Do you think you’re alpha? Some people call it “being a chad”. Others refer to alphas as having “big dick energy”, or “BDE”. It’s that hard-to-define quality that comes not from the literal size of one’s package, but the ease with which one can make other people believe it.
The idea of the human “alpha male” comes from observations of other social mammals, such as wolves and baboons, where a dominant male typically holds sway over the rest of the group. While it’s debatable whether this applies to humans on a biological or anthropological level, it is clear that some men stand above others due to some qualities they possess.
When we talk about that near-intangible quality of “alpha-ness”, we usually discuss it in the context of human social dominance. The way many of us think about it, alphas tend to live more, and live better because of this perceived dominance over other people. And who wouldn’t want that for themselves?
The problem lies when we confuse douchebag behavior with being alpha. While cynical betas may think they’re the same at first, it’s clear that when their principles are put to the test, alphas are able to rise above, where douchebags do pretty much the opposite.
We’ve compiled a short list of things alphas do. Read through it to find out if you’re an alpha, a beta, or a douchebag.
1.) You do things your way
This is perhaps the #1 sign that someone is an alpha. Alphas have their own mind and are not easily swayed by consensus or popular opinion. In fact, they know that consensus is often the natural result of weak leadership. This doesn’t mean that they have to go out of their way to be contrarian or different, though. They may heed advice or listen to feedback, but the decisions they make are ultimately their own. Listen to the Frank Sinatra song again. It’s a legit way to live. Unless you sing it on videoke, of course.
2.) You don’t weasel out of responsibilities
This is what separates douchebags from alphas. An alpha will accept the consequences of the bad decisions they make. They’re the first to own up to their mistakes and obligations. They also realize that when someone under their leadership makes a mistake, they are also responsible for that person’s actions. As you might have noticed, you don’t really see that many alpha politicians and business leaders these days.
3.) You’re constantly improving
Ending the day without being better than you were the day before should be unthinkable for you. Not only are you constantly seeking ways to be a better person, you also prioritize exceeding your level at every endeavor. Whatever discipline or interest you choose to take, you’re always figuring out some way to be better at it. A non-alpha will rest on his laurels or fail to find ways to add to their skills.
4.) You don’t feel the need to prove your masculinity, your brains, or how right you are
For you, the knowledge that you are improving yourself and the world around you is already enough. You don’t need anyone to tell you how great you are. And if anyone did, you’re not the type to believe the hype. Openly craving for external validation is a sure sign that you’re not an alpha. The next time you feel like one-upping someone’s awesome story because you want people to talk about you or using big words for no reason than to just show off – don’t.
5.) You’re generous but fair
You enjoy giving to the people close to you, but you also set reasonable limits on that generosity. You don’t count the number of times other people pick up the tab but neither do you insist on paying for everything, all the time as some kind of power play. If you’re a business owner, it means paying the right wages. If you’re a parent, it means spoiling your family but letting your spouse and your children be their own people, with responsibilities and all.
6.) You know how to dress
Dressing well does not mean dressing fancy, nor does it mean wearing expensive clothes. It means understanding the form and function of clothes. It means dressing in a way that both earns you respect and allows you to express yourself all at the same time. It means you know how to dress for an occasion, and how to look good even when you’re cutting loose.
7.) You take care of yourself
Not every alpha male has 6-pack, but every alpha male is in reasonably good health, given the circumstances. An alpha does not let gluttony, laziness, and other vices take command of their own capacity to excel and be a leader.
Taking care of oneself also applies to social capital as well. An alpha may attract conflict because of their ambition and confidence, but they don’t seek mudslinging or violence unless it’s necessary.
8.) You know how to please your woman (or man. Sure.)
Contrary to popular belief, being alpha has nothing to do with sexual preference – even the LGBT community has their own share of alphas (and douchebags). Regardless of what way you swing, when you choose to have a partner, you choose to give as much as is possible or appropriate in the relationship. You do your best to learn what your partner wants and you try your best to give it to them. Alphas may be dominant socially, but they are not selfish or overbearing in intimate matters. Unless of course, that’s what their partner wants.
9.) You’re working towards your ambitions
Everybody wants to rule the world, but it seems very few people want to put in the work needed. Sure, we’re all born with different circumstances and a lot of us start with incredible disadvantages and unrealistic odds of success. This will not bother an alpha. An alpha will either readjust their goals or work differently in order to achieve their dreams.
10.) They respect other people’s individuality
Alphas rarely, if ever, have to coerce or force others to do anything. Unlike try-hard douchebags, they respect the fact that each person has a will of their own, as well as their own dreams and aspirations. If they ever find themselves in a position of being harsh to someone, it’s usually borne out of love or concern, not a desire to dominate others.
These are just some of the ways alpha males reveal themselves to the world. Being alpha won’t necessarily come easy to everyone, but it can be done. All it takes is to put in the work improving yourself and the world around you, and less time spent thinking about what others think.