Who is an alpha male? He is the man who other men want to be, who women want to be with, and who gets what he wants whenever he sets his mind to it. What are the traits that separate such men from the rest? How can you develop alpha male traits and eradicate toxic habits from your life? To find out what it really means to be the leader of your pack and how you can become one, read on.
There is a common misconception most men have when it comes to how to be an alpha male. Often, guys think that to be the leader of their pack; they have to be physically imposing, loud, and domineering, but the fact is none of those traits have anything to do with being a strong male leader.
So, what makes a man an alpha? It is the ability to take full responsibility for his life and live every day fully alive, present, and excited for the future that he is creating.
Contrary to popular belief, the alpha male meaning is not limited to becoming ‘better’ than other men, developing an ego complex, or learning how to be the head of a specific clique or social circle.
The alpha male definition
This term has gotten a bad reputation in recent years. Playboys, wannabe tough guys, and muscled gym junkies have misused the phrase to a point where it seems impossible to agree on what is an alpha male.
When most people hear the phrase, their mind immediately pictures a muscled bodybuilder with a fat bank account; a few models draped over his shoulders, and a palpable, aura of superiority with a dose of arrogance.
Such men are often thought of as domineering, condescending, and uncouth characters. This is why the term alpha male has a negative connotation.
The term comes from the animal kingdom. Species like chimps and gorillas have social structures and hierarchies with a dominant individual at the top, typically a male who has achieved that position via displays of strength and physical prowess.
Before the 1960s, there were barely any examples of humans being described as alphas, because the term was restricted to fields like primatology research.
The term started being applied to humans with the publication of Frans de Waal’s Chimpanzee Politics. The publication made direct comparisons between human and chimp behavior, including the dominant behavior of males.
Humans are very susceptible to the process of social dominance; we exist in unequal hierarchies with inferior and superior individuals in almost every context. Therefore, the alpha male personality is one that stands out from the rest.
In this day and age, being such a man is less about aggressive behavior and more about leadership. It is about leading yourself and those you care about to a bigger and better future.
Generally, men who can be honest with themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and be considerate about others are alpha males. They make no excuses and always act purposefully.
10 alpha male traits and how to acquire them
We all know about alpha male negative traits: aggressiveness, loudness, and disrespect for others. So, what can you do to become a male leader with positive attributes? Here are 10 qualities that define alpha male:
When you are assertive, you are direct and honest with people. You do not beat around the bush or expect people to read your mind about what you want.
If something is bothering you, you speak up; if you want or need something, you ask. You do all this while maintaining a calm and civil demeanor.
Assertiveness also requires an understanding that while you can make a request or state an opinion, others are well within their right to say no or disagree.
You do not get upset or angry when that happens. You stay in control and work to come to some sort of compromise. When you are assertive, you understand that you might not get what you want.
2. Being a gentleman
One of the most valuable alpha male characteristics is being kind, courteous, and polite to others. This is where such men draw the line between being a gentleman and being a “nice guy.”
A gentleman will do everything he can to make the people he meets comfortable. Within reason and without sacrificing his well-being, he takes care of others and wishes the best for them.
He understands that to take care of others, he must take care of himself first. So, he never becomes a pushover just to please others. Everything a gentleman does for others is genuine and he does not expect applause or recognition for it.
On the other hand, nice guys are only kind when they believe there is something to be gained. They are agreeable pushovers who attempt to get others to like them. If you want to be a true alpha, you should always be good to others for the sake of it, without expecting applause for your actions.
When you think of the alpha males you know, you will notice that the one trait they all share is a willingness to do things that other people refuse to do. They often do scary, uncomfortable, and awe-inspiring things with their life.
Such men start impactful businesses, travel the world, master their craft, take risks, and go the extra mile in everything they do.
A true alpha is a man who is fully present and engaged with his life. He understands that life is fleeting, and tomorrow is never guaranteed.
Such a man lives each day as if it is his last and decides to conquer the fears and failings that are holding him back from the life he desires.
It is much easier to settle for the status quo; to take the safe and easy route, clocking in at a job you hate, settling for the first woman you meet, and be at peace with your existence.
However, fearless men are willing to explore and get out of their comfort zone. They are ready to try something new; even when they know they might fail. So, to be the leader of your life, you must identify and conquer your fears.
4. Clear vision
It is impossible to figure out how to be alpha without a clear vision and purpose to guide you. A man without a purpose is like a leaf in the wind blowing around aimlessly.
An alpha, on the other hand, walks on a unique path. He understands his strengths and weaknesses and knows just how far he can go. Therefore, he is hardly ever swayed by others.
When you lack purpose and have no clear direction in your life, you will fall victim to the circumstances and environments around you. Instead of consciously engineering the life you want, you will settle for the life that you are given.
You must chart your path in life and take action on the destiny that you want for yourself.
5. Willingness to take responsibility
Men who have this trait are in control of their lives and have a strong awareness of how their actions influence those around them. They take full responsibility for their lives and do not make excuses about their situation.
However, they do not blame themselves for everything in life because they know that none of us can control things like family and race. With this in mind, such men strive to make the best out of what they have been given.
If you are too weak to change your situation or do not have the courage to admit that you played a role in it, you will spend your life blaming others and complaining. Instead, you should embrace your situation and do something to change it.
6. Seeking a genuine connection instead of validation
Observing alpha males in relationships is one of the best ways to tell them apart from other men. Such men do not rely on reassurance from anyone to feel good about themselves. When they approach a woman, they seek mutual value addition.
An alpha is confident about what he brings to the table in his romantic relationships. Therefore, he seeks a woman who will compliment him. He prioritizes shared values, intimacy, and a good future with prospective partners.
7. Confronting one’s weaknesses
We all have weaknesses. Instead of hiding their faults or blaming them on others, men with this trait face their weaknesses head-on. They accept the facts and do everything in their power to change them.
Although their commitment to excellence means that they have more knowledge than most people, they are still acutely aware of their weaknesses and are willing to accept them.
They do not act like they know it all, and they are not afraid to ask for help. In fact, when faced with a situation where they do not know what to do, they are quick to own their ignorance and seek the input of others.
Once they have faced their demons, exceptional men learn from their past. They grow and vow never to fall prey to the same mistakes. This trait demands a lot of maturity and level-headedness.
8. Effective communication
Generally speaking, what people want is a sympathetic ear, not a smart mouth. Males with an alpha personality always listen more and talk less. They understand how to read nonverbal cues and can decipher deeper meaning while communicating with those around them.
They can negotiate with respect and never throw tantrums if things do not go their way. Instead of being mean or degrading to others when they do not have their way, they can calmly express their disappointment and walk away.
To be a man with such character, you must always dig deep and listen more. However obvious the solution may seem to you, do not offer it unless it is asked for.
9. Embracing the truth, no matter how hard it is
Knowing how to be alpha male requires an honest approach to everything in life. There are many situations where lies are easier to tell. You might not want to hurt someone else’s feelings, or even embarrass yourself by admitting the truth.
However, a true alpha does not shy away from the truth, no matter how painful it is. Once you tell the truth, you learn from it and vow never to repeat the same mistake.
By being so honest, you become a reliable man in the eyes of friends and family. They know that they can always count on you to be straightforward and tell them as it is.
10. Self-care and self-love
Although being physically fit with lots of muscles is a common stereotype associated with alphas, there is something to be learnt from it. A man who is in control of his life will take care of his health and physical appearance.
True leaders create time for self-care. They eat healthy meals and do exercise from time to time. They dress for the occasion and always put extra effort into how they present themselves.
Such men understand that their effort will not go to waste because the first impression is the lasting impression. However, self-care should never be mistaken for being self-absorbed or vain.
All it means is that you are putting your needs first and that you love yourself enough to take care of your health. If this means you end up with impressive biceps and rock-hard abs, so be it!
Being an alpha male is not easy. You must be very aware of your needs and those of others. Every day, you must make an effort to look good and treat others with respect.
You must also be steadfast so that no one’s opinion sways you. By doing all these, you will gradually develop powerful alpha male traits and become the envy of many men.