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Alpha Male vs Beta Male

The Quickest Way To Determine If You Are An Alpha Male Or Beta Male

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“So let’s consider other factors or qualities that ought to—but generally don’t—count for much in making a male a “real” man, factors that many men keep in the shadows: vulnerability, empathy, emotional transparency and literacy, the capacity for relational intimacy—all qualities more commonly associated with being female than male.”

Robert Augustus Masters: To Be a Man: A Guide to True Masculine Power

Alpha male vs beta male. 

This is, in my opinion, a debate that is often very misunderstood. 

Let’s get my actual definition for these terms out in the open right away. Then, I will go into detail in explaining them a bit more.

Alpha males seek self-sufficiency… they chase excellence, and succeed when they have met and exceeded their own high standards for themselves

Beta males seek the approval of others… they chase acceptance, and only feel successful when they have been validated by other people

Many People Misunderstand The Idea Of The ‘Alpha Male’

alpha male or beta male

Many people make the mistake of thinking that an ‘alpha male’ is a bully… a man powerful enough to force or intimidate others around him into submission. 

Well, to be really honest, this isn’t the truth. 

Yes, there are probably some ‘alphas’ out there who use bullying tactics to get what they want. 

But it is not a strategy that wins very many points in the long run. 

And eventually, at the end of the road, this type of man will grow to reap the negative benefits of his behavior. 

He will, eventually, be understood for what he truly is. 

A bully. An unkind person. A man only out for himself, giving little to no regard for the people around him

Alpha Males Have A Purpose-Driven Mindset

Make no mistake, an alpha male looks out for number one first. But he has a much bigger mindset at work than just ‘getting what he wants when he wants it.’ 

For the true alpha, there is a purpose at work in his mindset. There is community-building, relationship building, true empathy, and a lot of giving and sacrifice. 

I sincerely believe that humans did not evolve to be alone

We thrive when we work together. 

The only problem is that this practice of working together is sometimes complicated

And today, I believe wholeheartedly that it is made more complicated by the fact that most humans do not understand basic human mating behaviors, that men and women have different mating behaviors, and that even different men and different women may have different mating behaviors

And when you see how mating behaviors influence our social dominance hierarchies, and how our positions within these hierarchies affect our lives… it is little wonder that humans are often confused when trying to figure out how to live and thrive together!

Many men are struggling just to learn how to attract women… much less learning how to build an entire tribe and family around themselves!

But I digress.

Not every man will be an alpha male, just like not every woman will be an alpha woman. 

And to be quite honest, in every family group or social dominance hierarchy, there will usually only be one alpha… be it a man or a woman. 

Sometimes, in human social circles, there will be an alpha male and an alpha female, but they will usually have different, non-competing roles if the tribe is functioning efficiently.

So, what is a beta… and how can we draw distinctions between an alpha and a beta? 

This is a great question. So let’s dive into it. 

Alpha Male Vs Beta Male: The Basics

alpha beta omega

I think the most important thing to understand here is that the idea of what an alpha male is has been greatly distorted by our cultural views on it

Alpha men are not ‘monsters’ who dominate other people and intimidate them into submission. 

But they are leaders. 

Not every man will seek to be an alpha… but there is nothing wrong with that. 

There is nothing wrong with not being an alpha male… just like there is nothing wrong with not being the manager of a company, or the owner of a house. 

It is not even something that a lot of men want. 

The term ‘beta male’ has also been used a lot in our culture as almost a ‘slam’ against men who cannot hold their own against other men. 

The term ‘beta male’ is almost always associated with men who are weak, who do not possess the strength, skill, or tenacity to exist at the top of the social dominance hierarchies. 

And to a point, this is true. But it is also not necessarily black and white. 

Let’s dig into this. 

Alpha Males And Beta Males: What Exactly Are They?

Alpha male men may not always hold alpha status in every one of their social groups. But once they adopt an alpha-male mentality and start to live by those principles (Read the Oath of Kings, my own alpha male code), they will most likely never become betas again

An alpha male is many things. But if we could narrow this down, I would say that alphas are, above all other things… 

  1. Effective leaders
  2. Empathetic community builders
  3. Strong, self-sustaining individuals
  4. Ambitious and continuously striving to grow and better themselves

An alpha male does not necessarily become the top dog because he desires power

He becomes the top dog, rather, because his personal journey to achieve excellence in life often makes him wiser, harder working, more empathetic, more effective, and stronger than the other men and women around him

Defining The Path Of The Alpha Male

A true, longstanding, successful alpha male does not achieve the alpha male status by ‘seizing’ power through aggression, violence, or by hurting other people. 

A true alpha, rather, focuses on his purpose and his journey. He knows what he wants to achieve in life, and he levels up to achieve the excellence that he envisions for himself. 

He does this by prioritizing, living intentionally, applying effort to the things he cares about, and remaining disciplined enough to grow, adapt, and achieve success at a much faster pace, and with greater consistency, than most other humans. 

And in so doing, it is only natural that other humans will begin to fall into step along with him. 

It is also natural that if there are any existing social dominance hierarchies that are vacant of a powerful alpha leader in his social circles, he will likely climb to the top and achieve leadership status among those groups.

Human Social Dominance Hierarchies, However, Are Infinitely Complex

alpha and beta male

But human hierarchies are far more complex than, say, chimpanzee social hierarchies. 

A human may be a part of many different social groups, and may belong to any number of social dominance hierarchies. 

For example… an alpha male might be the leader of his family. He may also be the leader figure among his friend group, and may also be looked to as the dominant figure at the non-profit he volunteers at on the weekends.


Because people trust him. They trust him because he strives to be wise, to treat others well, to foster a more effective community, and because he is empathetic and is willing to take on the vital support-role that true leadership requires. 

But he also chases excellence with great fervor and tenacity. And that makes him extremely effective at whatever he chooses to do.

But he may not be the ‘boss’ at his job. 


Well, he may still exhibit the alpha male mindset at his job… which most likely brings success. 

But that also does not automatically mean that he will rise to the top-position at his job, that he will become the ‘owner’ of the company, or that he will try to seize power for himself by usurping the owner and trying to ‘instate’ himself as the new ‘ruler.’ 

Instead, he might work underneath a boss or manager, learning from an older, more experienced man or woman. He will level up his skills, eventually striking out on his own to start his own company when the times comes to do so. 

At that point, he starts a whole new social dominance hierarchy, and is automatically at the top of that hierarchy. 

And if he fills the role well, he will prosper… and those who choose to fall into step beside him will also prosper.

Alpha Males Are Not Only Leaders – They Are Also Supportive Of Their Tribe

Many people don’t realize that one of the most important roles of a leader is a support role

An effective leader does not stand on top of people and order them around! 

An effective leader cares for those who walk with him. He nurtures them. He tends to their wounds when they are hurt, provides encouragement in hard times, shares food with them when resources grow scarce, inspires hope when people are feeling down, and provides effective planning and leadership to help the group accomplish bigger and better things. 

He also functions as a protector for those who are weaker and who cannot stand up for themselves. 

Chimpanzees are very fascinating this way, actually. Chimpanzee groups generally always have an alpha male among them… and one very interesting thing to note about effective and well-liked chimpanzee alpha males is that they come up for the underdog when fights occur within the group, even if that means going against a family member or a friend. 

Effective chimpanzee alpha males are actually surprisingly non-biased when it comes to keeping conflict in the tribe to a minimum, and protecting the unity of the tribe. 

It is quite fascinating… and really, their behavior is not so surprising or different from ours. 

Who is more likely to earn the respect, love, and admiration of a group of people… a tyrannical bully, or a kind, wise, empathetic leader who supports and nurtures the other humans around them? 

Chimpanzees are very aware of the difference… and so are humans! 

So What Is A Beta Male?

And now we move, in our discussion, to the topic of the beta male

In the alpha male vs beta male debate, many people see the alpha and beta relationship like this. 

The alpha is the leader, betas are followers. 

But while this can be true, I actually don’t agree with it. I think that this reasoning does not address the key component to the core motivations of alphas and betas in the human species, and how they differ from one-another. 

Alpha males seek self-sufficiency… they chase excellence, and succeed when they have met and exceeded their own high standards for themselves

Beta males seek the approval of others… they chase acceptance, and only feel successful when they have been validated by other people

This is not a perfect definition. But it is very close to the heart of what makes an alpha an alpha, and a beta a beta. 

When we start here, and then follow all of the little threads that spread out… we can see how alphas and betas are actually completely fundamentally different. 

Alphas, because they seek self-sufficiency, tend not to rely on the opinions of others… while betas actually require approval from other people to feel validated

This is also what makes alphas different when it comes to leadership. 

Alphas will rise to leadership naturally, because their core values are dedicated to leveling themselves up and becoming a ‘pillar’ for their tribe

While betas, on the other hand, will lust after the role of leader and strive to achieve it because they want the power, the validation, and the ‘good feelings’ that come from being seen as the ‘top dog.’ 

The true alpha male mindset does not seek to be recognized as a ‘top dog.’ 

It seeks to become the best man in the room through the pursuit of excellence, hard work, practice, and discipline. 

What If You Are Not An Alpha Male?

what if you are not an alpha male

Not every man will want to be an alpha male… and that is fine. 

You are free to be what you want to be, and you are free to pursue whatever path you find to be best for you. 

Personally, I wish that all men (and all women) would seek the path of self-sufficiency, excellence, and personal advancement in their lives. 

I would love to see all humans take back their power from the chaos by living more intentionally

I would love to see more men becoming strong, reliable pillars of their tribes, and I would love to see more men winning with women, learning how to talk to women, growing their own families, and succeeding at everything they want in life. 

I personally believe that the alpha male journey is the best way to accomplish this

And I also know this… that the path of the beta male, one where we rely on the validation of others for happiness, is a path that only leads to misery. 

When you give your happiness away to other people like that, you give away all of your power

That is the whole problem. That is what I’m speaking out against, and trying to warn other humans about! 

But there is a big difference between not being an alpha, and being a beta

Those are not necessarily always the same things… and I think that it is very important that we all understand that. 

In Conclusion

Hopefully, this post has helped you to understand the alpha male vs beta male discussion a bit better. 

I also hope that I have helped to clarify what each one is, what makes them what they are, and how alpha males should strive to be strong, effective leaders in their tribes. 

The world needs strong men. So let’s step up to the plate and become true kings… as nature intended

Until next time… go with grace, my brothers and sisters. 

And NEVER give up your power! 

Joshua K. Sigafus