In popular culture, the story goes that there are two types of men: Alpha males and Beta males.
Alpha males are the guys on top of the social pyramid. They are physically strong, confident and dominant. Contrarily, Beta males are weak, submissive and timid, and that’s why they find themselves in the lower levels of society.
To illustrate this distinction, the comparison with a pack of wolves is often made, where Alpha males are the leaders of the pack and in control of all other subordinate wolves.
But there is another type of wolf out there.
One that does not care about the pack and its pecking order:
The Lone Wolf, aka the Sigma Male.
What makes a man a Sigma Male?
A Sigma Male is a man who chooses to live his life outside of the traditional hierarchy of society. He prefers freedom, independence and solitude over money, status and fame. He seeks adventure and knowledge, rather than material possessions. Sigma males are often entrepreneurs, creatives, intellectuals or athletes with a broad horizon that can easily adapt to what is needed in their environment.
7 Personality Traits of Sigma Males
He is often described as a lone wolf for a reason: A Sigma male enjoys his time alone.
It is not that he does not enjoy social interactions at all. But social interactions require a lot of energy, and during his private time he is able to recharge again.
His emotional and physical is sacred to him. In solitude, he can focus on his personal projects without the disturbance of the outside world. If someone tries to cross his boundaries, he acts assertively and defends his space.
Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast, or a god.
Sigma males are very independent and are capable of taking care of themselves. They earn their own money, they pay their own bills, they are masters of their own fate. If the world falls down around them, they can rely on their survival instinct to keep them alive. They recognize their own problems and solve them, usually without the involvement of others.
Unlike the Alpha male, who likes to be the center of attention, Sigma males do not require to be in social circles. At a party, you would rather see a Sigma male stand on the side of the dance floor, engaged in deep conversation. He is a bit of an outsider who does not play the social game but manages to win it anyhow.
Knows the importance of silence
Many people are quick to share their opinion, even if they do not have a clue where they are talking about. These people are too concerned with participating in the conversation and coming across as smart. This annoys Sigma males to the bone.
A Sigma male does not do small talk. Rather he would have deep conversations. He believes that one should only talk when you have something valuable to add to the conversation. Therefore, he keeps silent when he doesn’t understand or when someone more knowledgeable is speaking. Because when you are talking, you are not listening. And when you don’t listen, you don’t learn.
No matter where a Sigma male goes, he quickly blends in. He is able to act like the herd without becoming part of the herd.
He can move in and out groups with different interests, cultures and beliefs with ease. He likes to position himself between groups, so he remains flexible and not tied to one social group for too long. This position is necessary to maintain his independence and have various sources he can draw his inspiration and knowledge from. A side-benefit is that he is rarely susceptible for hypes, trends and mass hysteria.
Within a group, a Sigma male can take on different roles. Since he positioned himself outside the conventional hierarchy, combined with being naturally observant, he is perfectly aware how group dynamics work. He knows the roles and can play either a leader, a follower, or any position in between. He does not require the validation of being the leader, as long as he knows that he is being used efficiently and is making a major contribution.
3. Treats everyone the same
Alpha males interact with people to exert power or extract something valuable out of them. Sigma males are quite the opposite. They engage with other people out of genuine interest and curiosity. They believe that everyone matters and treat other people with respect.
Therefore, Sigma males cannot stand how some people treat one person one way and another person another way. They reject these meaningless power dynamics and choose not to play this game. That’s also why other people don’t intimidate them, because they do not see social interaction as a competition.
The same person around everyone
Alpha males always need to be in a social context, because their identity revolves around the reflection of themselves off other people. This is not the case for Sigma males.
A Sigma male’s identity remains the same, regardless whether other people are present. He will not please people, he is the same person no matter what social context.
Sigma males get along with people from all levels of society. They are not afraid of how hanging out with a ‘lesser’ person will reflect negatively on their image. Image and ego is nothing to them. They don’t follow trends, have their own sense of fashion and often don’t know what’s going on when it comes to gossiping or social media outrage.
4. Adventurous and nomadic
Sigma males do not conform to traditional standards and career path. Instead they like to take the unbeaten path and figure out life the way it comes.
Fueled by curiosity, he loves to go on adventures, seeking new experiences. Instead of staying in his comfort zone, the Sigma male wants to see new cultures, try new foods, and interact with new people. These novel experiences energize him. He tries his limits and explores new horizons, gaining energy from the unfamiliar.
This does not mean that they act recklessly, since they think their actions through thoroughly. It is by taking well-calculated risks and breaking some rules, that they can propel themselves forward and enter unknown territories. So their risk-taking serves a purpose.
The Sigma loves visit new locations where nobody knows him. This allows him to experiment with aspects of his personality and this also means he won’t have to spend time on engaging in formalities. He often chooses to travel on his own to far away destinations. There he will avoid the big tourist attractions, but rather explore uncharted areas or simply see where the road takes him.
To suit this lifestyle – and because he does not care so much for material possessions – his personal belongings fit in one or two bags, as he would only pack the essentials. Some Sigma males do not even own or rent a house, but simply opt for a life as a digital nomad; cruising the vast world of opportunities, while hopping from place to place and meeting interesting people along the way.
Sigma males know themselves extremely well.
Their times of solitude often end up becoming times of introspection. He reflects on his actions regularly and knows how his actions impact his entire being. He has a good sense of his strengths, and is actively working towards improving his weaknesses. If he makes a mistake, he is quick to turn his misjudgment into a lesson.
Because they are not burdened with the pressure that comes with defending their position in society, their own emotions and desires take center stage. spends a lot of time analyzing his personality and the world around him, so he rarely makes a decision without thinking it through very thoroughly.
They know what they want out of life and always work on self-improvement. This makes Sigma males to be very good partners, because they will naturally search ways to become better lovers.
The Sigma male likes to go against the grain. Rules exist to be broken, or least to be circumvented. Sigma males refuse to be bound by tradition and the expectations of others. They are immune to the pressure and expectations of society, and do not care how a certain action will affect their societal status.
Sigma males do not believe in the traditional hierarchy structures of society. They place themselves outside of power structures and it is therefore nearly impossible to tell them what to do. They follow their own inner moral compass instead. Therefore, they are not susceptible to group pressure and manipulation. When they see an Alpha males, they can’t help but laugh at their ridiculous efforts of getting group validation. This often cause for anger amongst Alpha males, because Sigma males are the only men who won’t acknowledge or bow to their position of power.
Their disregard of authority also shows in how Sigma males perceive dominance. You can only display dominance by showcasing your talents and abilities through tangible achievements, not through awards, titles or other acknowledgments. And certainly not by speaking louder.
Not imposing on others
Not only does a Sigma males value his own independence, he also values the independence of other people. He will respect their freedom and will not impose norms or restrictions on others. He is willing to listen to people with different opinions.
Sigma males at work
One thing is sure: A Sigma male is not going to sit in an office cubicle and take orders from a boss!
Career-wise, Sigma males like to be their own authority. They are entrepreneurs, digital nomads, freelancers, innovators, creatives, or among the top positions in a company. Even though they do not fully enjoy the latter – being stuck in a corporate structure – they see being a CEO or manager and taking on responsibility as a necessary evil. They realize that other people are needed to achieve some goals.
7. Extremely confident
While Alpha males are known for their extroverted confidence – they make sure that everyone around them knows – Sigma males are often just as confident, but introvertedly. At first sight, they might not appear as the most confident people in the room. This is because a Sigma males does not need to display his dominance to feel better about himself. His self-esteem does not come from social media, other people’s opinions or approval. Nobody needs to tell a Sigma male that he is important or skilled – he already knows he is.
They are confident of who they are, and they have a clear picture of what they like and what they don’t like. Many people see this character trait as stubbornness or even arrogance. That makes people not want to get into disagreements with Sigma males, because it seems that they do not listen. But they are actually open to change when they are proven wrong. The best way to convince a Sigma male would be through logical arguments and proof – emotional arguments do not stand a chance.
This confidence, combined with all other personality traits, is why many women are attracted to Sigma males. Their calm, independent and mysterious nature piques the interest of women. But unlike Alpha males, Sigma males do not really go around chasing girls, so in many cases women are the ones to approach them. Women will see cracking the code of this man as a challenge. And it can truly be a challenge, as Sigma males tend not to be very vocal.
Nevertheless, Sigma males will like it when a woman takes on this challenge. He appreciates it when a girl knows what she wants. He wouldn’t want to be together with a docile and dull woman who is easily dominated. No, she needs to be independent, self-sufficient and free-spirited. She should not care about superficial things like make-up or wearing the right brands. Instead, she should be unique on her own, and challenge and intrigue him.
How to spot a Sigma Male
A Sigma male usually dresses well and has a style of his own, not following fashion trends.
At a bar or house party, he is friendly to everyone and can easily strike a conversation. He does not like to participate in small talk or gossiping. Rather he will hit you with deeper topics or thoughts that came to mind. He is perceptive of body language and can see through people’s intentions. He will not put himself in the center of attention, but will rather stand somewhere on the side. He is also perfectly fine standing on his own, simply holding a drink with a smile on his face. When you ask him where his friends are at, he might surprise you with the fact that he came alone to the party. He can carry himself and does not to be in a trusted social context to feel comfortable.
Sigma males are not overly active on social media. They do not display much of their emotions in public, and will neither do so online. He is also the type of guy to read your message and decide to later, whether that may be hours or days.
In regard to the MBTI personality types, many Sigma males are INTJ or INTP. This means that they are generally introverted, a little reserved, and objective and logical thinkers.
Is Elon Musk a Sigma Male?
As a child, Elon Musk was awkward and introverted. Throughout his childhood in South Africa, he was bullied and once even rushed to the hospital after a group of boys threw him down a flight of stairs.
Jump forward in time, and now he is arguably the most successful entrepreneur in the world.
Watch a single minute of an interview with Elon Musk, and you can tell right away that he is not a naturally gifted speaker. He stutters, does not modulate his voice and his body language can seem a little uncomfortable. But his talks are very informative; he speaks about ideas and thoughts and touches highly technical topics.
It is clear that he is an introvert, and may not feel 100% comfortable being at the center of attention, but he knows what is needed to get the audience’s attention. He puts up quite the show when hosting keynotes, announcing new products or giving interviews. He develops products like flamethrowers and the Cybertruck, completely absurd at first sight. No matter how ridiculous it may seem, his fans are clamoring for more.
So I would say that he gets most his attention from being thought-provoking and letting his products and innovations take centerstage. This is an approach that fits the Sigma male. Also, Elon Musk is generally thought to have an INTJ personality type, which goes hand in hand with the traits of Sigma Males.
The position of Sigma Males in the New World
Alpha Males are no longer as dominant
For centuries, Alpha Males, with their leadership qualities, strong confidence, and no-nonsense approach to life were at the head of the pack. They were the men in ruling positions. They were the men who started wars: emperors, kings, dictators. They were the men who dictated the rules. They were the men who started companies, built factories and commanded the labor force.
All these traditional positions of power required a level of bravura and confidence that only Alpha men seem to live up to. But Alpha males are losing territory. Rapidly.
While the power plays of Alpha males can still be very effective in physical interactions, online it is a different story. Technological advancements threaten the dominance of Alpha males. The indirect nature of our online communication allows people to analyze what is being said. Blatant boasting, ignorant comments and verbal harassment is more often pulled into question. It is less scary for people to speak up against Alpha males from behind a screen; someone who is shouting in your face is way more intimidating than someone texting you back in all caps. People who were previously not comfortable speaking in public, find that they have a voice on the internet. Think of feminists and ethnic minorities that gathered enormous followings.
Sigma Males Taking Over
Sigma Males were once thought to be a rare breed of man. But these days, with the rise of the internet and the ability to work and live anywhere, Sigma Males are coming out of their shells. These developments make it easier for them to completely live outside the hierarchy of society. Especially Sigma males in tech can become powerful independent forces. There are many stories to be found where one man and his computer built a company worth millions within a timespan of a couple of years. And sometimes, these independent companies can overthrow conventional companies and completely render them obsolete.
The Right Environment for Sigma Males
It is as if the perfect society for Sigma males is being formed, as we speak.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, there was already an influx of so-called digital nomads: young professionals who work online and can work anywhere with a stable internet connection. Many were either one-man companies or small start-ups; traditional companies were not eager to have their employees live across the ocean. But during the pandemic, most companies had to put new processes in place to accommodate working from home. As soon as this global crisis is over and borders reopen, many of these processes will stay in place. It is very likely that there will be more digital nomads, as many employees have indicated that they want to retain this freedom.
Tech does not require extrovertedly confident people to be in the room, as most interactions takes place virtually. This shift has its effect on almost every aspect of work, from the selection procedure of candidates (more about skills than credentials) to the feedback loop (GitHub commits instead of presentations). It is much more about content than delivery, sorry Alpha guys. People in tech simply value different character traits. You would rather have Elon Musk in your boardroom than Physical prowess is useless behind a computer screen. Hitting your spacebar with twice the force won’t put a double space, but will likely break your keyboard.
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