20 Ways To Become The Alpha Male

King of the Hill. Top of the Heap. A Leader of Men.

These are variations on the same theme: being the alpha male. What does this mean? It means having the sort of energy that men respect and women cannot resist. Although it's tempting to attribute it entirely to appearances (Tom Brady, Barack Obama), you gotta remember that short, rat-faced men (Hitler, Mussolini) have brought entire societies to their knees.

Some people argue that this 'it factor' is innate. "Look at the ease with which he handles every situation," they think. "I could never do that." (Maybe he was born with it, maybe it's Maybelline.)

That, my friends, is what is called a 'cop out.' Charisma is not stardust sprinkled onto you during birth by God himself. It's something hard worked upon (but, obviously, seeming totally unpremeditated.) It's confidence, like musculature, broken down and built back stronger each time until it ripples enticingly under your clothes.

If you wish to have the sort of interesting and attractive presence that commands the boardroom, the barroom, and the bedroom, read on. What follows are twenty tips that'll help you reach your full potential and, crudely put, to alpha the f*** out.

20 Lift Weights

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Hugh Jackman: "If the bar ain't bending, you're just pretending."

We know. We said earlier that being 'alpha' has nothing to do with appearance. And we stand by this. But lifting weights isn't just about looking good naked. In fact, if you do it, you quickly realize that that is just a beneficial byproduct. The really exciting thing about lifting weights is becoming strong. You become more functional as a human being. If your car gets stuck in a snowbank, you aren't forced to wait until some guy comes farting along in a tow truck. You can shove your own car out of the drift and be on your way. Lift weights, get stronger, and exert more control on the world around you.

19 Run

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Once again, we don't advise you to run because it'll whittle your waist. If we really wanted you to whittle your waist, we'd advise you to do high intensity interval training and eat nothing but brown rice and canned tuna (wink.) The reason we think you should run is because it puts you in better shape, making you better equipped for any challenge you might face. It lowers your resting heart rate, lowers blood pressure, lowers blood sugar, puts you in a better mood, and toughens the crap out of your heart and lungs. Nothing hampers your leading man status like dying of congestive heart failure at 51.

18 Choose Your Words

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There is an old adage that says that the person who speaks the most is the one with the least power. Any time you speak, you divulge information. Knowledge is power. So the more you speak, the more people have power over you. It might seem a little Darwinian to put it like that; we don't advise you to never say anything, because that could come off as aloof. But try to think about what you say. Make every word count. Subconsciously, people will start paying closer attention to what you say, because they know that your words will thrust the conversation forward in an interesting manner, rather than bog it down in mundane detail.

17 Listen To Other People

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Of all the tips on this list, this might be the most important one. Listening attentively does not make you a 'little omega bitchboy' or whatever you might think. Listening is a rare and undervalued skill. People always want to talk, talk, talk. They want to be the first to make a joke, the first to answer a question. People will gravitate towards you if they don't feel like you're just waiting for them to finish talking so that you can get a word in. When someone else is speaking, take a deep breath, open your ears, and actually let what they're saying imprint on your brain. It'll gain you a lot of favor.

16 Learn To Tell A Story

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That all said, it's absolutely undeniable that speaking is an important skill to have. Politicians get elected because their soliloquies move people to the voting booth. We're not saying develop Martin Luther King's silver tongue, but we are saying try. Even if it comes off stilted at first, eventually you will find your natural rhythm. If your punchline doesn't land the first time, don't zip your lip and call yourself a f*ck-up. Try again, and this time don't get ahead of yourself. Everyone has it in them to tell a good story. You just gotta tap into it.

15 Be Self-Reliant

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In the face of adversity, an alpha thrives and an omega cries. And this isn't a predetermined thing. It works backwards, not forwards. The people who give up are omegas. The people who keep pushing past obstacles are alphas. Even if you fail, nothing will signal to the world that you're a force to be reckoned with like at least trying to make something of it. Muscle, when destroyed, grows back stronger. A person, when faced with challenges that they push past, is stronger. Be resourceful, don't whine, and make a bad thing good.

14 Master A Skill

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"Jack of all trades, but Master of None." That is what a person is called who fritters away his time trying everything, never focusing on anything. As an alpha, you will be expected to master one thing. It can be as elementary as whistling "Flight of the Bumblebee" (although it shouldn't be, if we're being honest.) A true leading man has one skill that he pursues to perfection. Obviously, since perfection doesn't exist, you'd be hard press to actually accomplish it. But setting your mind to something and following through exhibits confidence, self-assuredness, and dedication that'll make people flock towards you.

13 Groom Yourself

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Once again, we don't mean this for the sake of 'make yourself more handsome.' This isn't about being beautiful, it's about being put-together. Nothing displays self-respect (which, surprise surprise, begets other peoples' respect) like taking care of yourself. If you walk around all day a slob, it subconsciously conveys to people that you don't think you're capable of sustaining attention, even though you'd like it. If you're groomed, whatever your grooming preferences may be, people will automatically assume that you're ready to handle whatever level of scrutiny they can throw at you. We like to put it this way: make sure that, no matter when a photo is taken, you will always look your best in it.

12 Be Compassionate

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I've witnessed lots of men, at bars, at parties, or intimate get-togethers, who deride other men and treat women disrespectfully. They do it for the sake of getting respect themselves. But think back on the teachers you had in school who you really respected. Was it the ones you feared? Sure you were quiet in their classes, but you were harshly critical of them during your lunch break. How about the ones who were kind, but firm? You were also quiet during their classes, but they were sacrosanct later on in the cafeteria. Kindness and weakness are two different things. If you have the confidence to be kind without fear of being considered weak, people will give you all their respect.

11 Work Hard

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Being alpha is not an easy thing. It doesn't just land on your shoulders, impossible to shake off as long as you live. Many of these tips can be fitted into this heading: work hard. Whether your job is as mundane as laying bricks, or as high falutin' as practicing corporate law, someone is relying on you (and giving you their money) for their labor. Exercise your integrity. Work assiduously and thoughtfully. Don't be slapdash in anything. Not only will it put you a cut above all the rest, but it'll also bring out the green in the money, no longer dulled by the sense that perhaps you didn't earn every last cent of it.

10 Be Generous

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There is this story circulating on the internet where someone gives a sandwich to a starving man and he splits it down the middle and offers the giver the other half. Again, we don't insist on this level of absolute generosity. But being stingy is the absolute opposite of alpha. Because most of the time, it isn't necessary for self-preservation. If a man with nothing to eat can still share his food, then you can offer your friend one of your beers. A smaller meal with a partner is more fun than a solitary feast. And again, don't allow yourself to become a doormat. If you're too eager to give, people will start to take from you. But if you're kind and firm, people will be thankful and will curb their greed, themselves.

9 Look People In The Eyes

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Nothing evinces a lack of confidence like failing to look people in the eyes, both when they are speaking and when you are speaking. We understand that this society advises against confrontation, and eye contact might seem a little bit aggressive, but those are just forms of socialization. In fact, studies have shown that people in solitary confinement in prison suffer from the lack of human eye contact (as well as from many other things, obviously.) Don't be afraid to look into someone's face when speaking to them. Yes, it will electrify them, but in a good way that'll make them want to stay, not in a bad way that'll make them want to flee.

8 Surrender Your Pride

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Nothing signals tense weakness like excessive pride. If you're prideful, you're vulnerable: easily flattered, easily fooled, and easily manipulated. If you walk around feeling smug and self-satisfied, a compliment will make you easy to control. But if you have a measured view of yourself, neither a compliment nor, more important, a criticism will affect how you behave. Because there are always two sides to a coin, if you accept praise, you accept criticism with the same fervor. If you give up your pride and accept neither, you become more powerful and self-assured.

7 Defend The Defenseless

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Of course, we must preface this with the importance of picking your battles. Nothing is quite as annoying as people who harp on any little thing, or make a World War over a micro-aggression. But everyone believes in something and it's impressive and admirable when you have the courage to reveal your concerns, and to some extent your vulnerabilities, to the world around you. If for instance, you believe that women are treated badly, don't be afraid to say: "I'm a f*cking feminist, god damnit." Don't get fussed when people razz you for it and eventually people will respect your integrity.

6 Develop A Walk

Walking is an important way of communicating information about yourself. There are a lot of things you can tell about a person from the way they do it: they're in a hurry, they're lost, they're afraid, they're in charge. Since it requires your entire body, it's an instance where your whole body is speaking its 'body language.' To be alpha, we suggest that you develop a walk of your own. It's simple: chin up, shoulders back, chest out, and feet heel to toe. It'll communicate confidence, efficiency, and command over the space you're in. Feel free to add in your own little flair; walking is the one place where we can condone a little self-adoring preening.

5 Seek Out Your Fears

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If you're afraid of spiders, don't wrap yourself in a blanket of spiders and hope for the best. There is a difference between a fear, which is pondered, and a phobia, which is irrational. Being afraid of spiders is not going to stop you from doing what you want to do in life. Being afraid of being laughed at will. If you're afraid of being laughed at, find the one thing that others would find the funniest and do it. But don't pussyfoot and do it half-way. That's what people find funny: the sight of someone only partially convinced. Do it FULLY. Close your eyes and charge. You'll find that nothing hurts as bad as you think and people will respect you on the other end.

4 Learn Self-Defense

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Self-defense is a broad term. It can mean a martial art, like karate, or it can mean whipping out a gat and blowing everyone in half. We obviously don't mean go out and get a firearm. We do mean you should do whatever it takes to not be a sheep in a dusky forest full of wolves. Be quick with a joke. Knocking someone over intellectually can be just as humiliating as knocking them on their ass with a punch. But obviously, it's always good to be able to knock someone on his ass with a punch, because thugs wanting to take your money aren't going to stand around as you quickfire punchlines of their goofy haircuts. Be patient until you're f***** with, and then be merciless.

3 Be A Good Lover

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Although this is easier said than done, it can be done. Being a good lover doesn't mean going as hard as you can as fast as you can for as long as you can. Take a hint from the song "4 Minutes": "I want somebody to speed it up for me and take it down slow/ There's enough room for both". Like many things in life, being good in bed means being surprising in bed (to some extent). Bring your own perspective and experience into the bedroom, do things you think you'd like. Maybe your partner has never thought these things and won't realize, until you show them to her, how badly she actually needed 'em.

2 Read Voraciously

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An educated male is an alpha male. As we've sought to prove, being an alpha is about more than just grunting, leather swaddled masculinity. If you're uninformed or worse, misinformed, you leave the top spots open to men who know more than you. And there is only light in the darkness of ignorance: that's reading. Read whatever you can get your hands on. It's an expensive habit if you buy the book each time, but you'd be flabbergasted by how many articles and books are on Google, let alone in the public domain on ebook stores. Get into the habit of reading in your spare time. Before you know it, you'll have expertise.

1 Floss Your Teeth

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I saved this one for last because I think it's something extremely important that too few people do. Flossing your teeth will save you not only thousands of dollars in dental bills, but it'll also help keep your teeth in your head, where you want 'em. It maintains their strength, preserving your status as sexually credible (no one wants to sleep with a toothless cretin) and it will keep you chewing your food, cutting out the need for pre-digested meals you can soften with your tongue. Above any other kind of cosmetic care, dental hygiene is most important, because it not only makes you look better, but it also positively affects your health. So do it.

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