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The Alpha Male: 65 Traits of a Real Alpha Man & True Secrets to Be One Yourself

Do you want to learn how to be an alpha male? Here’s everything you need to know, including the good and the bad, to bring out the best alpha traits in you.

alpha male

There are different kinds of men in the world. But, a type of man that always stands outside and above the rest of them, and has been the topic of a lot of conversations lately, is the alpha male.

When we say “alpha man,” you probably think of a charismatic, mysterious man who has it all; the money, the women, and the freedom to live his life by his own rules.

So why is an alpha male so enigmatic and yet, so elusive?

All guys dream of being an alpha, but hardly a few actually have the traits it takes to be him. That’s why we’ve got the secret tips to help you unlock the inner alpha male in yourself!

Who is the alpha male?

In the animal kingdom, the alpha male of a pack is the one with the most brute strength and courage. But in a man’s world, an alpha male is more than just that.

To put it simply, an alpha male is a man who wants to survive more than anyone else. He wants to lead life to the fullest and achieve all that he hopes to achieve. But that doesn’t mean he’ll survive better than anyone else or achieve more than anyone else.

[Read: What it takes to be a real man the way he should be]

But don’t be mistaken. Many people still think of an alpha male as a person who steps over people to get what he wants. But that way of thinking is outdated. Being kind and treating people with respect are valued more than they used to be.

And alpha males have changed to reflect that. Instead of being pushy or taking others for granted, an alpha male is a man who knows who he is and what he wants out of life. But his actions are done with the benefit of other people in mind, too. [Read: How to be a badass in 25 awesomely bad ways]

Can anyone become an alpha male?

Yes, anyone can become an alpha male. But you need to have integrity, inner strength, and a good heart if you’re going to be a natural alpha male. [Read: Here’s how to be masculine without being a jerk]

For example, you have to have a solid sense of self-worth and know who you are. You also need to be proactively building your life and your future. 

And you should also express your values through your career, family, lifestyle, and all other relationships. 

But in order to become an alpha male, you first need to discover who you really are and what you stand for. [Read: Do girls like shy guys who don’t make a bold move?]

Once you have that figured out, you can build a life that you’re happy with. And you’ll be filled with the typical alpha males’ confidence.

Is it good to be an alpha male? 

Alpha males have gotten a bad rep in recent years because of so-called “influencers” who go on the internet to spread harmful, outdated, and misogynistic ideas of what an alpha male is. However, true alpha males have many good qualities.

An alpha male is a leader in the best sense of the word. People look up to him because he is assertive and can take charge of any situation. [Read: How to be dominant – 15 calm and firm ways to be the real alpha]

But he’s also very kind and respectful to other people. So, he has the “best of both worlds.” He is strong and assertive, yet he can be kind and gentle at the same time.

And that’s the best combination of all!

Alpha is situational

Knowing how to be an alpha male is situational.

For example, if you’re a father to a 3-year-old, you’re the king in that environment. However, in your office with your boss, you probably aren’t.

But you can always find ways to maintain a sense of freedom. [Read: 15 reasons why nice guys finish last all the time]

Here are 7 keys to maintaining an alpha mindset, in any environment:

1. Maintain a sense of playfulness even under pressure

Now, no one is telling you to be inappropriate or childish. You shouldn’t be acting like the “class clown” in the office.

However, if you are able to keep a smile on your face, or crack an appropriate joke or two, even in the face of stress and pressure, people will look at you as someone whose confidence and self-assuredness can hold up the weight of the world.

2. Good posture

Alpha males are truly the embodiment of confidence. So, you wouldn’t expect to see an alpha male hunched over with their head held down. Instead, you’d expect to see an alpha male hold themself up with a straight back and a head held high.

If you assume the posture of an alpha male, people will automatically respect you, even if you don’t feel like an alpha male yourself.

3. Not nodding excessively

This may sound trivial, but actually little body language clues like this reveal a lot about a person.

For instance, if a person nods excessively during a conversation, they’re not just letting the other person know that they’re listening and understanding. What they’re actually revealing is that they’re people-pleasers who over-emphasize their interactions with people because they’re insecure that they’re not “good enough.”

However, an alpha male is too self-assured to be a people-pleaser. Now, he’d never be rude, but he wouldn’t feel the need to seem overly enthusiastic as a ploy to keep people close to him. He knows that he’s valuable enough for friendship and respect as he is.

4. Using words such as ‘sure,’ ‘I see,’ and ‘right’ rather than ‘yes’ and ‘okay’

Again, little clues in conversations actually reveal a lot about a person’s character.

If you respond to your boss with simple ‘yes’ and ‘okay’ answers, you’re subconsciously admitting their dominance over you; you’re bending your knee, so to speak.

However, if you respond with more affirmative words like ‘sure,’ ‘I see,’ and ‘right,’ you’re maintaining an equal playing field where one person is not dominating over another. That’s because you’re meeting them with intelligence, proving that you understand them and that your intellectual prowess is equal and your opinions are equally valued.

5. Being honest with what you think

In a meeting full of people who are staying quiet out of fear of speaking their mind, an alpha male will confidently share his thoughts. That’s because he doesn’t need external validation from others to feel good about himself.

If others don’t agree with him, or even judge him for what he has to say, it’s water off a duck’s back.

6. Be unafraid to disagree

Building off of the idea that an alpha male isn’t a people pleaser, he also wouldn’t be afraid of conflict.

So, he doesn’t mind disagreeing with someone. In fact, he does so with no hesitation, as he has no problem defending himself and explaining his views.

7. Not being perfect

Chasing perfection is an insecure man’s game. Alpha males don’t even attempt to strive for perfection, because they know that it isn’t real. Instead, being the confident man that an alpha male is, he will embrace who he is and make no attempt to hide his flaws.

It’s that kind of brutal self-honesty that people respect in an alpha male.

The main characteristics of an alpha male

For some men, being an alpha male comes more naturally than it does for others. For them, it takes more than a lesson in life skills to become that guy. [Read: Things that turn a girl on sexually about a guy]

Use these characteristics of an alpha male to find out if you’ve got that in you.

1. Strength

An alpha male is strong. If he doesn’t have brute strength, he has loads of mental strength to think under pressure. [Read: 29 secrets to be way more masculine and manly without being an A-hole to others]

2. A leader

An alpha male is always a leader. He doesn’t try to be one, he instinctively takes the lead when the circumstances come his way.

3. Will to win 

He has the will to win and will do anything it takes as long as he gets what he wants. He always tries to be the last man standing.

4. Ambitious

He’s a dreamer and is full of ambitions. He doesn’t think small and is full of ideas that other people haven’t begun to comprehend. [Read: 60 perfect traits to be a good boyfriend that’ll make you better than the best!]

5. Competitive

An alpha male is extremely competitive and takes immense pleasure in winning over his rivals.

6. Charismatic

He’s charismatic, but not necessarily charming. He inspires everyone around him and awes people through his dreams and ideas. [Read: How to charm a girl and flatter her into liking you]

7. Challenging

He doesn’t shy away from challenges. In fact, he always goes looking for challenges.

8. Confident

An alpha male doesn’t mind silence in a conversation because he’s not nervous. He’s extremely confident and doesn’t need anyone else’s approval for anything.

9. Rule breaker

He doesn’t follow rules and he paves his own path whenever he sees an opportunity. Almost always, he makes his own fortune using his own means. [Read: How to be a bad boy – 14 wild *and legal* bad traits women love]

10. Inspiration

An alpha male inspires others, and almost all men he meets want to be more like him. He’s a role model, and all guys either hate him or envy him.

11. Ingenuity

He’s smart, be it street smart or book smart. [Read: Sapiosexual – what it means, 41 signs and ways to attract them with intelligence]

12. Optimistic

Optimism oozes out of his every orifice. He’s extremely optimistic and is always convinced that what he’s doing is the right thing and the right way.

13. Protective instinct

His protective instinct is always on. He’s alert and aware of what’s going on around him all the time. [Read: The right way to deal with your girl’s angry ex-boyfriend]

14. Calculative

An alpha male knows his plans. He knows what he’s doing, and approaches his goals with a seemingly reckless and yet calculative mind.

15. Egotism

His ego is unaffected by the opinion of others. He doesn’t care what other people think of him because he’s that self-assured.

16. He draws people

Every other guy and girl wants to be around him. He draws people in with his ideas and his visions, or with his dreams. [Read: 31 secrets to be charismatic and awe and draw people to you in a snap]

17. Risk taker

What others would call mad recklessness, he calls his life. An alpha male loves taking risks, especially when he believes that it would work in his favor.

18. Focus

An alpha male is very focused on his ideas. His determination pushes him through adversities. [Read: Type A & Type B personality – 69 traits, the good, bad and who’s a better date]

19. He creates his destiny

An alpha male writes his own fate. He doesn’t believe in fate and has a high internal locus of control. He believes that any events in his life are a result of his own actions.

20. He’s dependable

An alpha male is a solution-finder. He’s dependable and a workhorse, and won’t rest until he’s convinced he has what he needs. [Read: 15 reasons why nice guys finish last all the time]

The dark traits of an alpha male

An alpha male does have a lot of fascinating and impressive positive traits. And that’s what makes him so desired and awed. But as with anything that has an extremely positive side, there’s also a negative and dark side.

Read these 10 dark characteristics of an alpha male to find out more about the dark side of an alpha mind.

1. Arrogance

With a lot of confidence, unfortunately, comes arrogance. Alpha males are very arrogant, even if they don’t reveal this trait to the rest of the world. [Read: The biggest dating turn-offs for girls]

2. Intense rivalry

The will to win of an alpha male almost always turns into rivalry. Like in a death match, an alpha male takes all pitfalls and challenges personally, and that can cloud his better judgment.

3. Perfectionist

Remember how we said that alpha males don’t chase perfect? Well, that’s because they think that they’re near-enough perfect as they are. He can be very unforgiving when others around him don’t match up to his level of perfection.

4. Bullheaded 

He can be very stubborn when he truly believes in something, even if he’s completely wrong. [Read: How to get a girl to notice you without even talking to her]

5. Perseverance

He doesn’t know when to stop pursuing something because he’s so overly confident about his own abilities. He may achieve what he wants, but the journey may drain him.

6. Ruthlessness

Anything that comes in the way of an alpha male’s pursuit, he tries to eliminate it.

7. Recklessness

His desire to win may be so intense, that he may end up turning himself into a reckless madman who doesn’t weigh the odds before doing something. [Read: Annoying boyfriend traits and how to avoid them]

8. Dominating

Alpha males can be very dominating, to the point where others could fear them or get frustrated with their behavior.

9. Unapolagetic 

An alpha male is unapologetic if he assumes he’s right, which he almost always does.

10. Pressure

He thrives under pressure and loves it. Even if it takes a toll on his health or the well-being of others around him, he continues to live life on the edge. [Read: 15 things girls look for in a guy to fall for him]

How do you deal with an alpha person? 

You might be wondering by now how to deal with an alpha male. After all, while most of them have positive traits, some can have negative ones that we just discussed. So, here are a few tips.

1. Let him take the lead

Since alpha males are assertive and like to be the leader in most situations, just let him do it. Even if you want to, that doesn’t mean that he thinks any less of you. He enjoys doing it and thinks it is helping other people when he does take the lead.

2. Calmly communicate your grievances

A good alpha male actually wants to hear about the things that are bothering you so you can fix them together. [Read: 42 secrets to communicate better in a relationship and ways to fix a lack of it]

So, just tell him what’s on your mind. If he has more negative alpha traits, you can still tell him, but be even calmer as you do so.

3. Be straightforward

Alpha males are direct and straightforward with other people, and they want you to do the same with them.

So, don’t feel like you have to beat around the bush because you’re afraid of hurting his feelings. He doesn’t mind and actually prefers you to be direct with him. [Read: How to stop being passive-aggressive and get out of the toxic state of mind]

4. Be confident 

Because an alpha male is confident, he respects other people who are confident as well. So, even if you don’t have the best self-esteem, “fake it ‘til you make it” with him. He will respect you, and he expects you to do the same for yourself.

How do you reconnect to your Inner Alpha?

First, eliminate your doubts.

Let’s answer your real question – “what if I get the girl by being alpha but get beat up by other alphas?” [Read: 40 signs of high testosterone what it means, causes, and ways to increase it]

Ever seen rams butting heads in the wild? Painful.

There’s a good reason for doubt. Violence is generally far less common in modern society than it once was. However, we’re still wired to lower our charisma in situations where there could be ‘superior,’ dangerous competition.

Imagine the tribal days of humans. Being an alpha male would potentially have meant competition, in the form of a stick aimed at your head. [Read: The omega male and 15 traits that make him better than the alpha male]

But actually, embracing chaos is good. Chaos provides opportunities that your safer competitors won’t have.

Those who play to win end up the safest bet in the game of attraction and success. They learn the fastest through feedback. 

As the world now is far less dangerous than it was, being an alpha male offers enormous opportunities with far reduced risks of mortality. [Read: The 35 best manly drinks, what makes them masculine, and must-know secrets]

The key motto here is: play it to win or be average.

Things you can do to become an alpha male

If you want to become an alpha male, here is what you should do.

1. Know there’s not one alpha

An alpha male can be skinny or overweight, loud or quietly simmering, outspoken, or a man of action [Read: Prince Charming traits that make girls swoon]

2. Watch a movie with a romantic alpha lead and take note

The key thing to know is whatever you resonate with, admire, or fear in others is also inside you.

For example, watch a movie with a positive and powerful male lead and see your own alpha traits, such as:

a. Impetuousness

b. Goes after the girl he desires even at risk to himself and approaches her directly, playing it to win

c. Has a look in his eyes that he will go to any lengths to win

d. Obsessive and borderline crazy

e. Unable to process the meaning of being balanced or average

f. Dressed to kill

g. Speaks with authority and skill

What alpha heartthrob or movie star do you resonate with? [Read: How to be a much better man using the right role model]

3. Practice fearlessness

No one’s born fearless. Fearlessness is a practice. Some begin this practice young, others at an older age. Some people never do and so live restricted by their fears. 

Know fear will always be there. Fearlessness is being bold in the face of fear-emotion. Rise to the occasion. When you have the urge to back down, to pump the brakes, to play safe – do the opposite [Read: Tips to transform you from a nice guy into a real man]

4. Avoid pointless fighting

Sure, everyone gets angry from time to time. But you have to watch how you get angry. There is no reason to fight about anything.

A real alpha male has the ability to talk through his problems, not pick a fight at every turn.

5. Take care of yourself

Have you ever seen an alpha male who was hundreds of pound overweight? No. Alpha males take care of their bodies. They eat right, exercise, and like to keep themselves looking good, especially for the ladies.

6. Never assume you’re great at sex

This is a problem that a lot of guys have – they think they are a freak in bed. But most aren’t. [Read: How to be good at sex – 32 sex secrets that make you the hottest lay]

So, don’t assume that you are. Instead, let your partner tell you what she wants and what feels good. Don’t just assume that your regular “moves” in bed will please her.

7. Don’t seek out numbness

Too many people seek to numb their emotions in a variety of unhealthy ways. For example, they could drink too much alcohol, turn to drugs, or have any other addiction. But alpha males don’t seek numbness. They face their problems head-on.

8. Find happiness in purpose

Alpha males feel like they have a life purpose. They are driven and ambitious and often take on leadership roles in their careers. [Read: What is my purpose in life? How to find meaning when you feel lost]

And they find a lot of happiness in doing this. They enjoy pursuing their dreams and encourage others to do the same.

9. Volunteer

Many alpha males also find value in volunteering their time over their money. Think about all the professional athletes who visit children’s hospitals or volunteer at other charities. Helping others will help you become an alpha male too.

10. Stop waiting on someone to save you

If you’re waiting on someone to save you, then you’re going to be very disappointed. [Read: 22 big signs of a weak man in a relationship that may surprise you]

But do you really want another alpha male swooping in to save you? Of course not. Instead, you need to become the alpha male to save yourself.

11. Don’t rely on other people for happiness

There is nothing worse than an unhappy person who pulls on other people’s positive energy just to make themselves happier. They are clingy and people are uncomfortable around them. So, create your own happiness by having a positive mindset.

12. Be prepared for a fight 

While you should always be prepared for a fight, you also shouldn’t don’t seek them out. [Read: Key differences – protective boyfriend or a controlling boyfriend?]

Don’t start a fight, but stand up for yourself if a bully happens to come along. This is especially true if someone is bullying a woman. You should defend her.

13. Pursue your dreams without embarrassment

You might have some dreams that could seem silly to some people. For example, maybe you want to be a YouTube star or a social media influencer. While they are a long shot, don’t let other people embarrass you for them. Go after your passions.

14. Don’t be afraid to rest

Being an alpha male doesn’t mean that you have to be on the go 24/7. [Read: How to live a simple life and 17 steps to find joy in slowing down]

If you burn yourself out by staying too busy all the time, then you won’t have any time to really enjoy life. So, don’t be afraid to take a break from your life and rest sometimes.

15. Treat yourself well

Alpha males have self-confidence, and that’s part of their irresistible charm. And because they like themselves, they see their own worth.

As a result of that, they treat themselves well. They indulge in their favorite pastimes and are generally good to themselves.

16. Don’t break promises

Unfortunately, there are a lot of flaky people in the world who say they’ll do something, but they never do. [Read: Compromise in a relationship – 17 ways to give and not feel like you lost]

But an alpha male is a man of his word. When he says he’ll do something, he does. So, don’t break any promises that you make to anyone.

17. Define your values and stick to them

You can’t be an alpha male if you don’t know who you are. A lot of people don’t, and so they just flounder through life without their values and morals. So, discover who you really are, draw your boundaries, and don’t let anyone deter you from them.

18. Learn to use your voice

Because the alpha male is the “top dog” of the pack, he has to be a leader too. He can’t just sit and blend in with everyone else. [Read: How to stand up for yourself – get what you want and deserve]

So, don’t be afraid to speak up and have your voice heard. Be brave and tell people what you think and how you feel without fear.

19. Be assertive

Have you ever known an alpha male that wasn’t assertive? Of course not! That’s because being assertive is the essence of an alpha.

Weak men aren’t assertive, but strong men are. So, don’t let other people push you around, and take the leadership role whenever you can.

20. Don’t be a nice guy

With that being said, there is a difference between a “nice” guy and a “good” guy. A nice guy is a doormat and a pushover, and women don’t respect them. [Read: Nice guy syndrome – 16 reasons why girls find them so boring]

But a good guy is someone with self-esteem who is a good person but doesn’t let people push them around. 

21. Build your strength and physical wellness

As we said earlier, an alpha male takes care of himself. And that includes things like building his muscular and mental strength.

He also cares about the health of his body, so he eats right, takes vitamins, and does anything else that will help his physical wellness.

22. Find comfort and fulfillment in yourself

An alpha man knows who he is. And he likes who he is.

Because of that, he doesn’t seek fulfillment or comfort outside of himself. He is comfortable in his own skin and enjoys his own company. [Read: Confident or cocky? 16 subtle signs that split an arrogant and modest man]

23. Express your feelings to a romantic interest openly

A lot of men think that alpha males are emotionally unavailable and can’t open up to people and share their emotions. That’s not necessarily true. 

A real alpha is able to express his feelings to a romantic interest and lets it be known that he desires her. He pursues women honestly and isn’t a player.

24. Respect your romantic partner’s boundaries

Again, alpha males aren’t bullies. They would never force a woman to do anything that she doesn’t want to do. [Read: Healthy relationship boundaries – how to talk about them and set them]

Whether that’s in bed or going skydiving, he won’t push her into doing something that is uncomfortable to her. He respects her boundaries.

Final thoughts

Alphas have fun. Lots of fun.

Enjoy the process. Everything in this feature should be absorbed with the aim of increasing personal pleasure—doing what truly feels fun TO YOU. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.

To paraphrase marketing-pitch expert and alpha, Oren Klaff: ‘this isn’t a dog and pony show, it’s for your own personal enjoyment.’ [Read: The divine masculine – how to awaken the superior man within you]

The key here is to learn to connect with that place inside where your heart skips, adrenaline pumps, and you feel inner freedom.

Note – at first when you’re learning how to be an alpha male, you may mainly feel fear, anxiety, or doubt. 

All of those pent-up emotions are close cousins to excitement and freedom. You’re just interpreting them upside-down.

[Read: 15 things women look for in a man before falling for him]

As awesome as an alpha male may seem, it’s not something all men can be. Now know the real alpha male characteristics, what do you think? Do you have the alpha male in you?

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...