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Has someone called you a beta male and you’re looking to learn about their traits? If so, or you’re trying to determine whether someone in your life fits the criteria, and then stick around for some interesting details.
A socio-sexual hierarchy or ranking system was made up to rank men based on characteristics such as dominance and prowess. The Beta male appears as the second-most dominant, immediately below the highest-ranking male called the Alpha.
The Sigma male, a newly introduced male type, is said to have knocked beta men into third position.
Let me say this right off the bat. Beta males aren’t usually given the credit they deserve. They’re often dismissed as weak, second-class men compared to their alpha rivals. You’re in for a pleasant surprise once you begin exploring the characteristics of this particular male archetype and how they compare to alpha and sigma males.
Gaining a deeper understanding of beta male traits lets you see why people are fond of them, sometimes more than the others on the pecking order.
What Is a Beta Male?
There’s no shortage of definitions for beta males online and some aren’t kind. A fair description of the archetype is a man who is reserved and not dominant and aggressive as the alpha male.
He has been labeled the “lieutenant” of the socio-sexual hierarchy who is subordinate and loyal to alphas. Although these traits don’t equate to being weak, promoters of male dominance have made that conclusion.
A Quick Glance at the Socio-Sexual Hierarchy
Male dominance began trending when American writer and far-right activist Theodore Robert Beale, aka Vox Day, created the socio-sexual hierarchy that categorized men into ‘ranks’ and ‘archetypes’. The idea was to compare and determine how they fit into their masculine and social roles as well as interact with each other.
The initial five types were alpha, beta, delta, gamma, and omega males. “In linear hierarchies, alpha males are the highest-ranking males within a group, followed by beta, and then gamma males,” and so on.
The sigma male, a new archetype coined by Vox Day, was later introduced and positioned below the alpha and above the beta.
Beta vs Alpha and Sigma Males
Currently, alpha, beta, and sigma males are the three most-talked-about male archetypes as far as it relates to who’s more dominant. How does the beta compare to the other two?
The first contender, the alpha male, is positioned at the top of the hierarchy and labeled the leader of the pack. To sum him up, he’s a strong and powerful leader, and also “bold, self-confident, and demanding”, according to Harvard Business Review.
His outgoing personality (extroverted) and charm make it easier for him to succeed with women and in life compared to beta males who struggle in these areas due to their shy, passive nature.
Contender number two, the sigma male, is a leader in his own right who hates to be boxed into a social type.
He’s a confident, independent, silent leader who stays to himself (introverted), hence the nickname, the “lone wolf.” Going it alone requires them to be self-reliant as opposed to beta males who rely heavily on others.
Sigmas are considered the alpha male equals, only a more reserved, yet confident version. They, too, are successful and are popular with women, except that it’s their elusive, non-committal nature that piques the interest of females.
Where does this leave the beta male who has to compete with these (supposedly favorable) alpha and sigma traits? The general view of betas isn’t positive, unfortunately, because they are largely misunderstood.
Here’s how beta males are essentially portrayed by those who claim to have studied and understand the archetype well:
17 Fascinating Beta Male Traits That Make Them Stand Out
There’s a myth that beta males are weak, wishy-washy, spineless men and that’s why they’re relegated to second place on the ranking system. Quite far from the fact.
You have to look at all of their notable personality traits as a whole to truly see how unique and likable they are. Take a look at some beta male characteristics that may change your view of them:
Beta males are classified as introverted, similar to sigma males, since they are on the reserved side of the socializing spectrum. Introverts and extroverts are two personality types made popular by psychiatrist Carl Jung. Myer and Briggs later developed eight introverted subtypes, such as INTJ, and eight extraverted subtypes.
Men with beta traits don’t need to be out and about socializing with every Tom, Dick, and Harry to feel happy.
They already aren’t high-energy people, so choosing to be alone or sitting quietly with their own thoughts and feelings helps preserve their energy. When they do connect socially, it’s usually in a small familiar circle.
A nice, calm, amiable guy is a breath of fresh air for women who can’t stand hostile or antagonistic men. Although he isn’t extroverted like alphas who capitalize on their boldness to approach women, the beta male’s good-natured personality captures women who prefer that kind of persona.
His friendliness is seen in almost all of his social interactions, whether the person is a male, female, adult, child, loved one, or stranger. So, if you’re looking for a kind, sweet-natured buddy or partner, you might need to look for one with beta male traits.
Humility is one of the virtues missing in a lot of people, but very evident in beta males. It’s the opposite of the maddening arrogance displayed by your typical, strong-headed alpha male.
Worse yet, beta males’ humility has been confused with weakness, poor self-confidence, and low self-esteem, hence the misconception that they lack resilience. Supporters of that idea couldn’t be more wrong about them.
Humility is a remarkable sign of character and strength, yet it rarely gets the acknowledgment it deserves as a relevant trait to possess. According to John H. Harvey and Brian G. Pauwels, humility and modesty are “essential to life satisfaction.”
#4. Not Confrontational
The beta male is aware that confrontations often lead to arguments if he responds or holds strong opposing opinions. Therefore, he avoids getting sucked into that kind of drama. He lets you have your say, not because he’s weak, but because he’s not one to start or fuel arguments.
It’s not in his nature. He likes his peace and quiet like the sigma male even if that means giving in to let you win. If confrontations feature frequently, he’ll lose interest in the friendship or relationship.
The arrogance and competitiveness of alpha males won’t let them stay quiet. They have to rebut practically everything and get the last say. After all, winning gives them confidence and they’ll need someone to butt heads with to feel good.
Reservedness is a core trait spotted in sigma males. Incidentally, it’s quite noticeable in beta males as well. It’s not surprising, since sigmas are said to have a combination of alpha and beta male traits.
Being reserved and somewhat shy keeps betas away from social interactions even though they desire to connect, unlike sigma males whose reservedness stems more from a need for solitude.
Staying to themselves doesn’t mean betas are socially awkward either. They are fun and friendly. People find them approachable and easy to talk to. When immersed in socializing, they can keep their opinions to themselves, especially if they know it can trigger conflict. The ability to do that indicates good self-control.
Sometimes it’s good to have someone you can have a conversation with and not feel nervous that they will be opinionated. You’re likely to find this type of dynamic when communicating with a beta male.
They’ll listen, agree, and approve with a nod of the head and “OKs.” He’s the “Yes, dear” type of guy that can make a lot of women happy.
A secure and emotionally intelligent woman or man won’t see this as a weakness but as character strength. Antagonistic people may find his agreeable nature annoying, however.
They may say something like, “So you’re just gonna agree to everything I say?” Beta males will interpret that as looking for drama and know very well how to avoid it by remaining non-defensive.
#7. Team player
Who doesn’t appreciate someone who comes into the sandbox and follows the rules of the game? With the beta male, you won’t have to worry about competition or any argument over who’s going to lead or who will win.
Supervisors and managers enjoy having them on board since they’re already naturally inclined to take and follow instructions.
They enjoy a team setting where they can interact and share ideas with their peers. Beta males come to add value to the team and value everyone’s contribution. Rest assured, they aren’t there to usurp your power or boss their colleagues around.
Good loyal friends and partners are hard to come by. As such, if you happen to cross paths with a loyal beta male, appreciate him. Their loyalty extends to the workplace and other areas of life. This makes it easy for people to trust and depend on them.
Not only that, a romantic relationship with this particular archetype can be less stressful as far as worrying about infidelity. Your beta male friend or partner will celebrate when you win and cry with you in sad times. He’ll stick up for you when others turn their backs on you.
He goes with the flow and is more accepting than demanding than the alpha male. In the alpha male world, a man who isn’t pushy and relentlessly goes after what he wants is considered a wuss.
However, strong leaders like alphas rely heavily on beta male types to run successful businesses. Betas’ agreeable traits make them compliant teammates, a characteristic that is crucial to productivity and performance.
Beta themselves benefit highly from being more easy-going and compliant. Because of their relaxed, low-key, and carefree personality, they are less likely to have increased stress levels.
Their easygoing personality may also lower their risk of stress-related mental health problems, such as emotional exhaustion and anxiety.
#10. Emotionally Vulnerable
If you see a man crying, he’s probably a beta male. He doesn’t subscribe to the notion that big men don’t cry. The guy is absolutely in touch with his emotions and he’s not afraid to show it.
However, that might be one of the reasons beta males are seen as ‘soft’ or weak. Notwithstanding, some women view this as a positive and alluring trait.
Having an emotional side and the ability to connect emotionally with others make beta males good prospective partners for women who have the hots for affectionate men.
To me, a guy who’s affectionate and unafraid to show his feelings regardless of societal backlash is an emotionally strong man.
If you’re looking for a man who values commitment and relationships, you might need to shortlist a beta male. Alpha males have a knack and charm for attracting women easily and don’t feel the need to settle down quickly.
Sigma males like to remain mysterious as it allows them to be chased a little by females. They aren’t easy to lock down or quick to commit either,
On the other hand, beta males are wired for love, affection, and relationships. There’s really no push and pull and wondering where you stand. You’ll know a beta guy wants to be with you by the way he stays closely connected. On top of that, the fact that they are naturally submissive makes them supportive partners.
Patience is another one of the life virtues that isn’t exactly second nature for many of us. It makes sense that a beta male would possess this trait when you factor in his other positive traits, such as being quiet, laid back, and team-spirited.
Alpha males are go-getters, adventurers, and achievement-oriented. They’re not willing to sit back, relax, and wait for things to fall into place. Beta males are usually never in a rush.
They’re on the calmer side of life. Remaining calm and patient help them save their energy and reduce stress and anxiety.
Social commenters have bashed the beta male for accepting the status quo or his position on the pecking order. They think he should want to do better and become better.
At least, he should want to strive for alpha or sigma male traits. The beta male remains unbothered about what others think of him.
It’s hard to see how people could label him as having low self-esteem when he’s okay with himself. He’s not wearing a ‘mask’ like a narcissist, pretending to have high self-confidence.
He has no interest in demonstrating superiority or is interested in bossing people around to feel good. He’s perfectly accepting of his less-than-domineering characteristics.
#14. Not Inspired by the Thrill of the Hunt
Alpha males are the “leaders of the pack,” and with enough male prowess and confidence to chase women. The thrill of the chase is more exciting than the conquest. One cannot say the same about the subject of this article.
He’s certainly not chasing after women. He’s far too shy and easygoing. However, those chill characteristics often land him in the ‘friend zone” too often.
Lucky for him, certain types of women are naturally attracted to beta males. They like him for who he is just the way he loves and accepts himself. Needless to say, The Beta Male Dating Guide: How to Attract Girls without Trying So Hard can make things a lot easier for him in the dating department.
#15. Good Listener
The patience, kind, and supportive disposition of the beta male is the reason why he’s often regarded as a good listener. He’s not usually in a hurry to be anywhere, affording him time to stop and be attentive to you.
Don’t expect this from an alpha male, particularly if he’s self-centered and relishes attention. Unlike alpha males who enjoy the spotlight and prefer to do more talking than listening, beta males want to hear you out.
Since they aren’t really opinionated, you can enjoy the ‘floor’ without worrying about rude interruptions. Actively listening and not interrupting are examples of empathic listening.
#16. Value Their Partner’s Opinion
Not only will you find them to be good listeners, but beta guys are also considerate of your thoughts and opinions. Having your opinions counted as important makes you feel seen, heard, and understood in the relationship.
I recently had a candid conversation with my ex. He is a successful alpha male who possesses healthy narcissist traits (adaptive traits).
I made it clear to him that I ended our relationship because he failed to value my opinions and me as a separate individual. He accepted it as a fact and apologized.
The point is that a beta male will value you as a person. He understands that your ideas are important and is even open to letting you make the final decision on a matter.
#17. Okay With Being Submissive In A Relationship
Beta males aren’t preoccupied with gaining power and status or leadership roles. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as he feels happy with himself.
In that vein, he would willingly allow his woman to take the reins and make decisions for their household. No wonder they are drawn to alpha females with their strong, independent, and authoritative personalities.
What’s interesting about this particular trait is that women who prefer female-led relationships actually seek men who have no problem letting them take charge. Some beta men feel happy being dominated by strong, independent women.
They don’t necessarily feel less confident or less masculine. Besides, letting the woman run things takes away the stress of being the provider and protector.
Final Thoughts on Beta Male Traits
Being placed on the second tier of the hierarchy is by no means conclusive that beta males are lesser than alpha or sigma males, or the rest of the male archetypes, for that matter. As you’ve discovered, they possess many positive traits.
If you believe you’re more beta in nature, seeing your personality traits as unique will help you to accept yourself as you are. At the same time, you can choose to become more like a sigma male or even an alpha, if that’s the kind of guy you want to be.
You have the human ability to improve on characteristics you think prevent you from achieving your greatest potential. On that note, find out How to Love Yourself: 16 Ways to Change Your Life’s Potential.
Finally, if you want to identify YOUR personality type, then take one of these 11 personality tests to better understand what makes you tick.