Alpha versus Beta- Part 1

One of the things that has long irked me about the manosphere has been the tendency to group people into Alphas and Betas (and occasionally other greek letters as well). I have always felt that it was a sloppy system that failed to explain properly the way that women look at men.

In my mind, Alpha and Beta weren’t conditions of men, or categories of men, but attributes that a man could possess. I first visualized this as a matrix (an appropriate metaphor, I should think), where you had Beta attributes on one side, and Alpha attributes on another.

Novaseeker had a similar idea with his List A and List B attributes, and in a discussion on his blog I introduced my own ideas on the subject. He asked me for some details, and I provided them, along with some graphics to go with them. Rather than copy paste his post, read it on his site to understand my thoughts on the subject:

Charts of Attraction

One of my comments to that post expanded my idea somewhat, by noting that a visualization of a graph might be superior to matrix, as it demonstrates that Alpha and Beta aren’t binary. A man isn’t really Alpha Yes or Alpha No. Rather, he has a certain amount of Alpha attributes, and that attribute can be positive or negative. The same applies to Beta attributes.

Before I include a rough graph of that new visualization, I should note that Alpha attributes is a short hand reference to LAMPS. However, given the context, I think I will leave it as Alpha, so it makes more sense to a casual viewer.

Alpha and Beta Attributes graphed out

Alpha and Beta Attributes graphed out

This graphic was made by myself, and can only be used with permission. It is not open source.

The goal of a man who wants to maximize his potential should, in my opinion, be to aim towards the top right corner of the graph. That means maximizing both Alpha and Beta attributes. Beta doesn’t get a lot of love in the manosphere, and I think that is a shame, because such attributes do serve a vital purpose. I think my next post will talk about these so called Beta Attributes, which I call Retention vectors.


Filed under Alpha, Beta, LAMPS, Red Pill

13 responses to “Alpha versus Beta- Part 1

  1. Retrenched

    Well, the reason that “beta” attributes don’t get a lot of love in the ‘sphere is that most frustrated guys who discover the ‘sphere looking for dating or relationship advice have plenty of the “beta” stuff already, and all it does is get them friend-zoned over and over. (Or long dry spells if they’re married.) So red pill bloggers who offer them advice focus on helping them develop more of the “alpha” attributes that will help them be more attractive to women, so that all the “beta” comfort traits might actually make a difference.

    All the “beta” in the world will mean nothing to a woman who doesn’t find a man attractive. She may like him, she may even love him as a friend and wish him all the best, perhaps even try to set him up with her single friends. But if she’s not attracted to him, if she finds his “alpha” attributes lacking, she’ll never want him for herself. What’s more, neither will her friends, unless they see something in him that she does not.

    Anyway, good to see you blogging now. I enjoy reading new perspectives on these issues. Looking forward to your next post on this.

  2. Ah see, when I finish my next post or two, this will make more sense. But the gist of my argument is that the problem is not too much Beta. Beta and alpha are two entirely separate variables. Rather, the problem with most men is that they have too little Alpha. Alpha and Beta are not mutually exclusive.

  3. deti

    Good post, donal.

    Echoing retrenched a little, the problem for most men is not only too much beta. It is also mistaking beta traits as attractive traits, when in fact they are not attractive.

    Alpha traits (confidence, dominance, power) are attractive.

    Beta traits (provider/provisioning, industriousness, fidelity, loyalty, affection, affability, friendliness) are desirable.

    Don’t get me wrong. Women want men with beta traits. However, they want those traits IN AN ATTRACTIVE MAN, and they want the man to display those traits only when they want him to display them. Too much beta, he’s a milquetoast wimp. Too much alpha, he’s an insensitive a**hole.

    For the past couple of generations, men are taught to emphasize their comfort traits when trying to attract women; not realizing that attraction has to be cultivated first if there is to be any kind of a good relationship.

  4. The goal of a man who wants to maximize his potential should, in my opinion, to be in the top right corner of the graph.

    Maximize his potential for marriage? Absolutely.

    Do not disregard a woman’s desire to find the bad boy and try to change him from the bottom right to the top right. The bad boy is often seen as more attractive, though not desirable husband material for women.

  5. Darn it. I forget to close the bold tag. Sorry about that.

  6. Fixed it for you. And you are absolutely on the spot. Women look only at the alphas, and when they can only find the “bad boys”, they believe that they can “fix” them. As you noted, “fix” usually means to make more Beta. But sometimes it is translated to mean less Alpha. Of course, this almost always fails.

  7. deti

    The bad boy is often seen as more attractive, though not desirable husband material for women.

    This is why men are usually told the alpha with a side of beta is more attractive in the long run than beta with a side of alpha. IOW, to maximize attraction he is more alpha than beta. He will want to be in the top right, but closer to the horizontal line than to the vertical line.

  8. I have to disagree. I really think that the Alpha and Beta traits are completely separate. One doesn’t impact necessarily impact the other. You can be strong and confident while still being compassionate. I don’t believe you have to sacrifice one for the other.

  9. Deti,

    Agreed. More alpha than beta is best, IMO, though I think it can vary a bit from woman to woman. It should also be noted, for anyone new to this (obviously not the commenters here, but for anyone else) that often what people call bad boy behaviors are not bad at all. They are simply going against the status quo. A feminist will call a man a jerk for simply not agreeing with her. That’s not being a jerk or a bad boy. It is a very desirable behavior. Men who are comfortably there own will often be pegged as the bad boy when they are, in reality, anything but.

  10. Thanks for fixing it.

    Mistaking attention for a man changing is a dangerous trap.

  11. deti


    Yes re badboys. The reason badboys are attractive to women is that they don’t give a shit what others think of them. Badboys do their own thing. They rebel and push back against convention. They don’t care about social graces or niceties. They don’t care about making others comfortable; they care about getting their own needs and wants met. That makes him stand out. It makes him dominant. It’s chick crack.

  12. All of those behaviors which Deti just described are Power traits.
    “Badboys do their own thing”= Confidence
    “They rebel and push back against convention”= Assertiveness
    “They don’t care about social graces or niceties.”= Detachment
    “They don’t care about making others comfortable; they care about getting their own needs and wants met.” = indicators of Social Dominance

    All of them key signs of a strong Power value in a man. They are all inherently masculine, which is why women adore them. Women crave masculinity, they thirst after it. I don’t think women can get enough. This drive explains both their passionate desire for men with a lot of Alpha traits, as well as their desire to gain power over men. They know they love masculinity, and since masculinity in many ways equals power, they try and gather power in the hopes of capturing that feeling for themselves. Of course, this is impossible without losing their femininity. not that it stops many women these days…

  13. Pingback: Why do Christian women perpetuate myths about attraction? | Sunshine Mary

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