1. Be confident. This cannot be overstated. If you think highly of yourself and believe unquestionably in your own capabilities, men and women alike will respond to you. Do not confuse confidence with arrogance. Confidence demonstrates quiet inner strength, surety, and reliability. Arrogance is just low self-esteem turned outwards, and perception people will have see is that of a hollow, insecure man, the very antithesis of the alpha male.
2. Assume your position. When you walk into a room as an alpha male, you simply know other people will listen to and respect what you have to say. If you doubt it, so will every other person in the room.
3. Use humor to your advantage. That does not be the clown of the room, but that you should be able to smile with genuine pleasure, to laugh at yourself, even to playfully laugh at others without seeming sarcastic or spiteful. Think of that commercial for after-shave lotion, where the actor playing an exaggerated alpha male says, “Look at your man—now look at me. Sadly, he’s not me, but he can smell like he’s me!”
4. Let your body do the talking. The way you carry yourself speaks volumes to those around you, without you even making a sound. Your posture, your hand gestures, your stance—all of it sends signals to those around you about your place in the world. You want those signals to be strong and confident, not protective and small.
Practice being what you want to be. Look for situations where there are people gathered, and walk into the room proudly. If you don’t feel it yet, recall something you did well in the past, and fills you with deserved pride, let that feeling carry you into the room.
Learn the art of body language. There are very specific cues that leaders use, and followers respond to.
Steepling shows a great deal of confidence. Make the steeple by pressing your fingertips of both hands together, with palms separated. The higher the steeple, the more confidence this signals—but don’t go too high. If the tips of your fingers touch your mouth, you’re now signaling lack of confidence. In a two-way conversation, the higher steeple generally belongs to the man in charge of the conversation.
Hands behind back. Because this is an attitude of exposure, you show courage, power, and confidence. By holding your hands behind your back, you signal your openness to listening.
The eyes have it. Looking people in the eyes is very powerful, and can be very difficult if you’re not used to it.
Look at the person you’re talking to, from one eye to the other, then down at their mouth. This keeps your eyes moving, yet still focused on your conversation partner.
Thumbs out! If you put your hands in your pocket, thumbs out, that signals confidence, and a little cockiness.
5. Don’t be afraid to fill the room with your presence. Stand with strong posture, use expansive gestures, and look relaxed and comfortable in your surroundings. See How to Look Approachable for more tips on looking totally at ease in any situation.
6. Listen. The alpha male, the true leader, spends more time listening than speaking. Listen actively and attentively, and people will respond. The more you listen without judgement, the more people will open up to you, and may even tell you things they never tell anybody. This is because they trust you innately—a key trait of the alpha male.
7. Watch others. One key way to learn how to be an alpha male is to emulate other alpha males.
Watch how they talk, how they stand, and how they act.
Talk to them if you have the opportunity. Ask them the key to their own sense of confidence—is it their accomplishments that have naturally led people to follow them, or did they work to become the top dog?
8. Join a gym and get fit. Staying in shape will not make you an alpha male—that must come from the inside—but it will help with your health and well-being. It also sends another signal: the man who takes good care of himself can take care of others, too.
9. Be honest. Some feel that alpha males will lie and cheat to get what they want, but this only applies to men who are anything but alpha males. If you find you must trick someone into thinking you’re worth their time and energy, it’s actually evidence that you aren’t. Make sure you earn everything you get by adopting a policy of radical honesty. Be exactly who you are at all times; everyone else can take you or leave you.
10. Dress well. Try to look better than the guys around you so that you stand out. For example, wear patterns, collared shirts, nice pants, and possibly a tie. Don’t wear shirts that advertise a brand name or your favorite band; you want to advertise yourself. Read How to Dress Well As a Guy for more suggestions.
Dressing well does not mean dressing up, necessarily. Your clothes should fit you well, should be comfortable, and should be appropriate for the situation. Remember—clothes are window dressing. If you exude confidence and strength, and command respect by your presence, your clothes will be secondary.
11. Learn how to flirt. Knowing how to forge a romantic connection is essential to being seen as an alpha male. Being confident, accomplished, and attractive doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve got what it takes to interact with a potential mate.
If you want to prove that you’re dating material to someone you’re “friends” with, read up on how to escape the friend zone.
12. Develop new skills. By learning new skills and developing new abilities, you keep your mind and body sharp and in shape. It helps you develop a well-rounded skill set that will make you the go-to guy when people have questions. Become a man not just of style, but of substance by studying things that interest you, and becoming conversant and practiced in each idiom. Learn how to box, build a shed, walk on your hands, do a roundhouse kick, survive in the woods, or win a street fight. Develop your mind by learning about architecture, art, and music.
13. Above all, be a leader. This means not only taking charge of a situation, but doing it well. Start in your immediate surroundings by being a leader in the workplace, helping your team perform, or even asserting yourself as your dog’s pack leader. Practice being the kind of leader that people will want to follow—and not just the first one who volunteered for the job.