What to Know About Alpha Males

Have you ever noticed how Alpha Males enter rooms?

(Alpha males is an expression used from dog social hierarchy. There is usually an aggressive “top dog” literally, that makes the rules for the whole dog pack. In our society, some males like to take on more assertive/aggressive behavior and convey their “power” through both nonverbal and verbal ways.)

I have a few Alpha Male friends and they can really crack me up with their body language. One guy, let’s call him Larry, always loudly enters a room and makes a sweeping statement about how things are. “You know, I think this Obama situation is ridiculous!” He sits down and splays his legs out, moves his arms comfortably back and across a chair and takes up as much space as possible. He looks everyone square in the eye, with energy ready to attack, and is clearly ready for anybody to have an opinion that differs from his. This guy once brought me out to his car and with a sweeping arm gesture loudly explained how he had a “better and more expensive model” car than my husband’s {insert laugh here}.

Meanwhile, his wife counterpart crosses her arms, speaks quietly, keeps her head at a slight angle and takes up a lot less room when she sits. Women are much more likely to do this. We have been socialized and educated to “look like a lady.” However, according to Amy Cuddy Amy Cuddy/Huffington Post, a language expert, this passive nonverbal type of communication, effectively conveys powerlessness and passivity.

Do you sometimes want to be taken more seriously? Do you ever feel that people who are more assertive get their way more often than you do? Pay attention to people you admire: their mannerisms … eye contact … attentiveness … their style.

Begin taking simple, baby steps.  Many women wish they were more assertive. Start simply by asking for what you really want. Out and about? Keep your shoulders and head high. You bring a unique blend of knowledge and experience everywhere you go. Remember this.

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