Alpha vs Beta: What’s The Real Difference?

Posted on April 26, 2017 in Alpha, Alpha Physique, Happiness, Lifestyle

I’ve had a few questions on Instagram regarding the difference between an “Alpha Male” and a “Beta Male”, so I’ll give you my two cents on the differences.

I think everyone knows by now that an Alpha isn’t necessarily a guy who goes round beating everyone else up. Nor is he necessarily the “life of the party” (aka dickhead) who makes the most noise, or does the craziest things – basically gains the most attention.

You could argue that attention-seeking is very Beta-like, actually.

Beta Males

Alpha
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sobermusings/8516398572/in/

Betas are essentially your typical “nice-guys”. You can still be a very nice Alpha, but you know what I mean. Betas tend to operate from a conformity mentality, regardless of their true internal beliefs. Their standard mode of operating is fear:

  • “What if he thinks this?”
  • “What if she thinks that?”
  • “But what if this happens?”
  • “What if that happens?”

Must obey. Must not upset. These guys tend to live their lives being controlled by other people, either directly or indirectly. Beta’s often question their own self-worth and their own abilities. This often leads to a paralysing effect – a consistent lack of action. They don’t pursue their goals or things that they know will make them happy, because they’re scared.

There is nothing wrong with this per se. But the reality is that these guys are not as happy (at least not as consistently) as alphas. They just aren’t. I know some people will disagree with me here, but it comes down to living in accordance with your true values, as opposed other people’s.

If you are constantly living in accordance with other people’s desires, unless they are completely aligned with yours, then by default, you aren’t as happy as you could be.

Certain personalities derive more happiness from altruism than others, but if your altruistic nature means you’re getting completely screwed over, it isn’t going to compensate for the losses incurred by trying to please others.

You have to be happy first.

Other people’s values are very rarely aligned completely with yours, so you do have to live your life in accordance with your own values in order to be happiest. This is why Beta’s tend to lose in this respect. You can get Beta’s who are living in accordance with their own values (and everyone else’s) but this is rare, and doesn’t tend to last very long.

Alpha Males

Alpha
https://www.flickr.com/photos/russ-w/15433888440/in/photolist

Alpha’s tend to be far more independent than Beta’s. They don’t need to fit in with everyone else, because they realise that that makes them less happy in the long-term.

Conformity leads to social validation, which leads to short-term happiness. In the long-run, you hate it. Alpha’s tend to value freedom, and don’t like restrictions that others place on them.

Alpha’s aren’t going to follow the latest fitness fad, as they already appreciate them for what they are; marketing ploys – often very dishonest ones too. They tend to be very confident, and do not fear failure.

Alpha’s aren’t completely fearless, however, the difference is they aren’t paralysed by fear – they still act on their desires regardless.

So as you can see, it really is a mindset more than anything. It’s also not that difficult to change. It can take time, but it’s worth it.

If I was to sum up the key differences between the two, they would be:

  • Independence vs Interdependence
  • Action vs Fear (and therefore inaction)
  • Self-Confidence vs Self-Doubt

One last point, is that Alpha’s can still be really nice guys, as long as they are self-aware, and aware of other people’s sensitivities and perceptions.

With this in mind, as a guy, there really is no benefit to being a Beta.

I would actually argue that the majority of Beta’s really want to be Alpha’s, but are too fearful of doing so. Alpha’s honestly and assertively pursue what they want. Whereas Beta’s cover up their desires, and prefer to fit in with others’ expectations, out of fear.

This isn’t what they’re really after, happiness is, but they’re going down the wrong path.

  • Graham Thornton

    I think some “Beta’s” are actually happy being as they are, particularly older, more experienced ones. They know what they are and simply accept it – most seem to be happy.

    • They may appear to be “happy”, but I can virtually guarantee that they would be happier if they weren’t Beta’s. It seems a lot of the Beta mentality is derived from fear and/or laziness. Eliminate that and they would without doubt be happier in the long run.

  • Thunkard

    I’d like to expand on this. I propose that Alpha is the natural animal state, characterized by filter-free expression. Beta is a state of repressed behavior/ filtered expression due to fear (Humans evolved as prey animals). Filtered behavior and fear creates heightened awareness and anxiety which is very useful when dealing with predators or threatening problems. The Beta state produces some very interesting creatures indeed, and a subverted (but unbroken) drive to dominate is practically the definition of innovation.

    Future alphas, try to remember that the end goal is social transparency, and not sociopathy or psychopathy. Performing acts or fantasies (<- this is the big one) we wouldn't feel proud showing the world creates obscurity and aversion in social dealings, and we need to be trustworthy in our own minds. Work to continually increase personal value and strengthen boundaries. After layering on a thousand healthy acts, we start to become beautiful pearls and, by ten thousand such acts, we become social beacons. Start today.

    • Alex

      Yes great point – I’ve never heard it put like that before. Yes you probably want a little bit of a filter, but not too much. Beta’s definitely have too large a filter.