If you possess alpha male characteristics, you are probably proud of them, and you should be. They include dominance, confidence, a take-charge-attitude, self-directedness, goal-orientedness and charisma. These characteristics also include competitiveness and when necessary, aggressiveness. They give the alpha male the capacity to be what he usually is in the world, a high-achiever with a strong sense of mission, and a bold, creative, innovative thinker. Characteristics also include persistence, tenacity, determination and steadfastness.
Alpha male characteristics are in all probability genetically endowed, and have as their baseline purpose to insure the alpha’s role as leader of the pack . “Alpha” designates “the first” and we first started designating this to the leaders of animal packs, such as wolves. They allow the alpha male at their best to protect and provide for their family and community; nature created the alpha male and alpha female for this purpose. About 40% of both the male and female population is alpha. If you are a beta male, you may have been taught alpha male characteristics because it is difficult for a male to survive in the world without them, though it is easier than it used to be. Alpha male characteristics take the alpha male to the boardrooms of Wall Street and to the heights of the professions and to the offices of successful business owners and tradesmen.
Alpha male characteristics prevent others from trying to take advantage of the alpha male, and if anyone should try, the alpha male is trained to hurt them in such a way that they will think twice before they ever try to do that again. They also include a “my way or the highway” attitude that often tolerates no disagreement or discussion by others of alpha male opinions or decisions. They include the capacity to intimidate, often through overt or covert threats to hurt, leave, fire, dismiss or shame the disagreeing other person.
In addition to the capacity to get his way through intimidation, they often include charisma, so that the alpha male can smoothly charm others to agree with him. Couple this with the alpha male characteristic of persistence, and those who oppose him often give in because they are worn out!
Alpha male characteristics are often quite effective in the workplace; however, these same characteristics don’t work at home in his intimate partnership or marriage. The very characteristics that make the alpha male successful in the outside world can often ruin a relationship. They may leave the alpha male short with his partner; he doesn’t want to take the time to listen to his partner’s point of view. He often feels like this is pointless, because his opinion is that there is one right way, and it is his. The alpha male often competes, or issues commands, instead of working in teamwork with his spouse or mate. He can work himself and his family to the point of exhaustion. These characteristics can also include those of impatience and a critical nature.
If you are in a relationship with someone like this, you may be drawn to his strength, ambition, power and charm. Those men have many endearing qualities. You may feel like you understand him and love him deeply, yet there is a sense that your alpha male puts achievement first and love second. Though you love him, you may feel criticized or dominated by him, or like you can’t keep up with his exhausting schedule. You may feel like your partner doesn’t listen to you, or that he turns discussions of differences into an argument. Men with alpha male characteristics always want to win an argument and he may turn many issues into an argument rather than a discussion. Sometimes the man with alpha male characteristics may have a “my way or the highway” attitude with you. You love him, and yet you feel lonely for a greater sense of partnership, and for your love to take a bigger place in his life, at least on an equal part with his work life and professional success. If you are an alpha female, you may have some of the same characteristics and behaviors in your relationship as the alpha male. If that is the case, you fight a lot, or feel misunderstood.
Often at midlife, this person finds himself unhappy, with a nagging sense that something is missing in his life. He may be overworking, or toying with overuse of alcohol or even drugs. The alpha male feels a subtle or blatant emptiness when he slows down long enough from pursuing his goals. At that point, this person may review a series of failed intimate relationships in his life. He looks at couples he knows. Some of them look happy, and the alpha male wonders how they do it. Other couples look bored with each other but stay married for the convenience. He isn’t sure he wants that. On the other hand, he considers the possibility that he might die lonely and alone, or perhaps surrounded by sycophants. The alpha male begins to consider that maybe, just maybe, the problem may have something to do with his alpha male characteristics, even though he hates to admit it. Still, he may not have a clue what the problem is. The alpha male doesn’t like that. After all, he is an alpha; part of alpha male characteristics is identifying problems and solving them. The alpha male is good at that.
Winning at Love offers a clear analysis of the problem and step-by-step approaches for addressing the problems encountered by men with these characteristics. If you are one of these, you will have to practice, and you are capable of that. After all, you have practiced skills in becoming successful in your business, profession or trade. You have practiced skills to improve your golf game, or fly fishing, or skiing. So of course you can practice skills that will allow you to have a loving partnership. You’re up to it. After all, you are an alpha.
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