Beta Male: The Opposite of Alpha Male
Defining Beta: The Real “Beta Male” Meaning
You can ask around and get a hundred different answers for what an alpha/beta/sigma male actually is. Men used to just be categorized into two main sets, alpha and beta, but now the internet has taken it upon itself to continue to subdivide and recategorize men, resulting in the emergence of “sigma” and “omega” males. We’ll cover these terms a bit throughout, but for the most part, we’ll be sticking to the typical “alpha” and “beta” men models. So, what the heck is a “beta” male, and that’s an “alpha” male? Alpha’s better right? Well, not exactly.
Alpha Male Debunked
Let’s start off with stereotypes. The typical alpha male is the guy that everyone wants to be. He’s strong, he’s in shape, he makes hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, he’s constantly hooking up with different women, he owns a $100+ thousand dollar supercar, and he holds a high-level executive job in some big company. It’s important to note that this guy is typically described as radiating confidence (remember, we’re stereotyping here). What about the beta male?
Beta males are typically thought of as the loser guys you settle for in your thirties. Lacking any ambition or sense of self-worth, these guys work some crap job at a burger joint, dropped out of college (or didn’t bother because it was “too hard”), don’t make any decisions for themselves, and are usually single. If they do have a girlfriend, it’s a one-sided relationship. Their girlfriend makes the rules, bossing them around 24/7, and since they lack any backbone they spend all their time succumbing to the demands and requirements of their significant other. Who’d wanna date that guy?
Ok, now we’ve gone over the stereotypes, so let’s pierce the veil and figure out what these terms actually mean, and what these guys actually look like. We’ll start with the alpha male.
An alpha male is categorized by confidence, self-worth, drive, and determination. We typically think of the modern “successful” man as this guy, but that’s most often not the case. Have you ever heard the jokes about men driving big trucks or loud cars compensating for something? That doesn’t sound like a very confident fellow to me! Most of the type, typical “alpha” males ARE compensating for something, whether it be something in the bedroom or in the rest of their lives. There’s nothing wrong with owning flashy things, being in shape, or sleeping around, but when you only engage in these activities to gain the approval of others, that’s beta behavior, not alpha. In order to be an alpha, you have to have self-confidence. If you rely on others for validation, then you’re the polar opposite of the image you’re trying so hard to present.
Beta Male Characteristics
We’re not saying that every in-shape, rich, successful guy is truly a beta male in disguise; we’re just pointing out things usually aren’t all that they seem. If a guy would continue to follow the same routine even if others ignored him, then he’s probably a true alpha. True alphas only need self-validation, not external validation. They do things to impress themselves, not others. Now let’s go over some common beta male characteristics!
As we mentioned, beta males are typically seen as the “losers” who lack any ambition, aren’t going anywhere in life, lack a backbone, and let everyone just walk all over them. You know that one kid in high school who always got picked on but never stood up for themselves? That’s a beta male.
Of course, things usually aren’t as simple as they seem, and that’s really the case with beta males. Truth be told, many “beta” guys are actually “alpha” dudes in disguise! Remember how we said the core quality of an alpha male is independence? That’s the defining factor. Let’s look at a typical “beta”, and see if he’s actually an alpha in disguise.
Ok, so let’s picture some random guy: we’ll call him “Fred”. On the surface, Fred is making it, but just barely. Unlike most people who live in actual houses, Fred owns a trailer he bought for $1,500, fixed up himself, and now only pays $500 a month for bills. He has a job, earns $45k a year, and hasn’t gotten a raise in years. He’s held his current job for twenty years (only received two raises during that time), but he could easily start earning more money simply by switching districts. Fred lives alone (unless you count his dog Rosko). No ambition, right? Not quite.
See, the thing about Fred is that he loves sailing. Sailing is his true passion; his job is just a way to finance that passion. While others may wake up early to go to the gym, Fred wakes up and starts planning out his next sail route for the weekend. He doesn’t mind his job—the pay is decent and he’s treated OK, but he’s really looking forward to retiring in a few years to go live his dream life on the water. You’re probably wondering how; he’s only been working for ten years! Well, Fred thought ahead.
While he may seem like a lower-middle-class loser with no accomplishments on the outside, behind the scenes Fred has been saving and investing his money for years. Living in his meager trailer isn’t fabulous, but it lowered his expenses enough to allow him to save over $20k per year. Thanks to a combination of tight budgeting and smart stock investments, Fred is just a few years away from the millionaire mark. Once he reaches that milestone, Fred plans on taking his pension and living at sea, leaving his million-plus dollars in his investment accounts.
On the surface, Fred is just a loser with no ambitions who lives alone, owns a trailer, and has held the same dead-end job for twenty years. However, unlike the guy trying to impress everyone around him with fancy cars and trophy wives, Fred isn’t doing it for the validation of others; he’s doing it for himself. As you can see, the “beta” male is often the true “alpha” male, just not in the way you’d expect.
Alpha Male vs Beta Male Behavior Test
If you’ve made it this far then you’re probably wondering which category you’d fall into. Here’s a series of questions aimed at both guy personality types that will help you figure out which one you truly are. The “Yes” answers are beta answers; “No” are alpha answers. Tally up your answers out of these ten questions, and find out where you fall on the spectrum!
Do you often seek the approval of others?
Do you often doubt yourself?
Do you rely on others to make decisions for you?
Would you change your mind on a life decision if your family disapproved?
Does your family have an influence on your romantic pursuits?
Have you ever done something you didn’t want to do because your friends were doing it?
Are you easily pressured into doing things?
Do you find it hard to maintain meaningful relationships?
Are material items an important part of your identity?
Does a large bank balance give you a self of value?
After taking this short quiz and tallying up the results, you’ll probably have an idea of where you fall on the spectrum. If you find yourself engaging in basic beta male behavior most of the time, then you know what you’ll need to work on if you want to truly succeed and find personal fulfillment. That being said, most people don’t fall 100% on either side of the spectrum, so let’s look at some of the sub-divisions the internet has come up with to try and describe these small differences in personality.
Alpha Male vs Beta Male vs Omega male
(and also vs Gamma vs Delta vs Sigma)