How to Be A High Power Alpha Male: 10 Steps to Success

how to become an alpha male infographic

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 tells you everything you need to know about alpha male psychology, how you can spot an alpha male, and how you can become one.

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 to facilitate the acquisition of social power

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 concept with real-world dynamics.
alpha sub-type infographic
Schemers think like stereotypical alpha males -the name referencing Machiavellian thinking, albeit not every “alpha type” is high Mach-, while chads look like stereotypical alpha males -the name referencing the 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 many 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 one and 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:

How to Become An Alpha Male

Every hierarchy has its own peculiarities.

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

1. Gain Status, Climb The Hierarchy (Till The Top)

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 till the top is THE main defining trait of an alpha male.

All other traits only serve to facilitate the ascension, and acquire more 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.

Even between two people only, the alpha male is simply the higher power person between the two.

As simple as that.

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

Plus, the actual climb is the #1 trait because real-world power beats merely wanting power (alpha type), or looking the part (chad).
As a matter of fact, wanting and looking the part without real-world power may as well be the definition of under-achievement.

Also see:

2. Increase Your Drive

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

Drive is the only necessary trait to become an alpha male because one may be the perfect leader or greatest chad, but if he isn’t driven to lead, he’ll simply 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, build, and acquire power, chances are he will find a way.

3. Behave High-Power

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, for the ultimate guide to becoming high-power join Power University.

3.2. Adopt 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… And Avoid Low-Power Body Language


  • Hunched over
  • Making yourself smaller
  • Too high energy

Also, be mindful of the little secret that makes the difference between the eternal wanna-be learners, and the natural alpha male:

It’s in the smallest details that you sub-communicate masculine power or feminine tentativeness.


analysis of high-power VS low-power signs
To a Western alpha audience he looks overly cautious and not daring enough. An easy target of status social climbing, too: “ready to die in war, but afraid of passing Covid to a microphone?”.

And no, aggressive-looking big guns won’t help you if you hold them like a girl

Yes, at times, the alpha male game can look like silly bravado.
We never said it’s a game of brains, pure competence, pure effectiveness, or something you should necessarily pursue -but it’s still important to get good at this game-.

3.4. Play The Game Well: Check Power Moves & Counter-Attack to Defend Your Status & Power

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 lay down a gauntlet / bet: 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. Think High Power

The mind is the backbone of the alpha male type.

And it has major external, real-world consequences because behavior follows mindsets.

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”


You can never acquire alpha male core self-confidence if you pick poor role models and if you remain an eternal learner.

Let’s see:

4.2. Never Be An Eternal Learner: 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 (note: we used “beta” here in its correct terminology: meaning you’ll always be, at best, second to the alpha).

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” -so, remember: never ask any “guru” if you’re “alpha enough”-.

Of course, always balance and situation:

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.

So many self-styled alpha male teachers want to keep you a beta with teacher/pupil frames, self-framing as “gurus who figured it all out”, and (subtly) talking down on you.

That’s all the worse if you pick poor teachers because when you pick poor role models you’re subordinating yourself to an idiot who wants to keep you below him.

Even many otherwise alpha-male types may limit your growth -especially if you also aspire to be a “force for good”-.
For example, watch out for narcissistic and dark triad teachers: they’re as likely to take you off-course (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. Get More Socially Strategic (& Machiavellian)

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. Live & Internalize “Alpha Male Psychology”

Typical alpha male traits and personality features 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: being in a relationship with an alpha can be challenging since they may 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. Become A Master At Your Craft

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

Not necessarily the top of a social hierarchy, but you still out-competed countless other people who learned, worked, or dabbled 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.

Importantly, our contemporary society presents the biggest overlap ever between competence/mastery, and advancement (in most organizations, as in life).
And it’s one of the reasons why “geeks” today can do much better than “chads” who aren’t equally smart.

8. Be More Masculine


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 (this is why both Rudolph Valentino in the bygone years and contemporary Justin Bieber try too hard to play the tough game: they’re subconsciously trying to overcompensate for their association with femininity).

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. Avoid Anything That Feels “Not Very Manly”

The list is endless, but just some examples:

  • Endless “relationship talks”
  • Gossiping
  • Drama
  • Any of the latest woke trends
  • 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. Look More “Alpha” (Get Bigger & Deeper)

Yes, physicality matters.

Both in chimps, and still in humans as well.

We’d also say “grow taller”, but since it’s not highly under your control, getting buffer for shorter guys may be even more important.

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.

10. Gain Prestige: Become Wise & Life-Experienced

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…

Also helpful, even for general life success:

11. Develop Your Mind

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. Learn Dating & Relationship Power Dynamics

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. Seek Effectiveness In Whatever Goal You Pursue

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.

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.

Hollow Fuel

As a matter of fact, we could say that it’s exactly that hollowness, the poor self-esteem, the unresolved pain and hurt, and the judge-fueled motivation of “having to prove something” that propels the hollow alpha forward -see David Goggins as well-.

However, 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 more “exaggerated” 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 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.

Hyper Conservative Alphas

First off, let’s be clear:

First, one can be conservative, or a conservative alpha male, and still be a high-quality and value-adding man.

And second, hyper-conservatives are not necessarily failures for themselves.


They’re more likely to be hostile, value takers, and “toxic” to many normal people because high conservatism can accentuate some of the dark-triad, aggressive, and more anti-social traits of the alpha male.
For examples:

Note that none of the above have to be true for every conservative alpha male.

However, they sometimes are.
And the more “hyper” and extreme a guy is, the more likely it is that those tendencies also turn extreme and toxic.

Hence, the more hyper-conservative alpha male types tend to overlap the most with what people sometimes refer to as “toxic masculinity”.

These types of alpha males tend to also be overly cynical and unable to enter win-wins (especially with women).

The red pill, albeit it professes to be apolitical, is in large part conservative -including its Reddit mods endorsing Donald Trump-.

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”.

For those who don’t know, Marvel movies take comic strip superheroes and turn them into the typical, safe, Hollywood-style movie where the good guys always win.
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.

Again, if being an alpha male is your goal and if you’re very sensitive, you may want to be careful about vulnerability, lengthy emotional talk, or about sharing your human-level affection for an animal.

TPM had one video on Charisma on Command / Charlie.
And one commenter 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 totally agreed.

Then, I heard Charlie misdiagnose a way too nice guy as a “natural” and fail to defend himself from an aggressive and disempowering as*hole type -a low power behavior-.
Like it or not, after that I couldn’t help but lose yet some more respect for being too low power.
And I lastly unsubscribed from his podcast as there simply wasn’t enough respect left.

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 need to clarify some common misconceptions.

More Plates, More FanBOYS

In dating:

  1. You can win big without being a chad or alpha male, and especially so in modern metropolises
  2. “Gigachads” (gotta love the Internet’s crowd) are not the most attractive men for most women

To prove it, we’ll 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 some gay-looking “flexibility exercise” had far more love messages and, most importantly, virtually 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

Albeit this little experiment isn’t meant to inform any dating strategy, it still speaks volumes about how 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 hugely.

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

Also, this study shows women selected short-term lovers based on Machiavellianism, rather than physical looks.

The author is also a real-life example of cad-dating while being an almost polar opposite to a chad, and far from de-facto alpha (taking sexual partners to company parties was an exercise in strategizing because those dating partners were too high caliber for the organizational rank).

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, confidence, entitlement, or aggression, make for good leaders.

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

Many alpha males considered “great leaders” wouldn’t score too high in dark-triad and anti-social traits and 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 of the more hyper-alphas legionnaires of the day wouldn’t have considered that very masculine-;
  • Ataturk abolished polygamy and gave women equal civil and political rights -the conservative alpha males of back then may have referred to him with the Turkish equivalent of “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 turn 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 own 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 for all if the more “hyper soldier types” remain in the military and subservient to civilian leadership.

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

Most of all, the love for guns and destruvtion above building and advancing makes it imperative they never become country leaders.


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…

Please note this only applies to hyper warriors, and not to more balanced military leaders, like John McCain.
And doesn’t apply to warrior alphas who better channel their warring spirit in general.

Be The Alpha Who Advances Civilization, Not The One Who Destroys It

This is important because remember:

The drive to destroy is within many of us men, and it’s up to each one of us to channel it into a positive use.

Lucio Buffalmano

I’m no stranger to that drive.

And sometimes, war may be inevitable and then we’d all be called to our highest duty.

But more often than not, it’s avoidable.
So it comes down to mental control and deciding to be and do better in the moments and decisions that count.

Luckily, the drive to build is also in many of us men.

So, which one are you going to be?

Because the difference is all here: value-adding alpha males build and advance civilization while value-taking alpha males destroy and send civilization backward.

Destroying is often a lot easier than building.

So please, be the one who advances us.

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.

Generally speaking, the rowdier, higher risk, or high-masculinity the environment, the more the rule applies, and the more the “alpha ideal” moves up towards the “hyper-alpha types” (including less latitude for anything that’s not seen masculine, stoic, or “strong”).
And the opposite is also true (so the rule applies less while the “alpha ideal” is more “neutral” rather than hyper-masculine in, say, more female-dominated environments).

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.
The author personally 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 is not purely based on competence, social capital, and respect anymore, but 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.

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, none of these are “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 when you need a laugh
  • Express curiosity and empathy (WikiHow guide): you can count on WikiHow to whitewash anything with the latest woke trends

Red Pill Alpha Males

The manosphere and red pill do better, but still miss out.

Some popular but wrong definitions and traits include:

  • Sleeping with lots of women (as per “alpha fucks, beta bucks“): alpha males as a group have a higher partner count than non-alphas, but sleeping around is not a defining trait (alphas may be in happy relationships, or prioritizing their mission).
  • Alpha males are men women are most attracted to (Rollo Tomassi): simply the wrong definition -definition of an attractive man, not an alpha male-.
  • Hyper-aggressive or violent alpha males are very attractive (Rollo Tomassi): Rollo further confuses things by overblowing the case for hypophilia, or women’s attraction to violent convicts and serial killers.
    Read more in “women who love psychopaths – myths” .
  • Be honorable (Jack Donowan): it helps, and it’s part of what PU calls “being straight”.
    But it’s not a defining trait. Plenty Machiavellian alpha males reach the top scheming and backstabbing, and then purging.
  • Fight for your country (Corey Wayne): some alphas do become soldiers, but certainly not all, and an alpha may equally fight against “his country”.
    Also, you don’t need fight training at all to reach the top, and never forget that dead men never become de-facto alphas.
  • Put your purpose first (alpha male strategies): this is quite good actually. 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. Some highly prolific men put women first.

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 and it’s fair to ask whether and how it translates to humans.

As usual, people answer based on personal wishes, convenience, self-image, and political affiliation.
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, albeit 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” as there isn’t much more he could achieve, it’s not nearly as straightforward in humans. Alpha males can be stressed, unhappy, and even not have that much real-world power
  2. Alpha humans are more limited: since laws, regulations and female sexual choice restrains the power of humans’ status and organizational rank
  3. Alpha humans are more situational, and couldn’t be otherwise in complex societies with countless groups and cultures
  4. You don’t need to be an alpha at all to win at life: today’s men can get what they want while barely entering any group, and while being very different from chads or “alpha types” (albeit being an “alpha type” helps a lot)

Do Alpha Females Exist?

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

Even if there is one single high-power man in the group, most women would rather pair up with him, 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 a woman can ever be the alpha and some of their arguments are valid.
However, most of those men are biased as they just struggle to accept that a woman may beat them, or be above them -a consequence of developing one’s ego around “being a man” or an “alpha male”, keep reading-.

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“?

A different question is whether the alpha female may be “less feminine” and thus “less representative of the female population”.

Albeit the motives of the men raising that question are still dubious, it’s a fair and valid question (funny how conservative men reason that sex chromosomes only select genders, but forget that logic when a biological woman beats them at the power game).

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 some 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, though (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, responsibility, and danger 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, or to retain or even increase one’s perceived value over the longer run.

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 only just a proxy and never a guarantee for high-value.

This is why this website published early articles on “high-value / low-value men” and shifted the focus from “alpha” to “high-value”: it’s better to work directly on the end goal, rather than on the proxy.

And, we must say, TPM has been successful.

Notes Chase Amante of reviewing the state of the male dating and self-help space:

email snapshot showing the state of the manosphere

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

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

Alpha Male VS High-Quality Man

Alpha male is even more different than “high-quality”.

Both “alpha male” and “high-value” concepts are inherently amoral.
As we’ve seen, one can be an alpha and a total SOB.

High quality instead includes traits and concepts such as “preferring win-win”, avoiding toxic lose-loses, “flying higher”, and generally wanting to be a value-adding man -the kind of man who’d make for a great friend, partner, father, leader, etc.-.

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 a slight 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.

Social strategists view power more as a means to a goal.
This means that while the strategist wants at least some social status, he’ll only set out to reach the very top if it that’s a mandatory step to reach his goals.
And often, it simply isn’t…

However, high-power and effective social strategists still have many alpha male-like traits, including the ones that facilitate the achievement of goals.
Also, 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.

Since alpha types tend to gain power, you better be fluent in the “alpha male language” to get a ticket at the alpha males’ table.
Even if deep down you may look down on that game, it’s better to know how to play it. Bonding and connecting with more alpha types is important to achieve goals and do well in life.

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

The Limitations of Alpha Males

Being an alpha male is good for you.

But there’s even better.

For example:

  • 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
  • Develop an antifragile ego. Read below

Status Game Restrictions & Limitations

Earning respect among men is a status game.

It’s far from being the only game, and different groups, environments, and cultures have different rules to gain status.

Those “rules of the game” inherently constrain your freedom and, often, constrain what’s best for you or for reaching your goals.

For example, the current virtue-signaling and cancel culture is also a game of status that you play with an aggressive defense of supposedly marginalized or exploited groups or “minorities”, witch hunts, outrage to display moral superiority, etc.
That game is incredibly stifling and does nothing to concretely advance your life.

This is not to trivialize the alpha male game, though.
The alpha male game is not a fad and it’s not inherently toxic: it’s more atavic, widespread, and even “worthier” than many other games.

However, that doesn’t change the fact that the alpha male game is a status game with a set of potentially stifling rules you need to obey -and those rules can constrain or even harm the individual-.
And the general rule is that the more extreme the game becomes, the more it constrains you as an individual (and the more self-defeating and potentially toxic it becomes).

That’s also why we always recommend here that it’s better for you -and for everyone else- to go for 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 (or any game that turns toxic or stupid, just like the cancel culture has become).

Two noteworthy limitations of the alpha male game are:

Self-Identity Limitations

Some men pride themselves on being alpha males and/or “strong”.

And that’s inherently fragile.

Strength is defined by its breaking point.
And alpha male is defined by others, plus it’s heavily gender-dependent.

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 alpha males would suddenly 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.
    And remember: a group of idiots will likely award status to some other idiot.
  3. Building your ego around “being a masculine man” is suboptimal because that’s also inherently fragile. And in terms of effectiveness, chameleonic approaches and mixes of the best qualities from any gender or identity will always beat stiff rigidity.

Emotional Stoicism Limitations

The same is true for “emotional strength” as in exaggerated emotional stoicism.

Some stoicism is great, and sometimes even necessary -see example above as well-.

But as for everything: balance.

Because remember: strength is defined by its breaking point.

As Lewis Lowes shares in his book, too many men realize the limit of their stoicism at the worst possible time: when the biggest tragedy of their life overwhelms them.

Going through life as a hyper-stoic without the ability to handle emotional setbacks is no different than going through life like a naive lamb, hoping that no wolf is around.

As a hyper-stoic, you’re just hoping that nothing bad will ever happen -not impossible, I really hope so for you, but… You’re better off not counting on it-.

When tragedy strikes you’ll realize that hyper-stoicism has a huge downside: right when you needed strength the most it didn’t give you strength.
Instead it left you alone, and far from the most effective you could be (and sometimes, outright desperate).

This is also the reason why this website never got into the “alpha male bandwagon” of self-development.
The way most gurus were pushing the alpha male thing was sub-optimal, to say the least.

Antifragile Identities To The Rescue

So instead of “alpha pride” we prefer more antifragile mindsets and identities.

Antifragile identities beat identities built around “being an alpha” because they’re fully under your control, can’t be proven wrong without your consent, and allow you to maintain confidence and self-esteem even during your losses.

Something as simple “I do my very best with whatever I’ve got” maximizes your returns and gives you the same self-esteem as more arrogant-sounding ones, without limitations.

Maximum Effectiveness: Just Do “You”

“Assume Formlessness” is Robert Greene’s last law of power.

You gain freedom when you stop having to prove to yourself and the world “how alpha you are”.

No need to play by the “alpha male rules”, or avoid anything you like just because “it’s not masculine”.
And you get to walk out from the not-so-empowering contemporary red pill eco-chambers: no more complaining about the “feminized” society and no more caring about whatever the latest snowflakes are virtue-signaling about.

You finally get to do you, pursue whatever you like and want, focus on yourself, and 10x your odds of achieving your goals.

And that’s freeing and empowering.

See Power University + Ultimate Power for a mindset overhaul.


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 always transcend any status game, 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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