Although the terms are quite loaded in contemporary society, there is a lot of merit to using the language of alpha, beta, and even omega, to describe human males, since these designations exist in most other animal communities.
Although every guy is unique, most guys fit generally into one of the above categories. The alpha is the confident and charming leader, the omega the creepy social outcast, and the beta is the shy guy who is often frustrated with his lack of success with his career and with women.
No guy is going to improve in confidence and value if he doesn’t know where he already stands on the social hierarchy.
I’ve recently written an article discussing the existence of alpha and beta males among humans. If you have an issue with those terms, you can take it up there. This essay is to examine beta male traits and characteristics.
If you have a few of these, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a beta, overall. If you have a lot of them, you’re probably a beta male, and have the associated social and career frustrations. But, our website and books explain how to become an alpha male (in the general sense).
Beta Male Traits
Lack of Assertiveness
Beta males typically lack assertive behavior. They get taken advantage of or don’t experience the benefits that come from assertiveness and even aggression (like in a business sense).
Most beta males are passive or passive-aggressive. They will often take insults or criticism lying down. They may tell a woman everything is “fine” when it is not, or let their boss crap on them at work, but when they get alone, things change. The passivity takes its toll. Emotions well up and create problems. This is the dark side of beta male passivity: passive-aggressiveness.
For example, I’ve known beta males who advertise how “nice” they are, and refuse to tackle issues directly for a variety of reasons. However, the anger is eventually released. It’s just released in more unhealthy ways like punching walls, treating family members badly (or violently), or getting secret vengeance on the target (like slashing tires or bad-mouthing someone).
In fact, a relaxed alpha leader isn’t going to abuse his family; it is often the insecure beta male who gets treated badly all day and doesn’t stand up for himself who takes his feelings out on his family in an emotionally unhealthy way, by emotional or even physical abuse. He may also get extremely jealous (see “needy” below). Sadly, “passive and quiet” doesn’t necessarily mean a beta is a nice guy.
Beta males are usually the followers of society. They’re definitely not the top dogs in the social hierarchies. It probably relates to the previous point. Positions of power aren’t typically filled by guys who don’t seek them. Beta males don’t aggressively seek power so they rarely find it.
While alpha males typically forge their own paths and create trends, beta males are those who follow in alpha footsteps. I know a guy who only uses his Facebook page to promote others: musical artists, sports teams, and politicians. They’re the alpha males; he’s the beta. If you use most of your spare time to support someone else, such as always promoting a sports team, religion, musical group, etc., then odds are good you’re a beta. The persons you’re promoting (such as the pope or OSU football players) are the alphas.
Beta Male Characteristics
Prototypical Nice Guy
“Nice guys finish last” is an unfortunate, but many times accurate, phrase. It’s not that nice guys are a bad thing. It’s just that, lacking the drive and aggression to “win” most nice guys end up out of the winner’s circle.
Beta males are the prototypical nice guy: passive, non-assertive, follower, etc. They might be content with this role in some ways. However, never being at the top at work, in sports, and with women, can be frustrating.
However, what many Beta Males forget is that pretty much everybody is “nice.” Being “nice” is great, but if nice is all you have going for you then, you pretty much come across as boring and lacking confidence. Neither of those traits are attractive, and neither are qualities that great leaders have.
I would argue that many “nice guys” aren’t even that nice: constant passivity can turn into anger and passive-aggression very quickly. In fact, if you reject a beta male, sometimes he will suddenly go from being a “nice guy” to a total jerk in a matter of seconds.
Not that you can blame them. It’s frustrating to passive all the time. If you have been a “nice” pushover all these years, and it (obviously) hasn’t worked out for you, I highly recommend the book No More Mister Nice Guy (available in print and Kindle) by Robert Glover. It will help you transform from being a passive, boring guy into one who is more attractive and assertive (without becoming a jerk).
Doesn’t Understand the Dating Game
Beta males are usually not the guys getting a bunch of women. One of the biggest beta male characteristics we see is complete frustration when it comes to getting into a relationship.
Beta males usually don’t understand the rules of the game. They overly compliment women, befriend them in the hopes of “more,” attempt to buy their love through gifts, etc. Then, they typically whine that women “only want jerks.”
What betas don’t realize is that women like assertive guys with an edge (especially younger girls). So, these boring, nice guy followers don’t usually come across as attractive. Beta males are “just friends.”
Beta males are often needy. Since beta males receive less attention from women and other men, they can often be desperate for attention. They can become very attached to the idea of having a girlfriend and especially their actual girlfriends.
So, they become super needy and attached, sometimes even to the point of becoming controlling and paranoid. Naturally, this behavior is very unattractive and often leads guys to lose the very women they desire.
This neediness can manifest itself in the form of extreme crushes and “oneitis” where a guy creepily latches onto a particular woman who might not even like him back.
Weak And Goofy
A lot of beta males look weak and goofy. They lack masculine facial characteristics, and their body language projects weakness versus strength.
Women evolved to like guys who can provide and protect them. Every woman I talk to says they want to “feel safe” with a guy. A Beta male often gives an “I need protected” vibe, versus an “I can protect you” vibe, from their slouching and scared body language, to a set of goofy glasses.
A good example of a beta face is “pajama boy,” the poster child for Obamacare. Whatever your politics, that face is a “friend only” face. Click here to see the original ad with his face.
So, this article should give you a good idea of the most common beta male traits and characteristics. If these traits describe you, then there is hope. Our products and blog are dedicated to helping you become a confident, strong alpha male.
In the world of dating and relationships, a lot of people assume that the way to connect with someone is simple, and people focus on it. The problem is that science (and most people’s experience) shows that this factor doesn’t even play a whole lot in attraction, dating, or necessarily in long-term relationships (although it has more importance the longer the relationship plays out).
What is it?
Before I tell you I want to share a story. When I had a relationship drought in my late teens and early twenties (Another name for that drought is “my late teens and early twenties”), the advice I got to meet eligible girls was to “join clubs.” I can safely say that joining clubs when I was a boring, overweight, uptight, and insecure college student did nothing to help me date women.
So what is it that everyone thinks is important but isn’t?
Yep, get it out of your head that common interests are super important to getting a date, because I’m going to be the one person out there who is going to tell you the truth, which is that they’re not.
Whether you’re filling out your online dating profile or your friends are trying to set you up, “common interests” almost always play into it.
A lot of single people make the mistake of assuming that having common interests with someone means that something romantic will grow between them and someone else.
I’ve even seen a lot of guys fake interests to attract their female friends, like pretending to like The Dave Matthews Band or love “chick flicks.” Or I’ve known girls who think their love of football should mean guys are lined up to date them.
The reality is that while common interests are nice, attraction doesn’t work that way. Common interests are logical and situated in those parts of the brain. Attraction is emotional and occurs in older parts of the brain we share with animals. You can’t logically “think” your way into attraction. Sharing a ton of common interests isn’t going to create a romantic connection, but it might sustain one longer than if there are few common interests.
Common interests are great for friendship, but are simply not romance and chemistry inducing.
This may explain why a strongly Republican girl is more likely to date an attractive Democrat than a fellow Republican guy, or why so many strong Christians end up dating people who barely set foot in a church on Sunday.
A far better indicator of romantic compatibility isn’t common interests, but similar levels of attractiveness, especially if people develop a strong romantic connection early on (versus starting as friends first, where similar attractiveness is less important).
If you want a date with that hot guy who is just as into 21 Pilots as you, or that beautiful girl who you see reading your favorite author at the student union, the answer isn’t to listen to more 21 Pilots (as great as that is) or buy more books (that is always good too!), so you can have more to talk about. The answer definitely isn’t to send a long text explaining your interest and how that means you should go on a date!
The scientific answer is to make yourself more attractive, physically and in your personality development. Then, after you have created a romantic emotional bond, you can enjoy those common interests as more than just friends.
It is beyond the scope of this article to help you become more attractive, but The Popular Man is devoted to this very concept.
When I was in high school and even college, I remember being shocked that nice, intelligent, and pretty women seemed to date jerks and losers.
I even dated a girl like this…for about a week when I was a freshman (yea…long term, I know). I met her while playing basketball at the local park, and she seemed sweet, and was dressed in “preppy” clothing. Her mom even taught Sunday school. I was in love! This was the nice girl I was looking for.
However, after knowing her for a while, she lamented how she, as an eighth grader, was taken in by a 12th grade bad boy, with whom she did things she “regretted.” As we dated, I found out that her penchant for the “bad” didn’t come to an end just because she was with me. She and her friends would often get into parental and legal trouble.
We didn’t last very long, and the next time I saw her she had transferred schools and was using drugs, and was with another “bad” guy, part of a long string of bad decisions. I was baffled that this girl could ever have been like this.
A few years ago I realized something so fundamental that I literally dropped what I was doing and called my business associates to share my insight. I realized that, like guys, a lot of women are jerks and losers.
Throughout most of my life, I viewed women as the “better” sex. They were more moral, nice, and put-together. When I would see a pretty-enough girl with a big jerk, or “fixer-upper” type of guy, I would immediately ponder why she was with a loser like that. How could she lower herself to be with him??
I always gave women the benefit of the doubt in this situation. Guys were losers. Guys were jerks. Women, well…they were attached to a bad guy, confused, “taken in,” or simply “trapped” in something bad, and in need of my “rescuing.” It never dawned on me that there could be just as many jerk and loser females out there as there are jerk and loser guys. It never hit me that if a woman constantly dated losers, then far from being in need of being “rescued,” she was probably comfortable with losers because she herself was a loser.
So, why do guys seem so reluctant to acknowledge women, especially attractive ones, can be losers? Why do we assume women are blameless when they make bad romantic choices?
I think it goes back to male brain evolution. Guys are wired to “provide and protect” women, especially ones we are attracted to. When a girl we like is with a guy that we don’t like, we view the woman with “blinders” on, and become less likely to acknowledge her weaknesses, something called the halo effect. Since the guy is a romantic competitor, we view him in the worst possible light, hence declaring him a “loser.” This attractive girl, in a guy’s mind, turns into an innocent damsel in distress trapped in the hands of an evil villain. Our brain is telling us that we need to come in as the “white knight” to save this poor damsel. I was definitely this type of grade A “White Knight” (which is a bad thing by the way).
The problem is that reality is much different from this delusional scenario. First, a lot of women are perfectly happy dating losers. If she didn’t get some level of happiness from his company, she wouldn’t be with him or have dated him to begin with. Second, she likely doesn’t want to be “rescued” by you. Meddling “white knights” rarely get romantic attraction from this type of girl anyway. Third, she’s probably a loser. Yep, say it loud guys. Right now. She’s probably a loser. Many “white knights” find that after “rescuing” a girl from her bad boy, her first action is to return to the bad boy.
“But”…you may say, “she has her life together! Her loser man doesn’t!” Well, all I have to say is that if someone chooses to invest all of her emotion and attraction into someone who is a loser, then that pretty much makes her a loser too.
And, let’s do a little exercise to show you that appearances can be deceiving too. You know many guys who are losers, right? Even if they dress nicely…even if they wear glasses…even if they are handsome…even if they have a good job, they can still be losers and jerks.
Let’s rationally apply this to women. A woman can be a loser….even if she dresses nicely…even if she wears glasses…even if she is stunningly beautiful…even if she has a good job, she can still be a loser and a jerk.
That stunningly beautiful woman with perfect teeth who works down at the Waffle House who always leaves with her thug boyfriend? She could be a loser.
That thin girl with the sweet voice and glasses who dropped out of college to live with her unemployed parolee boyfriend? She could be a loser.
That hot and petite girl who needs the job because she has a newborn who just quit it by screaming at the manager with no other job lined up? She could be a loser.
That “Girl Next Door” from the richest suburb who drove the getaway car for her criminal boyfriend. Yeah, she could be a loser.
This article is not about putting down women (or even men). Ultimately, I think calling anybody a “loser” is a bad way to approach a fellow human being. I consider calling others and yourself a “loser” is a bad idea and should be avoided.
However, this article is pointing out that women and men are equally capable of bad decisions. It is disastrous for a guy to put aside critical thinking just because he is dealing with an attractive woman. I wish it weren’t so, but guys…women can be losers. They can be jerks. They can treat you horribly. They can be bad people. They can do all this to you, while practically worshiping jerks in their lives. The sooner your acknowledge this is possible, the sooner you will find a truly nice girl.
This is a part of the romantic notion that true love exists for everyone. The idea here is that all a guy has to do is “be himself” and at some point in time, through a combination of fate, mystery, and good intentions, he will meet the love of his life, his “destiny.”
Yet, this “obvious” wisdom doesn’t seem to be grounded in reality. In fact, a meme that seems to be much more accurate is “forever alone.” While it’s not the stuff of self-help books and kind parental words, statistics and even basic evolutionary biology seem to point to a sad fact: some guys (and women) will live and die more or less alone.
Today, we’re going to discuss the bad news of evolutionary science. But, don’t be too upset because down the line I’m going to discuss the good news, if you’re one of the lucky ones (or willing to become one of the lucky ones).
Anecdotal evidence from anyone who has ever walked this earth can tell you that there are guys who seem to just be terrible when it comes to meeting women. They rarely get dates, hardly ever even receive female attention, and might remain virgins (against their wishes) into their 20’s and beyond. Are there really forever alone guys? Science says “yes” is the right answer.
Sexual Reproduction in Animal Males
Let’s look at the evidence in animals first. While humans are different than say, deer and even monkeys, we share many similarities with other species, especially in our general behaviors.
In many animal communities there are male members that mate rarely or almost never. In some cases, the discrepancy is extreme. For example, among some primates only the alpha male is allowed to mate (although betas may sneak behind his back and get a little action). In other species of monkeys, more males get sex, but to varying degrees according to their dominance (or lack of it).
However, in many cases within nature, a few males reproduce a lot, while a large number mate rarely. For example, in red deer more than half the young are sired by twelve percent of adult males. In elephant seal communities, most offspring are sired by around two to five percent of the males! That means ninety-five percent of the males lacked reproductive success (Badcock).
Forever Alone Men
Of course this can’t be the case among humans…right? Wrong. And, it’s not just anecdotal evidence that suggests some men simply don’t have a lot of sex or get in relationships frequently. The statistics suggest that a small percentage of very successful men occupy more than their “fair” share of sex and relationships.
A study with British men showed that one percent of men accounted for sixteen percent of all female partners. Twenty four percent of all men had ten sexual partners or more; only seven percent of females had this distinction. In short, some men were monopolizing the sex and relationship pool (Badcock).
And, the opposite is true. There is a percentage of men who have little or no reproductive success and receive a very “unfair” share of sex and relationships. The same study revealed that seven percent of all men reported no sexual partners in a lifetime. The female number was six percent (Badcock).
In a way, these stats mirror the average college dormitory. You have a few “players” and very attractive women who want a lot of sexual encounters and can easily get them. They may literally have a new sexual encounter each week. You have a few other guys and ladies who are pretty successful and get into a variety of relationships. The vast majority may not be particularly successful at dating (or don’t want to be) and may luck into a few relationships, possibly later in life. Finally, there are a few guys and gals who have either voluntarily (or involuntarily) checked out of the dating game, and spend their time doing other things.
To see the radical nature of these stats, let’s look at a high school graduating class of 300 over a lifetime. Three of the guys will have sex with 48 of the women. And, 21 guys won’t have sex at all.
So, there isn’t some magical force ensuring that there is “someone for everyone.” And, there are guys (and women) for whom relationship success comes easy and often. Others struggle but find themselves in relationships occasionally. But, for a select few, forever alone really does seem to apply.
But, this is the bad news. Even though science supports the idea of “forever alone” guys, it doesn’t have to be that way. We have seen strong evidence among our own clients and readers that any guy can improve his social and dating success fairly quickly by making a few changes to the way he thinks and acts. And then, he can build on that to make huge social gains. Our books Be Popular Now, Size Doesn’t Matter, and Eleven Dating Mistakes Guys Make address these issues, as well as this entire website.
Works Cited: Christopher Badcock, Evolutionary Psychology: A Critical Introduction
Human evolution, for whatever reason, removed a lot of hair from men and women compared to our primate ancestors. But, men didn’t lose all of it, especially as they get older. Forty years, ago chest hair was the rage in men, but it’s now the 21st century.
So, shaving chest hair, yes or no, is a valid question.
For the longest time, we have suggested shaving your chest if you want to date beautiful women, especially younger ones. However, recently many writers suggest that chest hair is coming back in style.
We still suggest shaving your chest hair if possible, or at least manicuring it. If you keep chest hair, shave your back, shoulder, and upper arm (biceps/triceps) hair. What follows are some of the reasons why we think you should shave.
First, shaving chest hair seems to be the norm in the popular culture, at least for the hot guys. Look at the men on television, in the movies, and in ads. They almost all, if they’re shirtless, have no chest hair. Even with shirts, there’s often no chest hair (or even upper arm hair) sticking out. The only time you see hairy guys is if they’re overweight, lower type characters being made fun of.
While popular culture shouldn’t be the only factor when thinking of shaving chest hair, you have to consider it. Showing up to the local pool or beach with a hairy chest and back these days is the equivalent of showing up with a mullet as your haircut. It looks out of date. So, ignore popular trends at your own peril, especially if you’re after younger women.
Second, shaving chest hair brings out your muscle tone. Even if you’re a little out of shape, you probably have some muscle tone. Go ahead and show it off instead of hiding it under hair. If you’re in great shape, you definitely need to shave. Body hair makes you look fuller and bigger. Shaving chest hair really helps with a sleek, toned look.
Finally, having a thick hairy chest, especially to the point where people aren’t sure if you’re fully evolved from apes, is just gross. No one wants to find your curly, overgrown arm and chest hair in their food or anywhere else. If you have chest hair to the point where it’s more comparable to ripping carpet than actually shaving, removal must be in your future. Being totally covered with hair will get kisses from a hot girl, but only if you’re a cat or a dog.
If you have a hairy chest, you have a few options. The first is waxing or sugaring. These both involve slathering a gooey substance on fabric strips that are laid on your body hair. Then it’s ripping time. Over a long period, these procedures will damage the follicle area causing slower and less hair growth. This is the upside. The downside is the the mess and the pain (and cost if you pay for waxing). Yes, it’s pretty painful, especially the first time if your chest hair is especially thick. This is a good option if you don’t want to mess with shaving, hope to slow growth over the long haul, and you have a high pain tolerance.
The other option is shaving. This can be done wet or dry. I personally mix and match. I’ll shave my chest and arms in the shower, using a razor and shaving cream. However, I’ll also use a body groomer to handle the back and other parts of the arm I can’t reach. While I’m not very flexible I can generally do most of my back, chest, and arms myself. However, if you want to shave the back, you may need help.
We recommend these two body groomers. The prices aren’t too high, but it’s worth the investment. You should be doing this once every couple of weeks
Philips Norelco Body Groom Pro (slightly higher cost, but better quality)
Remington Bht300 All Access Men’s Bodygroomer (lower cost, but somewhat lower quality)
If you have the pain tolerance, I’d recommend you get your chest and back waxed a few times in the beginning. It’ll slow down growth and thin your hair out. This will make shaving much easier and less time consuming later. But, if your hair is especially thick, then make sure to trim it first, or the waxing will hurt like hell! Ask the person doing the waxing for advice.
So, even though chest hair may be making comeback to a degree, if you want to better yourself and get dates, shaving chest hair is a no brainer. Just do it. And, do your back and arms too. Where you stop after the waistline is up to you. But, we don’t want to hear about it!
This is going to be a more philosophical post, but, for the literal-minded, let me just say I don’t want anyone to literally kill the objects of his desire. That would be bad.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the heart of this post, which is going to deal with attachment. Let’s just say this: attachment is bad. And, we all get it at times.
It’s important to have drive, goals, and motivation. Without it, you’re not detached; you’re simply lazy. But, having someone or something as a goal and a strong object of desire is counterproductive in achieving that goal.
On an episode of the television show The Wonder Years, Kevin Arnold walks into a ballpark, practices with a team there, and hits a home run. They sign him up. He struggles after that, and is eventually cut. What happens next at his last at bat? A home run.
Although certainly a fictional example, this story is grounded in the truth. I don’t want to get into the spiritual side of attachment, although it is worth noting that detachment (sometimes called non-attachment) is considered a sign of enlightenment in nearly all of the world’s religions. What I want to focus on is the practical side of it all.
When we’re attached, we desperately want the outcome. And when we’re desperate, our bodies begin to behave differently. Our brain chemistry changes; our hormones change. Look at a cornered wild animal that gets desperate. Its body starts a stress reaction that leads to negative changes. It needs the focus, energy, and adrenaline to run or fight. But, when it’s over, its hormones return to normal.
When we’re desperate the same thing happens. While those hormones are good in times of real danger, long-term (or even short term outside of the immediate danger), they wear us down and make us lose our competitive edge. We’re not meant to be on edge beyond a few minutes of stress.
Attached men are often anxious, inflexible, and project a lack of confidence. They come across as needy and anxious. They’re not at their best because their brains are literally in a state of stress. Their hormones are out of whack.
In order to be successful and popular, it’s important to kill (symbolically) your strongest desires. In many ways, this involves destroying and detaching from the expectations.
Let’s take dating as an example. You’re a guy and you meet a great girl. She gives you some attention in return and you “fall for her.” You’re attached and it wreaks havoc on your life as you impatiently wait for texts, anticipate seeing her every second, and analyze every single word she says for clues about how much she does (or doesn’t) love you. It literally starts to drive you crazy.
To detach, you don’t need to leave the girl. But, you must destroy your expectations and attachment to her. You have to stop caring about the texts, stop analyzing her every word, and be content with your buddies if she’s busy on the weekend. You have to be content to simply be in the moment rather than worrying about the future, or being attached to the past (for example, maybe the last girl you dated cheated on you and you’re worried she will do the same).
While it seems that killing your expected relationship with this girl is going to result in her loss, it actually has the opposite effect. Killing your desire for her frees you to actually date her in a way that allows you to be happy with her, and she will love you more for not being needy, emotionally unstable, and controlling. Ironically, you’re “killing” the relationship in order to be free to actually be in the relationship. Remember, I said this post was philosophical.
So, whatever you desire to the point of attachment and a lack of mental health, destroy your expectations and free yourself to actually enjoy it and be your best. This type of detachment is present in all great leaders and excellent men.