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 and people fall within a spectrum of behaviors and traits, most guys fit generally into one of the above broad 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). Beta Males have real trouble standing up for themselves, especially saying “no.” They may even say “yes,” when they mean “no” to please people. A great book that describes this attitude (and helps passive guys start to develop assertiveness skills) is When I Say No I Feel Guilty.
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” or that women don’t like nice guys (meaning them of course).
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 always in “the friend zone.”
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. Generally they have lower levels of testosterone. Higher levels of testosterone are associated with being in leadership positions, and being more relaxed and confident.
Women evolved to like guys who can provide and protect them. Every woman I know says she wants to “feel safe” with a guy. A Beta male often gives an “I need protected” vibe, versus an “I can protect you” vibe, indicated by 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. Also, the image to the right is definitely “beta face.”
One way to increase your toughness is to work out more. This will increase your testosterone, which is associated with many positive effects, including being more attractive to women. A good program (which we use) is Beachbody’s Insanity, which combines bursts of aerobic activity with using the body to gain muscle (through push-ups, etc). We also suggest The Self-Defense Company’s online program (we also use this), which will give you basic and advanced self-defense skills, which will increase your physical confidence dramatically.
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, attractive, and strong leader, versus an unattractive, beta follower.