What it REALLY Means to Be a Beta Male (And Why Beta Male Behavior is Detrimental to Society)

Almost everything you’ve ever heard about what it means to be a “beta male” is dead wrong.

Beta males are not always…

The unsocial and shy introverts that no one wants to talk to.

Scrawny gamers and “loser” nerds who can’t talk to women.

Lazy, unambitious, and financially destitute men who flip burgers at McDonald’s.

Weak, unattractive, “nice guys” who let the world walk all over them like a doormat.

…Or any of the other tired cliches we so often hear from the “manosphere” and pick-up industry.

Although it’s true that beta males can fit the classic stereotype of the weak, incompetent, bumbling idiot who means well but struggles to create the life he really wants…this superficial definition ignores the deeper implications of being a beta male and gives us an incomplete understanding of what really makes a man alpha or beta.

And this is a big problem.

Because to effectively prescribe a solution to any problem, we must first have an accurate diagnosis of what the problem really is.

In this article, I’m going to set the record straight and explain exactly what it means to be a “beta male” and how it is silently undermining the life of men in today’s society whether you think you’re a beta male or not.

I’ll reveal exactly what a beta male is, the common myths surrounding beta males, the real reason why beta male behavior is so dangerous, and how you can start down your path to becoming the alpha of your life.

Let’s dive in.

The Real Definition of the Beta Male: Why Many “Alpha” Men Are Betas in Disguise

what is a beta male

To start our conversation, we must dispel the common myths that beta males are always weak, lazy, and romantically hopeless men.

They’re not.

Being a beta male has nothing to do with your physical strength, financial success, or aptitude with women and dating.

These external factors can serve as indicators of whether a man is an alpha or beta, but in and of themselves, they are insufficient to “diagnose” a man entirely as alpha or beta. Because the defining characteristic of a beta male is not their external successes (or lack thereof), but the driving force behind those successes.

By very definition, beta males live their lives based on the values and vision of other people. They seek validation at every turn and because they lack self-reliance and a strong sense of personal identity, they fall into patterns of neediness and approval-seeking behaviors.

They do not believe that they are “enough” as a man and so they desperately seek to prove their worth through any means possible.

Ironically, one of the best examples of covert beta behavior in action is the “classic” alpha male.

A man’s man who seems to have everything figured out. He has a thriving multiple 6-figure career, a sports car, a physique that puts the ancient Spartans to shame, and a stack of cash in the bank.

On the surface, he seems like an alpha male, right? He has all of the outward trappings of success. And most men would kill just to spend a day in his shoes.

But when you look beneath the surface, you find something rather interesting.

Despite his external successes, the man in question is not happy or fulfilled. His life is covertly built entirely on seeking approval from others and every action that he takes is permeated by an unhealthy desire to be ‘liked’ and validated by those around him.

Sure, he makes $250,000 a year working as a corporate executive. But he silently hates what he does, suffers from crippling anxiety, and wants nothing more than to quit the corporate world and pursue his real passions.

But he’s too afraid to take the leap. He’s terrified of what other people would think if he turned his back on such a lucrative career and so he spends years miserably clocking in and clocking out so he can prove his worth to the father who never loved him and “friends” he doesn’t really have.

Sure, he’s rocking big biceps, a solid six-pack, and legs so thick that he has to buy custom made jeans…but his commitment to building such an insane physique stops him from enjoying his life.

To achieve his goals, he’s destroyed his health, imbibing a cocktail of steroids and illegal drugs to get the edge. He meticulously counts his calories, spends 15 hours a week at the gym, and can’t remember the last time he actually enjoyed one of his workouts or meals.

But the compliments from other men and the attention of beautiful women fuel the fire and encourage him to push his body to its breaking point. Even though he wants to dial back his training and make more time for fun and adventure, he’s terrified that he will lose significance and acceptance if he loses his “gains.”

And the women? Despite the fact that he sleeps with a new woman almost every week, he doesn’t enjoy spending time with any of them. He’s tired of the superficial interactions, the lack of meaningful love and connection, and the lackluster sex with dozens of new partners.

At his core, he wants nothing more than to settle down with one woman and share his life with someone who ‘gets’ him. But he’s terrified of what his friends will think if he does this. His status as a “player” and “ladies man” keeps him trapped in an endless stream of meaningless trysts that do nothing but feed his ego and add to his growing sense of loneliness.

Although this man appears to be a “true alpha”, he is, in fact, a beta male in disguise.

His success is not a byproduct of purpose, mission, and authentic desire…but of shame, fear, and an endless quest for validation.

Now, this is not to say that every successful, rich, athletic, ladies man is a beta male trying to earn approval. Simply that the external results we often ascribe to the “alpha ideal” don’t tell the whole story.

It’s often hard to see, but when you peel back the layers of so-called “alpha males” you’ll often find a scared boy who is trying to prove his worth to others and fill the growing emptiness inside of him with approval and validation.

The question we must always ask ourselves then, is “Why?”

Why are you (or any other man) doing the things you do?

Is it because those actions are truly in alignment with your core values and the vision that you have created for your life?

Or is it because you want to prove yourself to others, feel accepted, and hide from the uncomfortable truth that, no matter what external “alpha” successes you have, you feel empty on the inside?

The True Definition of the Beta Male Revealed: Why the “Driving Force” is Everything

beta male characteristics

What separates the alphas from the betas is the “why” behind their results, not the results themselves.

For example, imagine two men, John and Daniel.

John appears externally to be an alpha male. He has a 7-figure business, he’s shredded as hell, and he sleeps with dozens of beautiful women regularly.

Daniel, on the other hand, appears to be a beta male. He only makes $75,000 a year but works a job he enjoys, he’s fit and athletic but his physique isn’t particularly impressive, and he’s been happily married to the same woman for almost a decade.

But when you look under the surface, you see the truth.

John, despite his success, at his core feels weak, lacking and inadequate.

He works crazy hours in his business to prove to the world that he’s “good enough.”

He uses all the one night stands with women to cover up his insecurities and appear to have something over married men, but the truth is, John is incapable of holding down a real relationship (even though that’s what he really wants). He’s terrified of commitment and even more terrified of what other people will think if he “settles down.”

His successes, as impressive as they might be, are driven by fear, inadequacy, and shame.

Daniel, however, is different.

Even though he only makes $75,000 a year, he loves what he does for a living and enjoys a healthy work life balance. He works 35 hours a week, feels fulfilled by his work, and made the conscious decision to earn less money so he can enjoy a lifestyle of freedom, a deeper connection with his wife and adventure with his outdoor hobbies.

And even though Daniel has been married for years, incurring the disapproval and scorn of his “alpha” friends, he loves his wife and feels a deep sense of connection and satisfaction in sharing his life with one person.

Ultimately, Daniel believes that he is enough. He knows what he wants and has engineered his life to achieve it.

Although he might appear to be a “beta male” because he lacks the fame and acclaim one might expect, he is, in fact, a true alpha male.

He’s self-confident, fulfilled, and derives his sense of validation internally, not externally.

John, despite his successes, is a beta male. His achievements are rooted from a place of neediness.

And this is how we can ultimately determine whether a man is alpha or beta.

Beta males, derive pleasure from making other people happy. They avoid tension and conflict–often at the expense of their own self-respect. They struggle to assert their real desires and set effective boundaries and allow their emotions (specifically, their desire to be ‘liked’) to dictate their life and control their actions.

Although these characteristics often manifest themselves in ways that may appear alpha, you must never judge a book by its cover.

Alpha males live their lives based on their own vision and values. They know who they are, what they want, and why.

They don’t seek the approval of other people and they don’t live to make other people happy. They live their lives by their own code and in pursuit of a higher mission and purpose of their own design.

The reason that most men choose to pursue the path of the beta male, and ultimately the true driving force behind all beta behavior is this:

It is easier to fall into the trappings of beta male behavior than it is to have the courage to pursue the life one really wants. 

Beta male behavior allows men to be complacent. To check their brains at the door and blindly follow the herd.

It’s hard to have the courage to be an alpha male. It’s hard to stand up for yourself. To be authentic and pursue a mission that no one else understands. To live life for yourself and walk your own path when no one else will walk with you.

While it might be easy to settle for beta behaviors today, those behaviors inevitably lead to suffering and regret tomorrow.

So the question you must ask yourself is not only “Why am I doing the things I do?” but, “Am I willing to embrace hardship today so I can live the life I want tomorrow?”

The Beta Male Fallacy: Why There’s No Such Thing as a True Beta Male

how to stop being a beta male

I’m going to let you in on a little secret…

Despite what you’ve heard from the pick up gurus, MGTOW and “Red Pill” communities, there is no such thing as an “alpha” or “beta” male. Only alpha or beta behaviors.

Although there is an undeniable “trickle down” effect that influences a man’s behavior and personality, our character is often compartmentalized.

The way that you show up as a man can vary from one area of your life to the next.

A man who is incredibly “alpha” in his career–working hard, taking risks, knowing his worth, and pursuing goals that are meaningful to him–can be incredibly “beta” in his relationship, allowing his women to walk over him, disrespect him, and violate his boundaries.

Similarly, a man who is an alpha in his relationships–refusing to tolerate second class behavior, stating his needs, even sexual and getting them met, and knowing that he is the prize–can be a beta in his career, spending years trapped in a job where he is underpaid, overworked, and disrespected by middle management.

And this is an important point to understand.

All too often, we are quick to lump ourselves and others into neat little boxes. Forgetting that our character doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

Being an alpha or beta male is a choice in every moment. It isn’t something that you are born with or a static trait that you simply ‘have’. It is a conscious choice to act against, or in alignment with your values. To take a stand for yourself and your life, or allow life to happen to you. To face the adversities of life head on, or hide in fear.

The fact that you are “the alpha” in your career or relationships or health does not make you an alpha male anymore than the fact that you occasionally donate money to charity makes you a good person.

Every man, no matter how grounded he may be, slips into beta behaviors and patterns from time to time. And every man, no matter how much of a beta or “nice guy” he is will occasionally stand up for himself and act in alignment with his core values.

By accepting this, you free yourself of the shame and self-loathing that stems from the label of being a “beta male.”

When you realize that you are not an alpha or beta (and never will be), you liberate your psyche from the toxic emotions that have held you captive for so long. You no longer see yourself as an alpha or beta and instead realize that “being” an alpha or beta male is a choice in each moment.

You can choose to live reactively to the world around you or you can choose to be proactive and create the life you want. You can choose to stand up for yourself or allow yourself to be used as a doormat for others. You can choose to live based on your values, your well-being, and your vision. And you can reduce your beta behaviors and show up to life in a more grounded and empowered way.

But to make this decision and step into a new way of being, you must first accept an overlooked truth…

If You Think You’re a Beta Male, It’s Not Your Fault (But It Is Your Responsibility to Change)

what does it mean to be a beta male

Let me say that again…

If you are currently trapped by beta beliefs, behaviors, and habits, it is NOT your fault.

All of us are evolutionarily hardwired to crave acceptance and predicate our sense of self-worth on the opinions of other people. And thousands of years ago, our hunter-gatherer ancestors literally lived and died by the opinions of their tribe.

Disapproval often meant death, either at the hands of their fellow tribesmen or nature.

Today, with nearly 8 billion people sharing this planet, this is no longer the case and the opinions of others are largely irrelevant. No matter what you do, who you are, or what you believe there are other people who will agree with you and people who will disagree with you.

But our ancient brains have yet to catch up.

And, to make matters worse, our parents, upbringing and society didn’t exactly do us any favors.

From the time we were little boys we were taught to fit in. To play it safe. To listen to authority and avoid rocking the boat.

Your parents, as much as they love you, want you to be safe and secure. Happiness, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose are secondary aims.

And so, since the day of your birth, you were inundated with toxic beliefs and encouraged to live and believe in ways that are diametrically opposed to your own well being.

You were taught to behave and listen to your parents, teachers, and managers at work. Never question, just follow. That setting boundaries, being outspoken and standing up for yourself is “selfish” or arrogant. That having lofty ambitions and goals that go against the status quo is “childish” or foolish.

That your sole purpose as a man is to follow the script society laid out for you: get a 9-5 job, get married, have 2.3 kids, buy a house with a white picket fence and die without ever asking yourself “what kind of life do I want to live?”

But this American Dream isn’t a one size fits all.

Depression, anxiety, and suicide are on the rise in men (source)

You can see it in their eyes. That glimmer of hope and excited spark men once had is slowly dying. Replaced by a dull and lifeless gaze that reveals more than words ever could.

And the reason for this is simple…

None of us were taught to define success on our own terms. To pursue a life of meaning and purpose instead of comfort and safety. To boldly chart our own path and give this one brief existence everything that we have.

We were raised, either intentionally or unintentionally by society to be beta males and consequently play the role of the victim–not the hero–in our lives.

So if you are currently trapped by your beta male behaviors and beliefs… it isn’t your fault.

But it is your responsibility to make a change and fight for the life you want.

To reclaim control of your destiny and understand that you don’t have to play the game going on around you.

You can create your own game and set your own rules where you don’t have to play the pawn any longer, you can choose to be the king. And if you want to have any hope of living a meaningful life and dying free of regret, you must.

But to do this you must understand the pain that awaits all men who refuse this call to adventure. You must understand the real price of living life as a beta male…

Why Beta Male Behavior Will Ruin Your Life (And the Lives of Everyone You Love)

being a beta male image

The real problem with living as a beta male is not solely a lack of financial success, physical health, or sexual pleasure (as we’ve already discussed).

But a life of victimhood and approval-seeking.

Instead of creating meaning for themselves, they covertly derive meaning from pleasing others and making others satisfied. They avoid tension and conflict at all costs, often at the expense of their own self-respect. They struggle to assert boundaries and get their needs met. And ultimately, they are controlled by the circumstances of their life and the fleeting emotions they feel in the moment, not by a greater vision or strong values.

And the end result on a long enough timeline is always the same.

Depression. Anxiety. Existential angst.

Even if on the surface they appear to have it all– wealth, great body, women, and status–deep down, they know something is missing. Their external successes are a facade to cover up their internal feelings of “not feeling enough”and every day they suffer the pain of a disingenuous life lived for the approval of others.

It’s a never ending “beta wheel” of chasing happiness through validation. It doesn’t work.

Beta males are victims of their circumstances and environment. Instead of steering their own ship and taking the helm as the captain of their fate, they are struck by the storms of life, allowing their parents, peers, and society to be the driving force of their life’s fate.

It gives birth to a life of quiet desperation, controlled by their fears and their desire to be loved. They sedate the pain with junk food, alcohol, porn, and drugs in an effort to escape the pain and avoid facing the facts of their life.

They seek out drugs like Zoloft, Xanax and Prozac to deal with the banality and frustration of their beta lifestyle choices. They spend hours in therapy trying to work through some trauma of their past without realizing that their real problem is that they lack the courage to pursue the life they want.

The battle for your life is not against the external forces of the world but against the demons of your own mind. To win this war, you must have the courage to live unapologetically in alignment with who you really are.

Depression, anxiety, violent behaviors, and existential dread are all born from a lack of alignment. Although trauma and chemicals can play a role, their true cause is a radical misalignment between who they want to be and who they are.

When these behaviors go on long enough, betas become bitter and jaded. They hate seeing other men living in alignment with who they truly are and so they take up the mantle of victimhood, berating others for their successes and buying into the lie that “He had it easier…he must have had rich parents, connections, and advantages I never had.”

What they never realize (or refuse to acknowledge) is that their actions are not only weak, but selfish.

Their beta behaviors are not only ruining their own lives, but depriving the world of a strong man on his path and purpose living the life he truly wants.

How many would-be artists, athletes, writers, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and innovators has our society lost to the trap of the beta male?

What has fear cost us as a society?

Where would we be today if the masses of men refused to live their lives confined by societal expectations?

How much of depression, pain and anxiety in men is really a cry for pursuing a life that is true to them?

The bitter and inconvenient truth that men trapped by the “beta male paradox” are unwilling to admit is that their approval-seeking behavior affects everyone…not just themselves.

By allowing their toxic patterns and behaviors to go unchecked, beta males can wreak havoc on society and their families. They deprive the world of their gifts, refuse to stand for what is true to them, and allow fear to triumph over courage.

I can’t help but wonder if all of our inner problems are, at their core, a symptom of resigning themselves to a life of quiet desperation.

If the corruption, greed, and bigotry that seems so inescapable today is nothing more than a symptom of power-hungry beta males who are trying to fill a gaping hole in their hearts to prove their worth.

If mental illness, senseless violence, and hatred are nothing more than manifestations of beta behaviors allowed to go unchecked for too long followed by an uncontrollable explosive outburst.

If we could change everything overnight, if we were willing to hang up our egos and pursue lives of meaning, purpose, growth, and impact instead of lives defined by our need to be liked, what kind of world would we be living in?

The Path Forward: Reclaiming Your Power and Embracing a Whole New Life

how to stop being a beta male

By understanding the truth of the beta male paradox and the price of living your life for the expectations of others, you have taken your first step to reclaiming your power and becoming the alpha of your life.

But it is only the first step.

Becoming a grounded man or alpha male is hard, perhaps the hardest thing you will ever do, but it isn’t complicated.

Because, at the end of the day, becoming the alpha of your life is about one thing:

Boldly facing and overcoming your fears and becoming fully present and engaged with your life.

It’s about living fully the life you want without compromise.

To do this, you must embrace discomfort, face your fears, and pursue growth not just for a few years, but as a lifelong goal.

Make no mistake. Living such a life is not easy. If it were, I wouldn’t be writing this article.

It’s easier in the moment, to settle for the status quo.

To follow the path of least resistance and adhere to the rules and dogmas of society. To clock in to a job you hate, settle for the first woman who you “sort of” like, sedate your existence with vices that provide instant gratification and to forgo your dreams and aspirations out of fear.

But this is no way to live! It’s nothing more than an existence of getting by…and a miserable one at that. You know that the pleasure you feel in the moment is so heavily outweighed by the pain of regret that it breaks the damn scale.

And I know that you want more out of life.

Despite what some philosophers say, there is a fate worse than death. And most men are living it every single day. That fate is an un-lived life…a hollow, unfulfilling existence lived in fear and self-loathing. A life where you neither dare greatly nor strive valiantly for anything and instead resign yourself to mediocrity and monotony.

And if you do not take action…if you do not face your fears, accept the challenges ahead of you, and embrace this call to take a stand for your life…this is your fate. The fate of the beta male.

I cannot tell you how to live your life. What goals to set, what purpose to pursue, or what beliefs you should adopt, that is all your choice.

But I can tell you this…

It only takes 2-seconds of courage to change your life forever.

And I can promise you that the pain of facing your fears and charting your own path is nothing when compared to the pain of an un-lived life.

You can decide today, right now, to make the hard choice and do what needs to be done to live the life you want.

To quit the soul sucking job that has stolen your joy and sanity.

To end the relationship with the woman who emasculates and undermines you.

To embrace the adventure of a lifetime and give everything you have to this life.

Not to please others or earn approval or validation. But to free yourself of beta male behavior. To live the life you’ve always wanted to live and pursue the purpose that lights your soul on fire.

It is my hope that you will answer this call to adventure.

It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

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