win-win) 

How does this prestige work?

Well, mastery/competence is part of prestige, so we’ve already seen an example.

But it runs deeper to include character, achievements, life experiences, and “wisdom”.

Let’s explain with a real-life example:

The author’s older nephew is very close to a “typical alpha”.
He is taller, larger, more muscular, more naturally dominant, and enjoys chad-easy sexual success.

Still, when he and the author meet, there is no doubt as to who’s the alpha.

The nephew willingly raises the author above him because the author is prestigious in his eyes.
The author earned credibility and respect with life’s choices and actions: actively seeking new experiences and challenges, expanding his comfort zone, and ultimately going out to the world and making it its oyster.
And he proves the usefulness of that experience and wisdom with advice that works in the nephew’s own life (and you can’t beat that first-hand evidence).

hand holding a small world as an example of "alpha male" worldliness
You reach high inner confidence when you feel the world is your backyard, you belong to it, and can do well wherever you go. That’s when “the world is your oyster”

Albeit the author physically looks up to his nephew, the nephew shared to look up to him, to feel “green and unaccomplished” when together, and wrote to “one day hope to be at the same level”.

That’s prestige, and it’s quite powerful.

Not by accident our ultimate social dominance archetype in Power University is based on exuding wisdom, and acquiring prestige.

Also helpful traits…

Also helpful, even for general life success:

11. Rationality & Critical Thinking

Yes, the mind also matters.

Power intelligence is the most important, but these also help a lot:

  • Rationality, both effective and masculine
  • Healthy skepticism and cynicism, since gullible id*ots aren’t very credible leaders
  • Logic

12. Dating & Relationships Skills & Power

Mike Tyson is the ultimate chad (bar voice).

And still he was controlled, manipulated, and swindled in his first relationship.

So develop your power intelligence, cause despite brawn and “natural alphaness” you can still be a big loser.

And you can hardly earn alpha male respect and status if your partner controls you.

Example of a man losing his friends’ respect with “pussywhipped behavior”:

non-alpha male behavior text example
Our common friend said to me in person that “it all depends on my GF” was “so cringe”. I couldn’t help but agree. Never subordinate your decisions to your partner.

An all-around alpha male has power in the outside world, and wears the full pants at home.

And please note: you do NOT need to be confrontational to wear the full pants.
As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t.
Power, respect and relationship leadership come natural to high-power and high-quality men.

We go deep on this stuff in Power University & Seduction University.

13. Effectiveness

Competent alpha are effective men.

As The Godfather says when planning his next move:

Godfather: I spent my life trying not to be careless. Women and children can be careless. But not men

Yep. At least, not effective men.

See Power University for more on life effectiveness.

Popular But False Alpha Male Traits

image with a video on "how to be an alpha male"
Take a bathroom selfie, and tilt your head to the side: alpha mode unlocked!

There are thousands of alpha male guides.

Most of them list random, nice-sounding traits and general self-development advice that have nothing to do with alpha male dynamics.

For example, I personally wish these were true, but none of them are defining “alpha male traits”:

  • Humble (from “Science of People”): typical naive self-help.
    Of course an alpha may be humble, but alphas as a group are a lot less humble than the general population
  • Visionary (from “The Adult Man”): random and probably has a negative correlation to alpha males. Alphas have an incentive to be conservative and reactionary because the status quo is good for them
  • Don’t break promises (from “promescent”, the #1 result at the time of writing), a mix of virtue signaling and wishful thinking

And even worse:

  • Strive for genuine equality (“fashionbeans”, #1 page result on Bing): go give it a read and see for yourself
  • Express curiosity and empathy (WikiHow guide): WikiHow loves a positive spin, but we don’t believe we can truly help good men with false information here

Red Pill Alpha Males

Some popular but wrong definitions and traits include:

  • Sleeping with lots of women (as per “alpha fucks, beta bucks“): alpha males tend to have a higher partner count, but sleeping around is not a defining trait
  • Alpha males are men women are most attracted to (Rollo Tomassi): simply the wrong definition -definition of an attractive man, not an alpha male-.
  • Be honorable (Jack Donovan): it helps, and it’s part of what PU calls “being straight”.
    But as much as I wish it were true, it’s another “aspirational” value, and not a defining trait
  • Fight for your country (Corey Wayne): some alphas do become soldiers, but certainly not all, and an alpha may equally fight against “his country”.
    And don’t forget what Machaivelli would say: dead men never advance
  • Put your purpose first (alpha male strategies): this is good. It overlaps with “drive”, so it’s a good indicator of success and social hierarchy climb.
    However, AMS advice is so to succeed in dating, and it just doesn’t always work like that. Many sexually prolific men put women first.

Types of Alpha Failures

Alpha males are significantly more successful than non-alphas.

However, alpha male status, psychology, or looks are no guarantee of success.

An alpha may fail to make the most of his position, he may run his organization to the ground, or foment costly rebellions.

Finally, many chads and alpha types simply never acquire real-world status or power, let alone achieve their goal.

So let’s review some types of “alpha failures”:

Hollow Alphas

hollow alpha male inverted pyramid infographic

On the outside, they may be chads.

However, all their traits are external, with little internal self-confidence to lay the foundations of an integrated and healthy man.

See an example:

Hollow Alpha: (the reason I push so hard is because deep down I think so lowly of myself)

Don’t use this as an emotional pat on the back and to think you’re better. One, because that’d be hollow alpha behavior and two, because most hollow alpha males still outperform most non-alphas.

“Filling The Hole” Fuel

It’s that poor self-esteem, the unresolved pain and hurt, and the judge-fueled motivation of “having to prove something” that propels the hollow alpha forward.

We still list it as one of the “losers alpha” because the “achievement price” for hollow alphas is steep. You can hardly live a life well-lived if you’re utterly unable to be happy, grateful, and content with your life, yourself, and who you are.

So remember: sometimes the most alpha thing you can do is to drop the game, sit with your pain and inadequacies, and cure your inner child.

hollow alpha male infographic
Running away from your inner child never works: he runs with you because he’s within you

Hyper Alphas

The “extreme” forms of alpha males, hyper alphas possess one or several traits to extreme levels -including harmful extremes-.

The correct use of the often-misused “toxic masculinity” term, refers to value-taking hyper-alphas.

Albeit in times of turmoil hyper alphas have a better shot at becoming top dogs, hyper alphas struggle because most people generally prefer leaders with a good head on their shoulders.
A preference that not always stems from higher ideals, but out of pure self-preservation and self-interest.

As young Nicholas Cage says in “Rumble Fish”:

New Alpha Leader: It’s nothing personal Rusty James. But nobody would follow you into a gang fight. Cause you get people killed. Nobody wants to be killed.

Yep, that’s exactly it.
People want to win, and want to be alive to enjoy that win.

Antisocial Alphas

alpha male in prison
Yes, there are definitely many alpha male types in prison

These are the alpha males in prison.

The traits they overdo are aggression, dominance, risk-taking, and drive that lacks impulse control. Often, short-term bias, low conscientiousness, and low morals as well.

Albeit some people tend to (secretly) glorify or admire the (seemingly) hyper-alphaness of antisocials, the step from antisocial to life loser is often short.
Almost anywhere across civilizations scheming white-collar crime can pay handsomely. But violent crime rarely does. That’s what keeps violent hyper alphas closer to the bottom than to the top.

Failed & Frustrated Alphas

They had the drive to power and major life ambitions, but failed.

And take out their anger, bitterness, and frustration with alcohol, troubles, and… At home, on spouses and children.

Failed alphas prove that the red pill concept of “alpha widow” is a false generalization because many alpha males can turn into not just terrible human beings, but also very unattractive ones.

Wife-Beating Alphas

Matt Koppenhaver wearing a shirt saying "I do alpha male shit"
Self-styled alpha male Matt Koppenhaver publicly failed to make it into UFC. He sought to rape-assault his ex-GF and when he allegedly failed to get hard savagely beat her up

Some reject the idea of an abusive alpha male because they don’t want to mix “alpha” with “abusive”.

However, that’s an idealistic approach not rooted in reality. “Alpha male” has no intrinsic moral or ethical connotations.
And it certainly doesn’t mean “good”, “supportive”, or “win-win”.

And, in truth, an alpha male type is far more likely to be a wife-beater than a highly-submissive man is.

Fascist Alphas

Right-wing and extreme right-wing ideologies accentuate some of the dark-triad, aggressive, and more anti-social traits of the alpha male.

For examples:

The more socially-conservative alpha male types are closer to what people sometimes refer to as “toxic masculinity”.

These types of alpha males tend to also be overly cynical about women and relationships.
Sometimes, outright misogyny.

Alpha Male Posturers

alpha male posturer infographic
The final judge in life is always “real-life results” and how close you get to your goals

These are the “all smoke, no sizzle” self-styled alphas.

They brag, covertly brag, and seek to display “alphaness” on every occasion.

Largely spinning wheels in real life though, you’ll find a lot of them seeking validation in online forums.

See more on alpha male posturing:

Social climbing is a common pastime for posturers:

Example: Social Climbing on “B*tches”

Joe Rogan is very accomplished.

However, even successful alphas sometimes posture and social climb:

Joe Rogan: it’s for bitches. Cough cough (mimicks a supposedly low-power and effeminate cough)
(…)
Joe Rogan: (admits he had fear-driven psychosomathic Covid symptoms)
Bill: Now it’s the bitch. You had f*cking panick attacks sitting on 12 elks, then you felt bad about yourself, and then you attack people with a mask

Joe Rogan is right when he says that “it’s what men do”. Some men seek status with bravado and picking on others indeed -bucket of crabs anyone?-.
But that “some men do it” doesn’t mean it won’t look cheap -and weak- to those who see through it (and maybe show it for what it truly is. as in this case).

10 Alpha Male Rules (Red Pill)

Keep in mind:

The red pill largely congregates the more conservative (wanna-be) alphas.

Plus, the anonymity and echo chamber of some online communities naturally moves people towards more extreme expressions and opinions.

With that in mind, these are the 10 “alpha male rules” we can tease out from the red pill:

  1. Alpha males don’t kiss
  2. Alpha males don’t love
    • 2.2. And don’t say “I love you”
  3. Alpha males don’t do long-distance
  4. Alpha males don’t cuddle
  5. Alpha males don’t give oral sex
  6. Alpha males don’t adopt
  7. Alpha males don’t cry (emotional stoicism)
  8. Alpha males don’t marry
    • Alpha males don’t officially commit, either
  9. Alpha males don’t compromise
  10. Alpha males don’t miss

More open-minded and liberal alpha males do some or even a good chunk of the above.

For example, Brad Pitt married, adopted, professed love, and who knows what else.

However, don’t completely discount these rules.

Some of them aren’t even about conservatism or “toxicity”, they’re just part and parcel of alpha male status dynamics.

Breaking some of the too hard, or breaking some of them at all, can sub-communicate “low power”, and alpha male types may lose respect for you.

For example:

Example: You May Cry… But Not Without Losing Some Respect

example of alpha male having little respect for non-masculine men
Alpha male types have little respect for those who come across as overly emotional, overly touchy, overly progressive, overly philosophical, self-doubting, or generally low power

Charlie Houpert, author of Charisma University and founder of Charisma on Command said in his podcast that “he cries during every Marvel movie”.

To most alpha males there is little to cry on any Marvel movie. And, speaking in total frankness, I also couldn’t help but lose some respect for Charlie.

In another episode, Charlie goes into a long emotional introspection and reflection about “one of the hardest weeks of his life”… When his brother’s dog died.

If being an alpha male is your goal, you may want to be careful about vulnerability, lengthy emotional talk, or sharing your human-level affection for an animal.

One commenter on our video on Carisma on Command said we shouldn’t make videos about him “because Charlie is a snowflake”.
Albeit I’d avoid saying so publicly, the truth is that deep down I agreed.

Alpha Males & Dating Success

Again, let’s be clear:

Alpha males date well, and much better than non-alphas.

If we compared alpha males and the bottom 50%, we’d probably end up with a Pareto dating distribution where “20% of single alphas do 80% of the dating”.

Still, we want to clarify some common misconceptions.

More Plates, More FanBOYS

In dating:

  1. You can win big without being a chad, and especially so in modern metropolises
  2. “Gigachads” are not the most attractive men for most women

Let’s go through a quick experiment and the author’s personal history.

We analyzed the top comments beneath two videos: a “gigachad” gym bro, and a famous feminine-looking singer.

The chad had plenty of gushing texts.
But 100% of all gushers’ texts we read all sounded from other men:

example of alpha male chad successful with other men
The gigachad is more impressive to men than women. Virtually ALL the gushing admirers are men

The feminine-looking singer doing gay-looking “flexibility exercise” had far more love messages all attributable to women:

example of feminine man successful with women
The feminine man struggles to get male respect. But if -if!- he’s attractive/skilled, he can console himself with plenty of female love

This little experiment shows that sexual attraction is different and far more nuanced than social respect.

Also read:

See Seduction University to maximize your success.

The Mental Aspect of Cad Dating

When it comes to womanizing, the mental aspect matters.

Same as drive makes the most difference as to who advances, drive to sleep around makes the most difference as to who collects notches.

The author is also a real-life example of cad-dating while being an almost polar opposite to a chad.

Alpha Male Leaders

People often ask:

Do alpha male types make for great leaders?

And of course they can.

What people are truly asking though is if the more extreme alpha types higher in dominance or aggression, make for good leaders.

In the absence of scientific consensus, a look at history suggests a cautious “probably not”.

Many alpha males considered “great leaders” wouldn’t make for what most people would consider a “hyper-alpha”.

For example:

  • Marcus Aurelius read philosophy and kept a diary -I’m sure some hyper-alphas legionnaires of the day would have said that was “gay”-;
  • Ataturk abolished polygamy and gave women equal civil and political rights -the conservative alphas back then may have referred to him as a “mangina”-;
  • Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt weren’t exactly “chads” -some hyper-alphas contemporary may refer to the English top strategist as “weak-chinned”-.

These men were all top alpha males and fantastic leaders, but not your typical hyper alpha.

Alpha males who are more “hyper”, especially in dark-triad, antisocial, and social dominance orientation tend to be poor leaders (for the people they lead).

Two examples:

pictures of putin and mussolini as example of hyper alpha male leader
Putin and Mussolini are two examples of “hyper alphas” who turned despotic and disastrous for the countries they lead

Storr, drawing from a social psychology textbook, summarizes that dominant-style leaders are usually less effective than prestigious ones because they’re more likely to:

  • Put their interests before the group
  • Respond to criticism with ‘ego defensive aggression’
  • Act overbearing
  • Publicly credit themselves with the success of the group
  • Tease and humiliate subordinates
  • Manipulate and use others

in short, the high dominance, pride, and dark triad traits of some hyper alphas often translate into little win-win and cooperation, little care for common well-being, more stealing… And more wars.

So we can summarise that alpha male psychology has little relation to leadership quality, but hyper-dominance, aggressiveness, and dark triad traits often lead to worse outcomes for the population.

There’s one more breed of hyper-alpha worth analyzing:

Hyper Warrior Alphas Better Stay Military Leaders

Warrior alpha males can be high-quality men.

And they’re useful to preserve civilization against history’s marauders.

However, it’s best if the more “hyper soldier types” remain subservient to civilian leadership.

The strong in-group/outgroup bias in many warrior alphas is not good for politics. And their language of honor and military ideals underperforms a more realpolitik approach.

Most of all, the penchant for guns and destruction makes it imperative they never become country leaders.

Example:

Jocko: “We VS you”,🔫🔫🔫, “you lose”, 🪖🪖🪖, “history”⚔️⚔️, “pride and blood”🩸🩸🩸, “we know war”💣💣💣, “war is ugly, I gotta say that publicly, but… Let’s rumble” 🤕🤕🤕

Even in the best case a guy like this avoids an armed conflict, do you think he’d spend more on military and new toy-guns, or on schools, roads, research, and hospitals?

I guess you know the answer…

So I’d encourage any man to be the alpha who advances and protects civilization, rather than one who destroys it.

The Alpha Leader Rule

The “alpha leader rule” says:

The closer to the ideal alpha male you are, the easier it is to gain other men’s respect.
And vice versa.

The other side of the coin is that men who are too far from the alpha type ideal struggle to earn other men’s respect.
And a high-rank title without matching respect make for a lame-duck leader.

Good examples of both beta leader and alpha follower here.

infographic of alpha male leadership
An effective de-facto alpha male combines rank, with social capital and respect

The “beta leader” issue extends to most organizations.
I experienced a corporate mutiny and mass-quitting when the “founder” who bought-in failed to gain respect from the team.

Lame duck beta leaders have become more common in modern and artificial organizations where advancement includes confounding factors such as office politics, technical skills, degree, or meeting the latest gender/racial quotas.

So, in brief: if you want to be an effective leader, learn how to earn people’s respect.

See Power University for that.

Do “Alphas” Even Exist In Humans?

chimp looking like a man in a suit
Am I even real?

It’s a fair question.

The alpha male concept originated in primates.
So it’s fair to ask whether and how it translates to humans.

Conservatives and people who fancy themselves as alphas default to “yes”.
And liberals and people who are “not exactly alphas” default to “no”.

In truth, things are a bit more grey area.

Generally speaking, the answer is that yes, there is such a thing as alpha males in humans.
But it’s less universal, more nuanced, and more delinked from life, social and/or mating success.

Differences With Human Alpha Males

The main differences with human alpha males are:

  1. Alpha humans aren’t necessarily”life winners”. While we could argue that an alpha male chimp “won at life” it’s not nearly as straightforward in humans
  2. Alpha humans are more limited: since laws, regulations and female sexual choice restrains their power
  3. Alpha humans are more situational because of our complex societies with countless groups and cultures
  4. You don’t need to be an alpha to win at life: today’s men can get what they want while barely entering any group. And even while not being typical chads or “alpha types” (see Elon Musk for example)

Do Alpha Females Exist?

In any mixed, free-forming group, men are far more likely to become top dogs.

And most women would rather pair up with the lapha, than compete with him.

However, in principle and by definition, if a woman is on top of the hierarchy, she’s an alpha female.

Some men deny that because can’t accept that a woman may beat them, or be above them.

TPM’s video example on alpha females got literally hundreds of these men’s comments:

alpha male wannabe reaction to alpha female example
What do you think is most likely, that they’re all alpha female experts, or that at least some of them are (closeted) mysoginists?

Are Alpha Females “Not Feminine” And Thus “Less Women“?

Is the alpha female “less feminine” and thus “less representative of the female population”.

It’s a fair and valid question.
But too complex to answer here.

In sum, it’s unlikely that in free-forming human groups a woman would ever end up as the alpha. But if a biological woman is at the top, then she’s an alpha female.

Also read:

Alpha Male VS…

Now let’s compare the alpha male construct to other common ones:

Alpha Male VS Beta Male

You see a ton of charts like this one:

alpha male vs beta male infographic
Would be correct, if it weren’t for confusing “beta” with “omega”

The manosphere/red pill confused beta male with omega (see corrected chart below).

So, in truth, the beta male holds an enviable position with a lot of power, and with considerably less risk, work, and responsibility compared to the alpha.

So going for a beta position can be a strategically great choice to maximize for life returns and satisfaction.

For more on the difference between top-ranking alpha male and lowest-ranking omega, see:

Alpha Male VS High-Value Man

Alpha males as a group tend to be higher value than non-alphas.

Chads tend to be immediately high-value to other men;
alpha male types tend to quickly gain value in new groups;
and de-facto alpha males are intrinsically high-value wherever they’re alphas.

However, none of it guarantees to be high-value outside of any specific group.

Chads without matching characters quickly lose other men’s respect.
Overly dominant alpha types can turn people off.
And being de-facto alpha in one group has little predictive power of someone’s value outside of the group.
Such as, in simple words: alpha male is a good proxy for high-value but not a guarantee.

This is why we focused on “high-value / low-value men” first.
It’s better to work directly on the end goal, rather than on the proxy.

And we shifted the narrative with our approach.

Notes Chase Amante of GirlsChase.com reviewing the state of the male dating space:

email snapshot showing the state of the manosphere

Chase: the “value school” evolved from DHV to Alpha Male to High Value Man

Yep, agree.
Chase is critical of the “high-value man” as the key to getting women, and we partially agree. But it’s still a step forward from the alpha male-focus.

Alpha Male VS Sigma Male

The sigma male is an alpha male type who is not part of any social group and, thus, is not part of any dominance hierarchy.

sigma male concept explained with a social hierarchy infographic
The sigma male will have to find his own sexual partners and friends, but that may as well be an advantage

One may be a sigma for many reasons, including that he:

  • Is an introvert
  • Dislikes the “power games” inherent to competitive socialization
  • Has other life priorities, leaving little time for socialization (including “monk-mode” stints)

The sigma male tends to be more self-reliant and, sometimes, more resourceful (he needs to find ways on his own, after all).
However, all else being equal, alpha male tends to be higher value and more powerful than sigmas because they can leverage social resources that the sigma doesn’t have.

Still, we like the sigma approach here, and modern civilization and metropolises helped make it a far more viable, valid, and attractive option than in our evolutionary past.

Alpha Male VS Social Strategist

There is at least some overlap between the two:

Alpha males tend to be at least passable social strategists, and good social strategists are more likely to reach and stay at the top.

A good social strategist knows how to play the alpha male game both to gain status, and to socialize with alpha males as an equal.
But he views status as a means to a goal.
And if status is not necessary to achieve his goals, he won’t even enter that group.

Finally, the more Machiavellian social strategists may use and manipulate alpha male types for their own personal gains.

alpha male politician awards the medal of honor to an alpha male soldier
The Machiavellian power-seeker focuses on the area of highest returns, while manipulating the more proud warrior alphas to do the heavier lifting for him

Drawbacks of Being an Alpha Male

Earning respect among men is a status game.

Those “rules of the game” inherently constrain your freedom.

This is why:

Power Beats Status

Say researchers in The Psychology of Status:

since status relies on others, concerns about maintaining one’s status will orient status-holders outward, as they will be focused on monitoring where they stand vis-à-vis the status-conferral process
(…)
high-status parties (…) will strive to fulfill others’ expectations that high-status parties show consideration and act in a manner that warrants their high-status position (Blader and Chen 2012; Ridgeway 1978, 1982)

Instead power:

This description of the effects of status stands in stark contrast to the effects of power, which liberates people from social and normative pressures and enables them to shift their focus inward, toward their own goals and dispositions (Galinsky et al. 2008; Guinote 2007; Keltner et al. 2003).

Those constraints limit your freedom and, sometimes, even what can do to truly pursue what’s best for you as an individual.

So, learn the game of alpha male status -it’s important.
But always put power above status.

That’s also why we always recommend here an “individual first” approach to self-development.
So you’re always bigger than any game -and you retain your power to walk away from any game that won’t serve your interest.

Two additional noteworthy limitations of the alpha male game are:

Self-Identity Limitations

Some alphas pride themselves on being alpha males and “strong”.

And that’s inherently fragile.

Strength is defined by its breaking point.
And alpha male is defined by others, plus by clearly recognized masculinity.

An extreme example to show this point:

How strong would you be hung upside down and cut into pieces, including what supposedly mostly makes you a “male”?
I bet the more conservative alphas would be less vocal on “two genders only” after that.

The point is:

  1. Building your ego around strength is sub-optimal because you’re guaranteed to lose strength given humans’ inherent fallibility, decay, and mortality.
    Paradoxically, the stronger you are, the more the breaking point and/or the natural decay will undo you and your self-esteem.
  2. Building your ego around “being alpha” gives all the power away to the social group that ultimately decides who deserves respect and top status.
    A group of idiots may award status to some other idiot.
  3. Building your ego around “being a masculine man” is suboptimal because that’s also inherently fragile. Chameleonic approaches and mixing the best qualities from any gender or identity beats stiff rigidity.

Better Than Alpha Male

  • Learn to gain status in any group. The ability to be high rank in any group is better than being highest rank in a given single group.
    See: “big fish / small pond trap
  • Become more self-reliant. Paradoxically, the more you get from any hierarchy, the more dependent on it you can grow. Better instead to first learn to be a man who can walk alone
    See: “big fish / small pond trap
  • Develop a support network you can confide in, rather than ending up isolated while trying too hard to portray outward strength and hyper stoicism
  • Learn the game of status among men, but transcend it. Remember: the most powerful mindset and approach is that you’re an individual and you’re bigger than any game
  • Become powerful, rather than high-status. An important difference, read below
  • Develop an antifragile ego. Read below

Alpha Males FAQ

What are the alpha male traits?

Some of the most common and foundational traits of an alpha male are high status, ambition, high-power behavior, confidence, and leadership.

What is an alpha male personality?

A typical alpha male personality consists of being ambitious, driven, confident, socially powerful, demanding, goal-focused, and action-oriented.

Can an alpha male fall in love?

An alpha male can most certainly fall in love.
However, generally speaking, alpha males love differently than non-alpha males.
Alphas may be less likely to fall in love, love less intensely, and may spend less time with their partners because they tend to have more options, and to have competing missions and priorities in life.

What type of woman is an alpha male attracted to?

Alpha males have varied preferences when it comes to women.
While some alpha males prefer alpha female types (power couple), many enjoy traditionally feminine women who run the household while they pursue their mission or passion (supporter partner).
Virtually all alpha males though prefer less dominant women than they are. And no alpha male likes a woman who confuses her personal power with a confrontational attitude towards him, or animosity towards men in general.

SUMMARY

There are a million guides on “how to be an alpha” and millions of traits that supposedly describe “how alpha males are”.

In truth, we explained that the definition of an alpha male is pretty standard, and the definition is that “an alpha male is the man at the top of the hierarchy”.
And the only “sine qua non” trait to get there is drive.

We also said that becoming an alpha male means entering a status game that doesn’t always serve your best interests, and that you’re ultimately better off transcending it and becoming “bigger than that game”.

However, the status competition for alpha male position is the most widespread, inborn, and important for men -it is the ultimate status game, and not going to be supplemented by any fad any time soon-.
Since the alpha male status is largely based on universal social currencies such as power and respect, it also serves as the basis for general social and life success.

So to succeed and do well in life, we’d advise most men to transcend status games, while also getting at least reasonably good at it.

See Power University for the one-stop program to become a high-quality alpha male

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