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The Traits of the Beta Male

According to the dating world, there are two types of men out there: Alpha males who exhume masculinity, testosterone and competitiveness; and beta-males who tend to find comfort in the sidelines. It can be argued however, that giving these personalities labels such as ‘alpha’ and ‘beta’ is an unfair way to earmark them in a modern society that finds value in both types of men.

beta male

​Still, there are those traits that give alphas the competitive advantage in the dating realm, while the betas tend to take a step back in a bit to avoid confrontation. But what does it mean to be a beta-male? How does it affect your chances in the dating game, and what type of characteristics do they hold? These are all important questions to ask if you want to understand your role in the romance domain.

Understanding the Beta Male​

What Do We Mean by Alpha and Beta Males

There are distinct differences in behaviors and characteristics in alpha and beta men, each with their own sets of beneficial and deficient characteristics that shape the ways in which they interact with women and other men in social situations:

Alpha Males​

The defining trait behind alpha males is dominance. Much of what they say and do are dominated by their ego’s and confidence, usually resulting in them taking on a domineering role in social situations.

It is through confidence and strength of character that they throw their weight around for good or ill.

Beta Males​

Sensitivity and a general rejection of typically masculine roles define the behaviors and mindsets of beta-males.

They often find themselves more comfortable around women than men, which in many cases actually gives them an advantage when building a romantic connection.

Though perhaps one of the strongest defining points of beta-males, is a general disdain for alpha ones, that is born of a generally feminine opinion of them, or from a contempt from their competitiveness.

​Other, lesser talked of types

Using the measurements of alpha and beta to describe personality types, suggestions on possible ideals to strive towards, or characteristics for men to hold have also been put forward:

  • The Omega male holds the intelligence, charisma and confidence of the alpha, but does not let the expected roles of masculinity define his behavior and treatment of others.
  • In terms of Zeta-males, things get a little more complicated. They have decided not to take part in the traditional societal expectations of men has the strong protector, but can perform these duties if needed.​

These additional definitions of characters of man are important, because it gives an available option for those who revolt against the alpha types, without them having to accept subjugation by them in social situations.

They are the way forward for the beta-man who seems to get the short straw in social settings.

Characteristics of the Beta Male

If you are reading this and working yourself into a panic wondering if you fall under the category of beta-male, then here are some characteristics to look out for.

Remember though, that these traits are not necessarily a bad thing, they can give you an advantage in social settings if they are exhumed correctly:

You prefer to follow

While strong leadership skills are often the result of the dominant personalities in alpha-males, a desire to avoid conflict while not having to apply responsibility or decision making makes beta-males comfortable as followers.

Of course, if you are not the leader type, there is no shame in carving your own path without expecting others to follow closely in your footsteps.

It takes more courage to go it alone than to lead others behind you; but it is often a better choice than following for those that aren’t fit to lead.

You are Mr. Nice Guy

While there is always virtue in being kind, the bottom line is that there are those people out there who through their alpha-male traits, deserve little to no respect.

The beta-male knows this, but would rather let these types of people walk all over them with a smile that to stand up for themselves.

While not everybody sees niceness as a weakness, beta-males often have their nicer sides taken advantage of by men and women in social situations; more out of angst than out of virtue.

Dependent on others

While the alpha-male is generally not content to lean on the support of others, the beta one has a tendency to rely on it. Neediness and an inability to make his own decisions makes him completely reliant on others.

Neither of these traits is particularly admirable however, with the alpha being unable to accept the assistance of others, even when he sorely needs it.

A better approach is to know when you need the assistance of others and to accept it gratefully, just as the omega-man knows his limitations and strengths, so too could the alphas and betas of the world.

You'll do anything to avoid conflict

Nobody should particularly enjoy conflict, but there are times in a man’s life where he must put his foot down. While the alpha takes no guff from anyone, for any reason; the beta male is comfortable stepping back and letting others do as they please in a simple bit to stay out of trouble.

While aggression is generally a negative behavioral trait, it does serve its purpose to some extent. Unlike the alpha and the beta males, omega men know when to keep their mouths shut and when to argue back.

Are you twitchy

You can spot an alpha or beta male walking down the street from twenty yards off; it’s all in the way that they carry themselves. Body language can say a lot about a person, particularly when it comes to how confident and comfortable in their own skin they are.

Alphas might adopt postures that dominate the room, making themselves large and getting loud, while beta males will generally shrink into themselves, keep their hands tucked into their pockets and fold their arms to create a boundary between themselves and the world.

In the meantime, the omega man will adopt a confident though humble posture that needs not get into anyone’s face to make itself known.

Passive Aggression

How a man reacts to conflict will determine what type of person they are. The aggression carried by alpha men is generally not considered a virtuous trait, but when compared to the passive aggressive techniques used by beta males, it is the better option.

Passive aggressive behaviors such as sulking and snide comments generally only inspire hatred in whoever you are talking to, while out-right aggression does the same.

The omega man on the other hand, knows how to be assertive, saying what he means by being firm but fair during an argument.

You blame others for your misfortunes

The alpha and omega man both have a sound understanding of what it means to be in control of, and responsible for the events in their own lives. Misfortune happens, it cannot be avoided, but how you react to these situations will determine what kind of person you are.

The alpha might accept that when things have happened, that there is always the chance that it was his fault. The beta man on the other hand, will try and find anyone to blame for his misfortunes that is not himself.

You would rather die than exert yourself

The need to prove one’s metal and to push their body and mind to its limits through rigorous challenges is a desire that is often felt by alphas and omegas alike; while beta males have a tendency to take the path of least resistance in all things. He seeks comfort and sloth above all other things, making more time for leisure than for self-improvement.

The competitive edge held by the alpha type in this regard can also be a double-edged sword however, with their competitive side getting the best of them, making them seem unruly in social situations from time to time.

The omega man finds a way of tempering his competitive edge with discipline, always making room for fair play and encouraging others to enjoy the atmosphere of competition, as opposed to letting it feel like a threat to his ego, or a task not worthy of his carefully conserved energy.

What type of man do you want to be?

Remember that no one is born into a particular personality type, instead they grow, guide and foster it into the unique characteristics that makes each of us different.

If you feel that you could shift away from being too much of an alpha or beta male, then with a little discipline and an awareness of your own behavior, you could strive to become the type of man that people look up to as the ideal one.

Written by Terrence Kennedy

Terrence Kennedy is the man’s man on a journey to self-discovery. A traveler, extreme sports aficionado, an observant wanderer, a DIY-Know-How, an ultimate outsider and a documentarist of culture, sex, dating, relationship, fashion, style and gentleman's etiquette. He has learned a lot through his escapades, and is happy to pass that knowledge on to you.