Straight talk on alphas

Personally, I have my qualms about the whole alpha/beta distinction that’s quite frequently discussed in the Manosphere. First of all, personality dichotomies are too reductive.  This pigeonholes guys into one box or another on some rather loosely-defined criteria, and fails to account for a number of other important strengths and weaknesses.  Second, this basically endorses a model that categorizes 80% of guys pretty much as “losers”.  Although this is more descriptive than proscriptive, I think we – as a group concerned with the status of men in society – can do better than that!  (Actually, I did so when I wrote Righteous Seduction.  Further, as I explained therein, 80% of guys are indeed “have nots” in their love lives, but this doesn’t mean there’s always something wrong with them.  Our messed up social scene is partly to blame, but to a large degree, the “have nots” are left out because they aren’t getting correct information and don’t know the real rules of the game.)  Third, these loosely-defined criteria of “what is an alpha” lead to some absurdities.  Is a low-IQ drug addict who has a high “notch count”, and lots of illegitimate children he doesn’t support, really a winner?  Is a creative scientist happily married to his one and only really a loser?

So, someone who reads all that kind of Manosphere discussion without putting much critical thought into it might draw some wrong conclusions. Someone could end up believing that to “act alpha”, you must never be kind or it will show weakness, or even that you have to act thuggish to be successful with women.

I’ll give you the straight dope on all that. Granted, there are some women who confuse douchebag behavior for confidence – generally they have some Daddy issues going on – but acting that way is neither desirable nor necessary.  Supplication (“kissing ass” or other forms of self-abasement) is bad, but acting like a douchebag is bad too.  The goal is to be firm but fair.  It’s an Aristotelian Golden Mean thing, dude!  Within those parameters, kindness by default is good.  To clarify, I mean that if you’re getting screamed at without due cause, the proper response is not “Yes dear, yes dear”, nor is it blowing your lid and screaming back, but rather “Let’s stop this nonsense.”  I also wrote a good bit about the leadership concept in relationships.  As a guy, this is going to be expected of you.  Generally this involves decisiveness and not acting like a wimp or a pushover.  However, that certainly does not involve snapping your fingers and yelling “Woman!  Beer!” while your fat ass is parked on the couch watching TV.

I found an interesting page online about alpha behavior which also should shed some light on things. The author is basically a very enlightened knucklehead.  Like our little droogie Alex in A Clockwork Orange (if you’ve got the book with Chapter 21 included), he realized that violence isn’t where it’s at.  He’s a bit wordy at times and rather on the grim side, though overall quite sensible, and his article is a good read.  He’s not talking about the context of seduction, but rather dynamics within social groups (certainly relevant to street gangs), though the principles certainly apply either way.  A few highlights:

Before you can understand what an alpha is, you first need to understand something about the nature of power. Namely: Power is granted to you by the group. You don’t have power unless other people give it to you.
[…]
Trust is a fundamental issue of being an alpha. People do not give power to someone they do not trust to look after their needs.
[…]
And contrary to what some betas posers would have you believe, there’s more to communication than “My way or the highway.” That is usually the attitude of a beta aping this critical aspect of leadership.
[…]
Another huge aspect of being an alpha is negotiate. Whether it is resolving conflicts between his followers or establishing workable compromises between people. And to negotiate well, you need to be able to communicate to whom you are dealing with (and on whatever level).
[…]
Basically Caesar’s summation of an insecure alpha is a beta dog that is thrust into a leadership position. This dog lacks alpha attributes. Most of all it doesn’t have the calm assurance of a true alpha. As such it is unstable and overly aggressive. An additional problem with this is other dogs in this situation also become unbalanced and aggressive.
[…]
It is perhaps here that the absolute worst misconception about alpha behavior is made. It is also one of the fastest ways to spot a beta trying to ape an alpha. One version of this attitude is “I’m the alpha, I get the best, you get the scraps.” Another version is “Everything is mine and you have no place.”

So there you have it. Being responsible and reasonable is where it’s at, not posturing and acting aggressive.

All this dovetails into a concept of respect that I’ve had for quite some time. Namely, respect is a two way street.  You give some to get some.  (For some weird reason, many of my teachers and managers in the past just didn’t get that.)  All people deserve basic respect, unless they do something dishonorable that makes them unworthy of it and then have to rebuild their reputation.  Further, someone who wants more than just the basic level of respect – that is to say, high status – needs to do something important to earn it.  You can’t just demand it and expect to be taken seriously.  The good news is that there are countless ways to stand out and be accomplished.  Going a bit off on a tangent, one of the fads in education these days is pushing self-esteem.  My take is that this is crap.  If you tell people how wonderful they are without them doing anything to develop a rightful sense of self-accomplishment, this distorts the system and they end up with a swollen head.  (Maybe this is where one of the stereotypes about millennials comes from.)  Having high status is awesome, so out there and be excellent!

Actually, in the proper context, a lot of what the seduction community means about “being alpha” really boils down to personal charisma. I wrote a lot about Framing in my book.  Basically, this means a way of looking at things:  either that you adopt for yourself (self-Framing) or something that you convey to others.  One recent realization I had is that status is a Frame.  You’re popular because other people think you’re popular.  (That’s kind of a tautology, but hey…)  This is closely related to the concept of “social proof”, also called “preselection”.  It doesn’t happen overnight, but keep earning lots of respect, and you’ll get there.  Go forth and be righteous.

I recall a student back in high school who was Mr. Popularity within a certain large group.  He wasn’t a football player or exceptionally rich.  He’s Japanese, in a school with very few Asians, and also was one of the fattest students.  These things normally would have tended to make him an outsider in our status-obsessed school, but he was quite the opposite.  He had a hot girlfriend too.  I’m not really sure how he did all that – otherwise, I would have done well to do the same thing – but I suspect it just had to do with consistently acting cool.  Anyway, food for thought there.

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Straight talk on alphas

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