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21 Interesting Traits of an Alpha Male

In this article we will talk about the alpha male and his unique traits.

Everyone knows an alpha. And apparently, everyone wants to date him or be him, but why is that?

What elusive ingredients contribute to the irresistible mystique of the alpha male? 

The Alpha Male in a Nutshell

Short definition: The alpha male is the natural-born leader of the pack
Also known as: Top dog, leader
Term coined by: David Mech
Personality: Extrovert
Does he need to belong to a group? Yes

Alpha Male Definition

The alpha male is the natural-born leader of the pack. He’s often the front man for businesses, bands, brands, and friend groups.

An alpha, according to Oxford Languages, is a man tending to assume a dominant or domineering role in social or professional situations.

In the animal kingdom, the alpha male is the dominant animal of a particular group. We often think of wolves and their pack leader, but this concept can also be seen in human dynamics and behavior.

It’s very likely someone came to mind when you read “alpha male”, but alpha male traits can be misunderstood.

The domineering bully who leads by intimidation may often be credited as the alpha male, but he doesn’t have the attributes to qualify. Let’s take a look at the true alpha male and the signs you’ll need to identify him. 

21 Fascinating Traits of an Alpha Male, According to a Former Therapist

What follows are a few traits alpha men tend to have in common.

Why listen to me? I was a master’s level licensed therapist who worked with couples and families and specialized in trauma recovery and empowerment. I now write content about relationships and psychology. My work has been featured on Elite Daily, Your Tango, Positively Positive, Mamamia, and The Good Men Project.

1. He’s Confident

The alpha male isn’t cocky. He’s confident. He comes across as self-assured because he knows his worth. This doesn’t mean he is never insecure.

He just trusts that he is innately worthy of love, respect, and consideration. 

Most alpha males show a secure attachment type or have developed one. Their every move communicates security in the world and a comfort in their own skin. He feels good about himself, and it shows. 

2. He’s Assertive, Not Aggressive

The alpha male is action oriented. He’s not going to sit back and wait for someone else to make a move. He sees what needs to be done and steps up to the plate. 

Oftentimes, aggressive leaders are mischaracterized as alpha males. However, the true alpha male has no need to be aggressive.

He understands the difference between aggression and assertion, and his ethical creed makes him one to take action without trying to force others to comply.

He’s the one who takes the initiative, stands up for others, or states his opinion without waiting to see if it’s going to be a popular one.

3. He’s Decisive

The alpha male is also decisive. He’s not wishy-washy, and you won’t see him look around for approval before he makes a decision. He knows what he wants, and he’s not afraid to speak up for himself. 

This doesn’t mean he’ll step on others in the process. The alpha male can state his opinion without thinking everyone else will agree.

In fact, he’s mature enough to agree to disagree without other people influencing what he thinks.

His decisiveness comes from staying informed and knowing himself, and it isn’t influenced by peer pressure of any kind.

Recommended read: 19 Surprising Traits of an Omega Male

4. He’s a Natural Leader

The alpha man is the quintessential leader of the pack, and he was just born that way.

Between his confidence and assertiveness, he’s the one people look to when they need a leader.

He actually likes to lead and knows that it suits him, so he’ll even seek out leadership roles to play to his strengths.

While he might naturally dominate, that doesn’t mean he lords it over all beneath him. In fact, he’s the kind of leader people enjoy following because he’s reasonable, kind, charismatic, and willing to roll up his sleeves to pitch in.

He’s not the guy in middle management who knows less than the people he’s tasked to lead. 

alpha man talking on the phone
Image by senivpetro on Freepik

5. He Has High Standards for Himself

One of the distinctive traits of the alpha male is he has high standards for himself. He knows himself well and has strong values. It’s not just talk either. He lives by them. 

You might think he doesn’t have flaws, but the alpha male has a few.

One of them is that he holds himself to impossibly high standards and can be way too hard on himself.

His impressive work ethic and high standards can lead to burn out if he’s not careful to practice self-care and manage his workload.

He may need to be occasionally reminded that he’s a regular human even if he seems super-human to the rest of us sometimes. 

6. He Has High Standards for Others

His high standards extend to other people, too, and he has to be careful not to judge others too harshly for failing to live up to his own criteria.

The alpha male doesn’t think the world is just like him, but he does expect a lot from the people around him.

On the plus side, this tends to inspire other people to do more and to do better, but it can also make others feel inadequate in contrast. 

His high standards aren’t meant as a criticism. He just sees the best in others and believes in their potential. This has to be balanced by compassion, or he’ll find himself constantly disappointed with humanity. 

7. He’s Productive

The alpha male is known for his productivity. He’s the one who makes things happen, not just the idea guy who lets other people get on with the real work.

He gets things done, and he doesn’t wait around for someone to ask him to get started either.

There’s a reason he does so well in life. He’s not waiting for life to happen to him. He’s making things happen. It’s one of his many attractive traits. 

8. He’s Fitness-Focused

The alpha male isn’t really a couch potato. He’s fitness-focused and inclined to take good care of himself.

While it’s possible that he becomes the mirror-obsessed gym rat, most alpha males are able to focus on fitness without becoming total narcissists. They care about staying healthy and active.

His goal-oriented mindset usually extends beyond career and relationship goals. He has fitness goals, too.

He won’t be the man to sit around and wait for his health to be at risk before he pays attention. He’s far too active to let it get that far. 

9. He Puts Effort into His Appearance

He’s not just focused on his fitness. He also puts effort into his appearance. It’s not an accident that he makes a good first (second, third, and so on) impression.

He cares about his hygiene, about what he wears, and about how he presents himself to the world around him. 

This doesn’t mean that he’s status-driven necessarily. He just makes an effort to look good because it makes him feel good.

He’s not going to show up looking like a total slob for a first date because he wants to make that extra effort to show he put some thought into it. 

10. He’s Successful

With all these great qualities, it’s no mystery why the alpha male is successful. Between his charisma and his go-getter attitude, he gets things done and inspires others to get on board with the mission.

He tends to have successful relationships, a strong career, and is well-liked by the people around him. 

This success can breed resentment in people who aren’t quite on his level, but he’s not on an ego trip about it. He does well because he works hard, not because life’s been served up on a silver platter.

Even if he’s born with privilege, he doesn’t take it for granted or expect anything to be given to him without him earning it first. 

11. He’s Tenacious

The alpha male doesn’t give up. His goal-oriented mindset comes with strong tenacity. Although his high standards can make him seem stubborn and uncompromising, the truth is that he’s loyal to a fault.

He’s persistent because he doesn’t mind working for something when he knows it’s worth it.

The good news is that this doesn’t just apply to his fitness goals and his career. He works at relationships, too.

The alpha male knows that good friends and good romantic relationships aren’t easy to find and are worth the maintenance that goes into them.

He won’t give up easily on a good thing, and he lets the people in his life know he’s all in whether it’s a romantic commitment or an invitation to be a part of his inner circle.

Recommended read: 21 Interesting Traits of a Gamma Male

12. He’s Self-Aware

One of the traits of the alpha male is his self-awareness.

He doesn’t think he’s perfect. He knows he’s not. He’s self-aware enough to see his flaws, but he doesn’t just stop at self-awareness. He’s actively working on becoming a better man.

This isn’t the guy who will detail his faults and expect you to just get over it. He’s the one capable of apologizing when he messes up and making amends for it.

While he’s not perfect, he’s a good man, and he’s trying not to repeat his mistakes. 

13. He’s Intelligent

The alpha male in your life is intelligent.

In fact, it’s one of his sexiest qualities. He’s not all about shallow conversations and little substance. He’s thoughtful, interesting, and interested.

He can dive deep into your interests or his, and he doesn’t wait for someone else to lead the conversation.

You won’t have to talk to this guy endlessly about work and the weather.

He’s got other thoughts on his mind, and he’ll share them.

While he can be pretty opinionated, he’s also capable of absorbing new information and changing his mind when presented with facts that challenge his previous thoughts. 

14. He’s Emotionally Intelligent

The alpha male isn’t just book smart either.

He’s emotionally intelligent. He can read a room with ease, and he has a tendency to make other people more comfortable.

While less secure friends might give him a hard time for being so sensitive, he knows that being compassionate is important.

His emotional intelligence can make the alpha male a strong friend and partner. He may not know the perfect thing to say or do, but he can sense when something’s wrong and won’t just ignore it.

You can expect the alpha male to be a strong shoulder to lean on in tough times. 

15. He’s Unfailingly Honest

There’s a difference between being brutally honest and being honest. The alpha male doesn’t think it’s necessary to be brutal, but he is unfailingly honest.

He doesn’t tell his friends what they want to hear but what they need to hear. He speaks the truth, but he does it with kindness.

Sometimes, the truth hurts, but the alpha in your life isn’t going to hurt you with it and not care about your feelings.

He’s more likely to level with you while showing compassion that what he’s saying might be upsetting.

If he thinks your new romantic partner is bad news, he likely won’t sugarcoat it, but he won’t be a jerk about it either. 

Recommended read: 16 Traits of a Beta Male

16. He’s Driven and Ambitious

Alpha males climb right to the top of the ladder. They’re driven and ambitious, and they get places as a result.

You won’t see the alpha in your life hanging out in a dead-end job that isn’t meaningful to him. He’s got plans, and he’s making them happen.

He’s not successful purely based on good looks and charm. He works for what he’s got, and he makes things happen.

When you pair his natural determination with this powerful ambition, it’s unsurprising that he ends up being the top dog that everyone else follows.

17. He Attracts Partners Easily

The alpha male is perfectly content on his own, but he attracts partners easily. Why wouldn’t he?

He’s smart and considerate, takes good care of himself, is confident without being an egomaniac, and has some strong core values.

He’s going to appeal to many when it comes to love and romance. But that doesn’t mean he’ll settle for anyone.

He might attract a lot of potentials, but the alpha male is going to look for someone who fits into his life.

He wants to share interests and values, but he also wants someone who can complement the life he’s planning.

Some alphas go looking for a beta who happily fill a supporting role, but others want another alpha to be a full partner in the relationship.

It all depends on the life he wants and what he’s looking for long-term. 

Recommended read: 19 Signs He Genuinely Loves You, According to a Former Therapist

18. He’s Charming

The alpha charms everyone wherever he goes. It’s a natural type of charisma that he can’t just turn off. It’s one part diplomacy and one part just being a stand-up human being.

His emotional intelligence and compassion make him someone everyone likes to be around.

Of course, there’s one subset he never successfully charms — people who are insecure and feel threatened by him. Hey, you can’t please everyone. You aren’t tacos.

He’s likely going to annoy people who aren’t as confident, secure, and successful, but it’s not because of anything he’s doing. He may not even be aware of it.

Most people find him charming unless they’ve got some issues that have nothing to do with him.

Recommended read: 24 Surprising Traits of a Sigma Male

19. He’s Kind

One of the primary strengths of a true alpha man is his kindness. That’s why a domineering, controlling person can never truly be an alpha. Alphas rule with kindness and natural leadership, not with an iron fist. 

The alpha looks out for his pack.

He’s going to play to his strengths, highlight the strengths of others, and help people out where they are weakest.

He doesn’t need to make anyone look bad to make himself look good. That’s not an alpha move, and it would never occur to him to do it. 

20. He’s Humble

For all of his awesomeness, the alpha male is humble. He doesn’t humble-brag on social media. He’s genuinely so self-assured that he doesn’t feel the need to brag at all.

If he shares his success, it’s in a down-to-earth way that doesn’t typically ruffle feathers.

The true alpha isn’t the man on the dating app expounding on his many accomplishments and good qualities.

He sees no need to give you his full resume. He takes pride in his work, but he has no need to too his own horn about it. 

21. He’s a Team Player

Alphas are generally the top dog, but they actually make pretty awesome team players. It’s because the alpha doesn’t think he needs to do everything himself.

He knows how to delegate and use the strengths of his team.

Because he knows he’s not perfect, he also knows how to admit his weaknesses and allow someone else to step up where they might do a better job. 

The alpha male understands that when the team wins, everyone wins. He’s not looking for personal accolades at the expense of everyone else.

Life isn’t actually a competition, but if it was, the alpha male would have no problem passing around participation trophies so everyone could feel good about themselves.

He doesn’t need an award to feel like the best because he’s not comparing himself to anyone else. 

Can You Develop the Qualities of an Alpha Male?

The alpha position can be held by any gender. Anyone can have these qualities, and in truth, anyone can develop them.

However, your personality type is usually innate.

You could be a beta who cultivates some alpha traits, or you might be more of a delta with some alpha qualities.

The thing about the personality types is that it’s not really a matter of one being better than the others — although, admittedly, the alpha is a coveted role.

Every personality has a place and an advantage in the social structure.

Everyone can’t be leaders just like everyone can’t be followers. Life would be pretty chaotic if we all did the exact same thing.

What makes the alpha so attractive is that he’s comfortable in his own skin and in his role. He does it well because he knows himself.

He’s doing what’s natural to him.

Yes, it’s possible for someone else to develop these qualities, but the alpha male has learned that the best thing we can all do is play to our strengths, work on our weaknesses, and learn to cooperate as a team. 

Recommended read: 34 Signs a Male Coworker Likes You But Is Hiding It

Image by senivpetro on Freepik

The Truly Charming