We have all heard of the term beta male which is used in a derogatory way to refer to men who may be physically weak, like playing video games, or are not very good with women. Almost all of us have a person in our lives who fits that description or we have seen him in TV shows. He is the opposite of a dominant man.
However, these are all common myths. Being a beta male is not defined by these cliches, but something else entirely…
Beta male definition
By their very definition, beta males live in such a way that their entire life is based on the values and the visions of other people. Some people may believe that beta males are lazy or weak, but even seemingly alpha men can be beta.
Being a beta male has nothing to do with physical strength or professional success. It also has nothing to do with dating. It is all about seeking external validation for every choice and decision, and lacking the gumption to be themselves.
Alpha vs beta male
The main difference between the alpha male and the beta male is that the former does what he wants to do, for himself. The beta male only does things to get people’s approval. To society, the alpha man may appear to be confident and charming, but these are all only side effects of him being self-assured.
Beta male traits
Here are some of the most common characteristic of a beta male:
1. Beta male doesn’t feel like that his life is improving
The first sign of a beta male is that he is unhappy with his life. He does not wake up satisfied with what he has achieved or with his reality. He thinks his life is boring and his job is repetitive. He also believes that he barely makes enough money to pay for the cost of living and to survive. He also looks forward to the weekend, because this is the only time, he feels like he can escape the rut of his boring existence, and even then, he does not end up doing anything worthwhile.
Essentially, he feels like he is trapped in existence and not getting any closer to the goals he had set out when he was younger.
2. He never faced his bullies
Most character traits that we are stuck within adult life are formed in our childhood. Most people get bullied in their childhood, but the difference is that the beta male is still an easy target for bullies. The same thing happens to him even now, the only difference is that the bullying has taken on a different form.
He does not take time to face these bullies and lets things slide, letting them make him miserable over and over again.
3. He relies on others to make decisions for him
This is one of the most common traits of a beta male. He lacks the power for making decisions and is no longer in control of his life. He’s scared of the consequences of his decisions, and usually lets other people take the front seat of his life. He asks for his parents’ opinion on where to go for University, he seeks their approval of who he is dating, and he lets his wife or girlfriend pick what he wears.
Eventually, he ends up becoming who these people think he should be, instead of who he wants to be.
4. He’s physically weak
One of the most important and contributing factors to self confidence in men is physical strength. It’s also an indication of their health. Even women are attracted to healthy men. But beta males lie on the other end of the spectrum, because of their lack of physical strength.
They are also more vulnerable and always remain in a precarious state. Due to this, their self-confidence is at an all-time low and because people are able to sense this, nobody wants to be around them either.
5. Beta male is always in the friend zone
Many beta males think that they are in the friend zone because they are too nice. But the truth is that they end up in the friendzone because they’re not as nice as you think they are. Moreover, just because they see themselves as nice guys, doesn’t necessarily mean that women will see them the same way.
Maybe they come off as total losers because they do not put in an effort to better themselves. They are stuck in the same rut, they have a boring job, and do not care for their health. This ultimately leads to women rejecting them as potential partners.
6. Beta male cannot say no or stand his ground
Generally, beta males have a hard time saying no to other people, even if they do not want to engage in a particular activity. Sometimes, they will label it as being nice. But there is a difference between doing something for the good of the team, and sacrificing your time and energy.
They do not stand up for themselves or act in their best interests. This is why they are also not very happy and are not valued in their office or the workplace.
7. People make fun of him, even in his own circle of friends
Beta males are one of the weakest links in their friend group, and they are treated as such by their friends as well. There can be many reasons for this, but primarily this is because nobody in their group respects them.
This happens as a result of the beta male never demanding respect, or showing their real value to the squad. As a result, they are not treated as an equal, but a disposable link that can be trashed whenever.
8. His existence revolves around passive pastimes
The beta male is generally characterized by their habit of consuming a lot of pop culture junk that does nothing to stimulate their brain. They either end up playing video games for hours, consuming mindless content on Netflix, or browsing social media for hours.
This ultimately results in then becoming a couch potato, and can also massively damage their health. They do not do anything to develop any hobbies or find means of improving their livelihood.
9. Beta male makes excuses
Beta males always have a number of excuses for why they’re not doing better in life. They always have someone to blame, and they are incredibly lazy. They do not do anything to improve their circumstances. They also do not hold up their promises and live up to the expectations the people have from them. Instead of facing the truth, they always have some explanation about why they can’t do something, because they are afraid of failure and rejection.
Since this kind of behavior is not awarded or accepted in the real world, it is often very difficult for them to accept their reality and deal with the world.
10. He does not have any sense of style
Alpha males are always well groomed, well dressed, have the right posture and attitude, and are fit. On the other hand, Beta Male is the opposite. He acts like an extra in the movie, only passing by. He often does not care about personal hygiene and does not bother to find out what the right kind of clothes for him are.
He’s also often struggling with weight and does not take care of his grooming or appearance at all. If at any occasion, he does seem to be better dressed, it is because his girlfriend or parents forced him to make an effort.
11. Beta male does not look people in the eye
Beta males often get sweaty just thinking about looking people in the eye and talking to them. This is an essential trade to have, especially during a conversation. It lets people know that you have confidence in yourself and you take the conversation seriously.
A beta male does not have the confidence to do this, and because he does not look the person in the eye, he comes off as hiding something or being disingenuous.
12. He’s not sexually active
A beta meal does not get late very often, and even when he does, he’s not that great. It’s not a surprise – especially given the traits mentioned above. Because he does not spend time socializing and instead this most of his time playing games, he does not get to interact with the opposite sex a lot. Even if he does try to socialize, he’s not very good at it because he does not maintain eye contact.
He also does not come off as ready attractive because he neglects his health and personal appearance. As a result, he usually ends up not getting laid for months on end.
13. He has a big ego
Beta males have a huge ego, and often, it ends up backfiring on them. This is because they are too sensitive or insecure and care too much about other people’s opinion of them. They also try to compensate for their lack of personality by either lying about his qualifications, or playing up his salary and the importance of his position in the workplace. He also thinks that he’s better than everybody else.
Beta males also often feel insulted if somebody questions their abilities, because they know these things are not true.
14. He’s a follower, not a leader
Beta males do not take initiative, and usually end up waiting for someone else to take the lead and then they jump on the bandwagon. They often live in the shadow of an Alpha male, and do not have any original ideas of their own. They also find it difficult to coordinate with other people or get anyone to follow their plan of action.
This is because they do not have the ability to command the respect of his colleagues. They also do not get the best results if they work in a company.
15. Beta male doesn’t trust himself
A beta male has only mild levels and self-assurance, if at all. He often feels insecure and he does not trust himself enough to do anything. Whether it be his job, school, romantic relationships, or his friendships with beautiful women – the beta male does not trust in his abilities and does not have enough confidence to believe in his competency.
Even though he will never admit this to himself or anyone else, he tends to doubt himself all the time, and that’s why he has difficulties making decisions for himself.
16. He does not take risks
Building up on the last point, a beta male will often only take the path that is safe and secure. He doesn’t work for what he wants or think that he has the ability to do something out of the box or to succeed in a business venture that is a little risky.
Because of his lack of self-worth and self-confidence, he will always remain tied to his boring desk job, even if he absolutely hates it. He will not step out of his comfort zone to take the path less traveled by, because he is too insecure to do it.
17. Beta male does not communicate openly
The beta male is always afraid of his own insecurities and has massive self-esteem issues which end up making him think that if he reveals his true self to anyone, they will leave him. As a result, he does not communicate openly with his friends or partner. He either does not know how to express his feelings, or is too afraid to do so.
This also ends up making him resentful of the people in his life, because he expected them to read his mind, instead of communicating his needs and desires to them.
18. He finds it difficult to be vulnerable with other people
Because he finds it difficult to communicate his needs and desires openly, he also cannot communicate his feelings of insecurities or his fears. He thinks that if he tells other people how he really feels, they will make fun of him. He views the world in a very negative light and things that everyone is out there to hurt him.
This, paired with his tendency to get offended easily, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and only reinforces his belief that he cannot and should not be vulnerable with other people, ever.
19. Beta male is controlling
The beta male is forever occupied by his insecurities and fear of being discovered for who he thinks he really is. As a result, he tries very hard to control other people’s perception of him. This may also end up making him a people pleaser. He tries to present himself in a way that will make others think of him exactly how he wants them to think of him.
And if for whatever reason other people do not share the same perception, or see through his problematic behavior, it sets him off and makes him angry at such people.
20. Beta male gets offended easily
If you tell the beta male that he has any of the above-mentioned traits, he will feel offended. He may even start calling you names, or being overly defensive. This is because deep down, they know that you have struck a chord two close to the truth they’re not they’re not ready to accept it.
Their whole identity is a House of Cards and if you pull one card out, everything will collapse. They are not capable of admitting even to themselves that they are easily offended and perhaps need to take a step back and check themselves.
The driving force behind the beta male
The main thing that separates an alpha male from a beta male is why they do certain things, instead of the things themselves.
Take the example of Daniel and Richard.
Richard appears to be an alpha male, because he has a high paying job, he is fit, and he regularly gets laid. On the other hand, Daniel appears to be a beta male on the surface. He doesn’t make more money than an average person, he is fit, but he is not shredded like Richard, and he is happily married to a woman.
When you look beneath the surface, you will see that Richard, despite looking externally successful, feels weak, inadequate, and lacking. He works a lot to prove to himself and the world that he is good enough. He sleeps with a lot of women to cover up his own insecurities, but he cannot hold down a committed relationship. He also cares about what people will think if he settles down. His success, as impressive as it may be, is driven by fear.
On the other hand, Daniel is content and satisfied in his life, despite incurring disapproval of his alpha friends. He believes that he is enough, and he has arranged his life to achieve what he wants. He may appear to be a beta male, but he is, in fact, a real alpha male. He is confident, and does not need the validation of other people.
This is why Richard is a beta male. His whole life is rooted in neediness and insecurities. Beta males love making other people happy. They do not have any self-respect, and tend to avoid tension and conflict. They also struggle in defining their own desires and setting boundaries with other people.
While these characteristics may appear alpha, they are truly the behavior of a beta male. The ultimate driving force behind all types of beta male behavior is that the beta male is afraid of pursuing the life he really wants, and falls into the trap of pleasing others.
There is no such thing as a true beta male
This may seem contradictory, especially considering everything that has been stated in this article, but the truth is that there is no such thing as a true alpha male or beta male. There’s actually only alpha or beta behavior.
This is because the behavior and personality traits of a man, and women too for that matter, is often an amalgamation of both alpha and beta behaviors. What this means is that it’s possible that in one area of your life, you may be showing alpha behavior, but in another, your traits may resemble the beta male behavior more.
For instance, it’s often seen that a man who is alpha and a top dog in his career, often shows beta behavior in his relationships. They may be taking risks, working hard, and pursuing goals that are meaningful for him when it comes to his career, but in his relationships, he may be allowing women to violate his boundaries, disrespect him, and allowing them to walk all over him.
Similarly, alpha men may be alphas in their relationships but betas in their career. Such a man is passive aggressive with his colleagues and doesn’t bother working on his career. This is a very important point to understand, because we often tend to lump ourselves separate categories come on forgetting that our character is actually a consequence of our circumstances.
Being beta is a choice
Displaying alpha or beta male behavior in a particular moment is a choice. It is not a static character trait that a person has. And because it is a choice, it is possible to make a different choice. You can wow to take a stand for yourself and your life, instead of allowing everything to happen to you. By accepting this, you will free yourself from the self-loathing and shame that comes from being labeled as a beta male.
Once you realize that you are neither an alpha nor a beta, you will free yourself from the high levels of toxic emotions associated with this thinking. You can choose to live proactively and create the kind of life that you want. You can choose to reduce the beta behaviors and become more grounded and empowered with yourself.
Which brings us to the next point…
Changing the toxic beta male behavior and reclaiming your life
Once you understand the truth of beta men behavior and the price that you are paying for living your life according to other people’s expectations, you have already taken the first step to change your life. You are closer now than ever to reclaim your own power and become the alpha of your own life.
Having said that, it is only the first step. If you want to become a grounded person, you will have to face your fears and overcome them. You’ll also have to become more present and engaged with your life, instead of leaving it with compromises.
This may involve embracing discomfort, pursuing growth, and facing your deepest insecurities. It also means that you have to continue doing these things not just for a couple of months or years, but pursue this as a lifelong goal.
Because following the path of least resistance and adhering to the dogma of the society is easy. It is easy to cycle for a job you hate, the first woman who gives you any attention, or kills your desires with random pastimes and instant gratification. But this is not an existence full of joy.
You have to take actions and embrace the calling to take a stand for your life. This is how you change the toxic beta male behavior, embrace the so-called alpha male traits, and reclaim your own life.
Ultimately, the terms alpha and beta males are just labels, and the more important thing to realize is to change your mindset towards life. It is only after you ask yourself what you want, stop worrying about other people’s opinions. Start spending time on figuring out your desires and becoming your own role model. It is only then that you will succeed at life.
Namrata is a Doctor i.e. dentist turned writer and a clinical researcher. Eager to learn about anything and everything, she is what you would call a jack of all trades and master of none. With a zeal for reading novels, books, and anything she could get her hands on ever since she was little, she embarked into a writing career purely out of luck. After indulging in a freelancing career for nearly two years, she can now write on anything - from dentistry to decor, travel to technology, medicine to management - but the psychology remains her first love. Having dealt with mental health issues in the past, she hopes to raise awareness for the same and help people with her work in association with The MindFool team