When The Alpha Male Is Just A Betta Fish

Photo by flag75 via Flickr

When did the line between genuine and false confidence become blurred to the same level as a faked photograph of indiscernible alien life?

True confidence is out there, but people will just as quickly dismiss it as douchebaggery these days. When I’m out navigating the faux-hawks, faux hos and faux pas that serve as the foundation of Vegas nightlife, I observe all manner of posturing and territorial behavior. I internalize (usually) my amusement and bemusement when such actions pass for successful flirtation, and I ponder what has brought us to this point.

Actual confidence used to be rather simple to identify: a powerful yet relaxed stride, a commanding but courteous tone of voice, eyes which at once act as both as lasers and Zen gardens. Today, however, it seems the pretenders—these airs to the throne of self-assurance—are being mistaken for leaders and real men.

The definition and perception of the alpha male finds itself under fire.

I see the fractures in the once rock-solid foundation of the alpha male castle. Male authors wearing goggles and frilly shirts and calling themselves Mystery… online articles entitled “Secret Dating Tactics Nice Guys Use to Get Women”… reality shows depicting hopeless guys attempting to become attractive to women… “peacocking,” the “negative comment,” flat-out asshole behavior…. Combine any or all of these tactics with a delusional or insecure male, add a completely contrived personality, pour in vodka and Red Bull, splash it all with Acqua Di Gio, and you have false confidence that will assault any sensible person’s senses.

Stereotypes portray the alpha male as an overly aggressive, Christian Audigier-garbed prick, who has mastered mercenary dating tactics and cutthroat approaches to business and (the appearance of) wealth. He edges out the so-called “nice” guys in social situations, stomping their sand castles and stealing their women. The alpha male is pure instinct—fucking, fighting and feeding.

Well, I call bullshit. Such muscle-headed, immature behavior is the stuff that posturing, impatient beta males are made of. The truth is that a large portion of the beta males of any given social hierarchy are attempting to rush into an alpha male position that they are not ready for. A boy must grow into a man before he can be an alpha male. Immature behavior only precludes them from holding the alpha position in any hierarchy.

Alpha male behavior does not consist of aggression and intimidation, and false-claimant beta males are the enemy of all. For the record, I do not believe there is anything wrong with being a beta male, just as there is nothing wrong with being a beta male who aspires to become an alpha male. What is wrong is the behavior of insecure beta males who believe they can use trickery and disrespect as part of their alpha male costume.

A true alpha male is assertive, not antagonistic. He is competitive, not aggressive. He commands respect, he does not demand it. The heterosexual alpha male loves women and therefore respects them. He does not prey on them due to a vendetta stemming from an involuntarily imposed virginity throughout high school. The alpha male does not believe that sexual experiences are the sole proof of his masculinity. He does not feel the need to prove that he is a man. He has already demonstrated it.

The encroaching beta male menace is actually just a betta fish. The beta posturing as an alpha cannot deal with stress and cannot handle what he identifies as competition. He puffs up and flares out—just like a betta—in an attempt to impress women and threaten perceived rivals. When he has established what he believes is his territory, he becomes possessive of her and displays extreme aggression towards “trespassers.”

Perhaps you believe that this particular type of beta male—the betta male—has earned some measure of respect. He has, after all, asserted himself. He’s shrugged off his meek mantel and inserted himself amongst the true alpha males. Isn’t it, you might ask yourself, impressive that he has decided to compete directly with males of the highest social standing?

The answer is a thunderous “NO!” These pretenders are immature, incapable, and therefore detrimental to society. The unhappy betta male lives inside a vortex of lies, sucking in women and disrespecting them, picking losing fights that only reinforce his negative behavior, and perpetuating his lack of happiness and satisfaction at the end of the day.

The alpha male is the stronger of the species. He has earned his position. The betta male should be seen for what he is—an asshole. And that brings me back to the blurred picture of the alpha male. When we fix the image, we see that the line between legitimate and false confidence is actually a ‘hole.

So, whether you are a man or a woman, don’t fall for the guise of the betta male. He is not—and never will be—a true alpha male.

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  • Well, at least they don’t attack mirrors. Though, it would be amusing if they did.

  • Cameron Livermore

    Yeah, but he’ll get laid a lot. I see this all the time. They’re the guys who like to “seduce” girls by trying to feed them drinks until they can’t see straight then leading them to the car/bedroom/wherever. Their personalities often seem identical to middle-schoolers’ personalities. If you make a joke at their expense, be prepared for a long, drawn-out explanation of why they’re better, stronger, faster, etc. It’s never a joke to them.

  • Cameron Livermore :
    Yeah, but he’ll get laid a lot. I see this all the time.

    I guess maybe that’s why there ARE so many wannabe alpha males. Because the posturing does work….

  • “Yeah, but he’ll get laid a lot. I see this all the time. They’re the guys who like to “seduce” girls by trying to feed them drinks until they can’t see straight then leading them to the car/bedroom/wherever.”

    That’s called rape. They are not “getting laid a lot”, they are rapists.

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