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The alpha male explained: 9 true signs you're an alpha male

By Julian Lewis January 12, 2023

Alpha male - alpha man

Alpha males are often seen as the most successful and desirable among men. But what does it really mean to be an alpha male? This article will explain the 9 true signs that you're an alpha male — from being a natural leader to possessing excellent social skills, to being driven and ambitious.

It will also discuss why these traits are beneficial for success in business, relationships, and life in general. Whether you're looking to become an alpha male yourself, or simply want to understand what makes these men tick, keep reading to learn more about what it takes.

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Are alpha males a real thing?

Alpha male - Who is an alpha male?

Where did alpha male come from? The term "alpha male" was first coined by David Mech in his 1970 book "The Wolf: Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species." Mech defined alpha males as the dominant males in wolf packs, who lead the pack and mate with the females.

An alpha male is typically described as the dominant and most influential member of a social group. The alpha mentality is strong, confident, assertive, and in control of his environment. He has the ability to lead, motivate and inspire those around him while maintaining a sense of power over his peers. An alpha male often takes charge in difficult situations, providing guidance and stability to those around him.

There are many qualities and alpha-male characteristics that define a true alpha male, including physical strength, character, dominance, decisiveness, and a commanding presence. However, it's important to know where the "alpha male" originated from and how it's viewed today in order to understand its true meaning.

Exploring the term: the history of the alpha male

What's the definition of alpha male? The term alpha male can be traced back to early human history when our ancestors lived in small bands or prides consisting of mostly males. In this social structure, there was often a top-ranked individual who acted as the leader of the group. These males had greater access to food and breeding opportunities and were thus able to exert their dominance and influence over the other members of the group.

More recently, the concept of confident alpha male has expanded beyond the traditional definition of dominant males in social hierarchies. Today, the idea of an alpha male can include successful and confident men who exhibit leadership qualities in various areas of life, including parenting.

For example, an "alpha dad" is a father who takes charge and provides strong leadership within the family, demonstrating qualities such as confidence, assertiveness, and responsibility. An alpha dad is not necessarily authoritarian, but rather a strong and positive role model for his children. The alpha dad is also supportive of his partner and values teamwork in raising their children.

Studying the true alpha male archetype found in nature

The concept of alpha male status has a long and complex history that can be traced back to the study of animal behavior. In the 1940s, researchers observed the behavior of wolves and noticed that the top dog within a pack seemed to exhibit dominant behavior and hold a higher social status.

Similar human behavior was observed in dominant individuals within the social status hierarchy. These individuals were referred to as "alpha males."

Influence of pickup culture

Pickup culture, also known as the seduction community or the pickup artist (PUA) movement, is a subculture that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s and is focused on the study of social dynamics and the acquisition of romantic and sexual partners. Pickup culture is often associated with the idea of the alpha male, as the goal of many pickup artists is to become a dominant male in order to attract women.

Pickup culture often promotes the idea that men can improve their social status and attractiveness by adopting certain behaviors and attitudes, such as being confident, assertive, and dominant. These behaviors are often referred to as "alpha" qualities and are seen as necessary for success in the pickup community.

However, pickup culture has also been criticized because it promotes toxic masculinity and objectifies women. Many pickup artists advocate for manipulative and aggressive tactics to attract and seduce women, which can be harmful and contribute to a culture of misogyny.

It is important to note that not all men who exhibit alpha male personality qualities are involved in pickup culture, and not all pickup artists are alpha men. However, the overlap between the two can contribute to the perpetuation of harmful gender stereotypes and unhealthy attitudes toward relationships and sexual interactions.

The concept of alpha female

While the concept of the alpha male has been widely discussed and debated, the idea of the alpha female is also an important consideration in understanding social dynamics and gender roles. An alpha female is a woman who exudes confidence, dominance, and success, and is often admired for her leadership qualities and assertiveness. The traits that define an alpha female are similar to those of an alpha male, including self-assuredness, competitiveness, and an ability to take charge.

It's also important to note that not everyone can be an alpha personality and that experiencing setbacks is a normal part of life. In fact, setbacks can be seen as opportunities for growth and learning, and often, what might seem like only a minor setback can provide valuable lessons and ultimately lead to greater success."

Tell me the signs of an alpha male.

Alpha male - Tell me the signs of an alpha male?

Most alpha males are often thought of as confident, strong, and successful individuals who exhibit leadership qualities. They are comfortable taking charge and making decisions and are respected by those around them. But what are the specific signs that someone is an alpha male?

Whether you are seeing signs an alpha male likes you, trying to identify an alpha male in your own life, or simply want to learn more about this concept, read on to learn the 9 true signs of successful alpha males.

Alphas communicate and persuade with class and respect

Alphas are often seen as confident and assertive individuals, but these qualities can be problematic if they are not used in a respectful and considerate manner.

Effective communication and persuasion require empathy and the ability to listen to and understand others' perspectives. Alpha men who are able to do this show that they are able to put their own egos aside and consider the needs and desires of others. This demonstrates a level of maturity and self-awareness that is essential for successful leadership.

In addition, alphas who communicate and persuade with respect are more likely to build positive relationships and create a positive and inclusive environment. They are able to persuade others without resorting to aggressive or manipulative tactics, and their communication style is likely to be more effective in the long run. This applies to both verbal communication and body language. Alpha male body language (or alpha body language) is open, confident, respectful and with a lot of eye contact.

Overall, communicating and persuading with class and respect is a true sign of an alpha male because it demonstrates leadership, integrity, and the ability to build positive relationships. These qualities are essential for any successful leader, and they are an important part of what makes an alpha male truly alpha.

Alphas acknowledge their weaknesses

Instead of viewing failure or perceived weaknesses as a threat to their status or identity, alphas see them as opportunities to learn and improve. They are willing to take risks and try new things, even if there is a chance of failure because they know that this is the best way to grow and achieve success.

A real alpha male is also able to embrace his own vulnerabilities and weaknesses and recognize that these are an integral part of who he is. He does not try to hide or deny his weaknesses, but rather he works to improve upon them and use them to his advantage.

By not being afraid of failure or perceived weaknesses, someone that possesses alpha male energy is able to demonstrate resilience and determination.

Alphas trust themselves

Alpha males are confident in their ability to forge their own path. Trusting your gut means being able to listen to and follow your own internal guidance, even when others may disagree or try to dissuade you. It requires self-confidence and the ability to trust yourself and your own judgment.

An alpha male who trusts his gut is able to make quick and decisive decisions, even in times of uncertainty. He is confident in his own abilities and trusts that his instincts will lead him in the right direction.

However, it is important for an alpha male to also be aware of the limitations of relying solely on his gut. It is important to also consider external factors and gather information before making a decision. An alpha male who trusts his gut but also takes the time to thoroughly evaluate the situation is able to make well-informed and strategic decisions.

Overall, the ability to trust your gut is a true sign of an alpha male because it demonstrates confidence, self-awareness, and the ability to make decisive and strategic decisions.

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Alphas seek genuine connections

As an alpha male, you value meaningful, genuine connections with others. You aren't interested in superficial interactions or relationships that exist only to serve your own needs. Instead, you are genuinely invested in helping others and being there for them when they need support or guidance.

Of course, this doesn't mean that you are always able to provide the support they need. You may have times when your own needs come first, whether it's taking care of yourself physically and emotionally or asserting your own boundaries in a relationship. But overall, you strive to be there for others and create meaningful connections with them. And as you build these connections, you also gain a great deal of satisfaction and fulfillment from your interactions with others.

Alphas strive for growth and mastery

Striving for growth and mastery is a hallmark of alpha men. As alpha males, they understand that life is an ever-evolving journey and that one must constantly work to improve oneself as a means of attaining success in all aspects of life. This drive for personal growth and mastery manifests itself in various ways such as continual learning, setting and achieving goals, taking calculated risks, and constant self-improvement.

Since alphas are always looking to improve themselves, they often choose to surround themselves with people who can help them grow as individuals. They know that in order to excel in life, they cannot always rely on their own abilities alone; they must turn to others for support and wisdom. As such, they are always seeking out mentors who can guide them along their path to success.

Alphas also know that in order to constantly improve themselves, they need to set goals and take actionable steps toward achieving those goals. They do this by setting challenging yet attainable goals for themselves based on their own unique strengths and weaknesses. They then take steps to accomplish these goals by creating a clear plan of action that includes milestones and deadlines for accomplishing each part of the goal.

Alphas face their inner demons

Contrary to popular belief, being an alpha male means more than just physical prowess and being a leader of men. According to researcher Dr. Jerald Bain, it also means facing your inner demons head-on and learning how to deal with them in a healthy way.

Alphas tend to be seen as the epitome of masculinity, but underneath all that confidence and bravado lies a vulnerable side that is all too often ignored. Being an alpha means being able to acknowledge those feelings of self-doubt and fear, and learning how to deal with them in a healthy way. This can be done through therapy, support groups, or other types of counseling.

One effective way for alphas to work through their inner demons is by using mindfulness techniques such as meditation and deep breathing. By practicing these techniques regularly, alphas can learn to better manage their emotions, build more positive relationships with others, and improve their overall well-being.

Alphas are gentlemen

Alpha male - Alphas are gentlemen

True alphas don't have difficulty attracting women because they are confident and agreeable. The alpha man is one who women want to get to know because he has the ability to make them feel good about themselves. Yet an alpha doesn't have to rely on being flashy or overbearing in order for people to be attracted to him.

Rather, he allows his true character as both a gentleman and a man of integrity to speak for itself. Women attracted to this sort of romantic partner appreciate that he is masculine yet not overly domineering. He knows how to be the natural leader and the "macho guy", but does so in a way that his people respect and admire him rather than fear or resent him.

Alphas "change or accept it"

Alpha males have long been known for having a “change or accept it” attitude when it comes to their decisions and goals. This mindset is characterized by the individual's ability to adjust quickly to any and all changes that come their way, as well as the willingness to face them head-on and refuse to waiver from the path laid out before them. That same mindset is one of the most important traits that make up an alpha male's personality, and it can be learned by anyone who wants to take on the world.

This type of attitude is not just exhibited in the way alpha men approach situations and problems, but also in their interactions with others. They have a tendency to be assertive and straightforward, and they aren't afraid to speak their minds.

Alpha males are assertive and practice self-care

When an alpha male sees something that needs to be said or done, he won't hesitate in telling others about it, even if it is uncomfortable or unpopular. He knows that taking care of himself physically and mentally is essential for his ability to lead and succeed.

He has no problem with going against the status quo and openly disagreeing with others or providing his opinions on any given subject. However, he is also not afraid of admitting when he is wrong and changing his mind, which shows that he values integrity and flexibility more than anything.

How does the alpha male fit into the socio-sexual hierarchy?

The socio-sexual hierarchy is a framework that is used to understand and classify individuals based on their social status, attractiveness, and mating behavior. It is a concept that has its roots in evolutionary biology and is often used to explain and understand human social dynamics.

The socio-sexual hierarchy is divided into several levels, with each level representing a different level of social status and mating behavior. At the top of the hierarchy is the alpha male, who is seen as the most confident, dominant, and successful individual. Below the alpha male are the beta males, who are seen as less dominant and successful but still possess some leadership qualities. At the bottom of the hierarchy are the omega males, who are seen as the least dominant and successful individuals.

The socio-sexual hierarchy is often used to explain why certain individuals are more successful in attracting and retaining romantic and sexual partners. It is based on the idea that individuals at the top of the hierarchy are more attractive to potential partners due to their perceived status and success.

However, it is important to note that the socio-sexual hierarchy is a controversial concept and has been criticized for perpetuating harmful gender stereotypes and promoting a narrow definition of masculinity. Some argue that the hierarchy is not only unrealistic but also damaging, as it can lead to the marginalization of those who do not fit the mold.

Let's explore how alpha males stack up to other males in the socio-sexual hierarchy:

Alpha male vs beta male

A beta male is often seen as the second tier in the social hierarchy, below the alpha males but above the omega males. They are typically characterized as being the "nice guy" and appear to be less confident, dominant, and successful than alpha males, but still possess some leadership qualities. Here are some defining beta male traits:

Dependence on the approval of others:

Research suggests that beta males tend to have lower self-esteem and place a high value on the approval and acceptance of others. They may be more dependent on the validation of others to feel good about themselves.

Difficulty in making decisions:

A beta male may struggle with making tough decisions and may rely on the guidance and approval of others in order to feel confident in their choices.

Difficulty in assertiveness:

Having difficulty expressing their own needs and desires and struggling with assertiveness is a common male personality trait of a beta male. They may also have difficulty standing up for themselves or advocating for their own interests.

Lack of ambition:

Beta males may lack ambition and may not be as driven or competitive compared to the alpha male personality type.

It is important to note that these traits are not necessarily negative or problematic in and of themselves. However, they may affect an individual's social status and success in certain situations. It is also important to note that not all individuals who exhibit these traits are necessarily beta males, and the concept of the beta male is a stereotype that is not applicable to all individuals.

Alpha male vs delta male

Alpha male - Alpha male vs Delta male

Delta males are characterized by a number of different traits. They tend to be competitive and assertive, but can also be arrogant, aggressive, and self-centered. They typically have very high expectations for themselves and others, and can sometimes struggle to empathize with other people's experiences or perspectives.

Other common characteristics of delta males include being highly strategic in their thinking and decision-making, being strategic in their interactions with others, and having an extremely strong drive for success. Overall, delta males are ambitious, driven individuals who value achievement above all else. However, they may also struggle to form meaningful relationships or connect on an emotional level with others.

In comparison, an alpha male tends to be more easy-going, laid-back, and confident in his abilities. He tends to be less competitive and assertive than a delta male but is still able to get things done when necessary. Additionally, an alpha male typically has lower expectations for himself and others and is more open and receptive to different ideas and ways of thinking.

Alpha male vs gamma male

Alpha male - Alpha male vs Gamma male

Unlike beta males, a gamma male typically has more self-esteem and is often viewed as a natural leader. He tends to be highly competitive and focused on achieving success, but is also able to empathize with others' perspectives and experiences.

Gamma males are typically characterized as taking action and making quick decisions when necessary, while also being able to adapt their approach as needed. Additionally, they are often seen as charismatic and charming individuals who are skilled at navigating different social situations. However, this can sometimes cause them to be perceived as manipulative or overly self-absorbed by others.

In comparison, an alpha male is typically more confident and dominant than gamma men He may be viewed as a natural leader, but can also struggle with showing empathy for others' perspectives and experiences. Additionally, an alpha male may be perceived as less strategic in his thinking and decision-making than a gamma male, since he tends to prefer being direct and straightforward in most situations. However, this can also make him more likely to accomplish his goals and achieve success.

Alpha male vs sigma male

Alpha male - Alpha male vs Sigma male

Alpha males and sigma males are two types of men who have vastly different approaches to life, but also have some similarities. An alpha male is typically defined as a man who takes the lead in most situations and possesses a high level of self-respect. He is often confident, assertive, and self-assured. A sigma male is more on the quiet and reserved side and is often seen as a loner.

There are some key differences between an alpha male and a sigma male, but they do share some common ground. For example, both types of men tend to be very goal-oriented, driven individuals who like to take charge. They also tend to be very competitive and excel at most things that they do. However, alpha males tend to be more extroverted and sociable, while sigma males are often more introverted, preferring to spend time alone or with a small group of close friends.

Another key difference between these two types of men is their approach to relationships and dating. Alpha males typically enjoy being in the spotlight, and they will often put their own needs and desires first when it comes to dating. Sigma men, on the other hand, prefer to let relationships develop at a more natural pace. They are much less likely to be overly aggressive or forceful during dates, preferring instead to take things slow and see where things go.

While an alpha male and a sigma male are often seen as two very different types of men, they do share some commonalities as well. Ultimately, what matters most is that both types of men know who they are, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and appreciate the values that make them unique.

Alpha male vs omega male

Alpha male - Alpha male vs Gamma male

Omega males are often seen as the lowest tier in the social hierarchy, below the alpha males and beta males. They are typically characterized as being the least confident, dominant, and successful individuals. In comparison to alpha males, omega males may exhibit the following traits:

Low self-confidence:

Omega males may have low self-confidence and may struggle with feelings of self-doubt and insecurity. They may lack the assertiveness needed to compete with alpha men or the confidence needed to form relationships.

Difficulty in attracting romantic and sexual partners:

Omega males may struggle with attracting and retaining romantic and sexual partners due to their lower social status and perceived attractiveness. They may be more likely to resort to manipulation or deception in order to gain the attention of potential partners.

Passive and submissive behavior:

Omega males are often seen as passive, submissive individuals who prefer to follow rather than lead. They may not take an active role in social situations, instead choosing to observe from the sidelines. This may make it more difficult for them to achieve success or gain recognition within a social group.

Overall, omega males are often seen as weaker and less successful than alpha males. However, they may also be viewed as more sensitive and empathetic individuals who simply prefer to operate in the background. Despite this perceived weakness, omega males may also exhibit some valuable qualities, such as their ability to listen and support others. As a result, they can be an important asset in certain social situations or relationships.

Examples of alpha males in the media

It is difficult to definitively identify the top 3 alpha men in the media, as the concept of the alpha male is subjective and can vary from person to person. However, here are three male personalities who are often cited as examples of alpha males in the media:

1. Jay Gatsby from "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald:

Jay Gatsby is often considered an alpha male due to his natural charisma and charm, as well as his desire for success and recognition. These qualities allow him to effortlessly win the hearts of most women throughout the novel, including Daisy Buchanan. He is also able to establish himself within New York high society, despite his humble beginnings as a poor young man from the Midwest.

2. Walter White from "Breaking Bad" by Vince Gilligan:

Walter White exudes confidence and exhibits many of the typical alpha male traits, including determination, intelligence, and ambition. He starts out as a humble high school chemistry teacher who eventually taps into his aggressive side and transforms into a ruthless drug kingpin, despite significant obstacles on the way.

3. Tony Stark from the "Iron Man" movie franchise by Marvel Studios:

Tony Stark is one of the most powerful and influential alpha males in media today. He is the brilliant founder of Stark Industries, an extremely successful and innovative technology company. He is also a skilled fighter, inventor, and businessman who is able to use his status and influence to achieve success in multiple areas of life.

Again, it is important to note that these individuals are only a few examples of alpha males in the media and that the concept of the alpha male is subjective and can vary from person to person. Overall, alpha males are highly successful individuals who often dominate social situations and lead others with confidence and charisma.

However, they can also be seen as arrogant or aggressive due to their dominant personalities. Despite this distinction, there is no single definition of an alpha male, as the concept can vary greatly depending on social context and personal perspective. Nevertheless, they are often seen as leaders who achieve success through hard work and determination.​

Why is the idea of the ‘alpha male’ so disliked?

The idea of the ‘Alpha male’ is often viewed negatively by people because it suggests that only certain types of men can be considered attractive or successful. This belief reinforces gender stereotypes and ignores the fact that many different kinds of quality men can be desirable, confident, and successful.

The ‘alpha male' stigma

The alpha male stigma refers to the negative connotations and stereotypes that are often associated with alpha males. These stereotypes can include qualities such as aggressive dominance, self-entitlement, and a lack of empathy. These views not only tend to imply that only an arrogant person can be an alpha male, but they can be harmful and damaging to those who do not fit the mold.

One of the main criticisms of the alpha male stereotype is that it reinforces harmful gender roles. It suggests that men should be aggressive, dominant, and successful in order to be considered true "alpha," and it can lead to a narrow and unhealthy definition of masculinity.

The alpha male stigma can also be damaging to those who do not fit the mold, as it can lead to feelings of inadequacy and a lack of self-worth. It can also contribute to the marginalization and discrimination of those who do not conform to the alpha male stereotype.

Do we need to ‘reframe’ the toxic symbology of the alpha male?

Overall, the alpha male stigma is a negative and harmful aspect of the concept of the alpha male, and it is important to recognize and challenge these stereotypes in order to create a more inclusive and healthy society.

One strategy for overcoming the harmful effects of this toxic symbology is to promote positive representations of masculinity that are more in line with our modern views on gender and equality (e.g. as with the recently coined term "Yogurt Male"). This can be done through media portrayals, educational programs, and other efforts that encourage men to explore their emotions and embrace their feminine sides in a healthy way.

If we can reframe the concept of becoming an alpha male in a more positive light, then we can begin to chip away at some of the toxic attitudes and stereotypes that have defined masculinity for so long. Ultimately, this will lead to a healthier, more inclusive society where everyone is free to be themselves without fear of discrimination or judgment.

Check out Building a better business: how to identify and correct negative workplace culture for good ideas on how to apply the above to the workplace.


Overall, the concept of the alpha personality is subjective and can vary from person to person. It’s important to remember that there are many forms of masculinity and that each individual should be free to express themselves as they see fit without fear of judgment or discrimination.

The nine true alpha traits provided in this article offer a helpful starting point for recognizing what traits define an alpha male but it's also key to consider how these qualities might contribute to toxic symbology within society. To become an alpha male and combat negative impacts, we must reframe our views on the idea of the alpha male by promoting positive representations through media portrayals, educational programs, and other initiatives designed to create more inclusive definitions of masculine identity.

By doing so, we can help create healthier societies where everyone feels accepted regardless of their personality type.

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About Julian Lewis

Julian Lewis is a driven and accomplished professional with a passion for driving positive change in the business world. As the co-founder and COO at Zella Life, a coaching on-demand platform, he is working to bridge the diversity gap between diverse talent and internal team leaders. His own experience as a professional of color in a Fortune 500 company led him to discover the limitations for advancement that many professionals like himself face. Determined to reach his full potential, Julian became an established business coach and entrepreneur, committed to supporting others who have been culturally conditioned to remain silent in their pursuit of personal and professional growth.

Today, Julian is a recognized corporate trainer, coach, and leader, known for his ability to leverage real-life experiences and evidence-based methodologies to affect positive change within individuals and organizations. As the leader of Zella Life's coaching division, he is dedicated to empowering individuals and businesses to achieve their full potential. Julian's unique perspective and passion for coaching make him a valuable asset to any organization.