I’ve been ruminating alot of late on how to be alpha in the routine daily grind of a middle-class English male existence. Unlike ghetto thugs or Somali child soldiers, people living in normal Western societies aren’t put to the alpha test much. This is a good thing. You’d have to be a lunatic to think scrapping for survival in the polygamous war of all against all (e.g. black urban ghettoes, white chav sink estates, Pakistani hill tribes, Liberian slums etc) is a life-enhancing experience. Beta civilisation is the greatest blessing men ever bestowed on their fellows and we should be grateful for it but there’s no getting away from the fact it represents a slow emasculation of life – what sociologists call the “sequestration of experience” – and, as an aside, what I took as the principal message of Fight Club.
So, how does a guy practice and drill alphaness into his core fibre? Not easy, but you can make a daily game of it. Let’s think of the basics.
What is the fundamental characteristic of an alpha? Social Dominance.
What is the fundamental characteristic of a beta? Conflict Avoidance.
Ok, we’re getting somewhere. If you want to build up the inner alpha you need to stop snivelling and supplicating. You want to go out and actively seek conflict (or to positively reframe it, you want to seek competition). The beta doesnt’ like an open playing field where winning and losing is conclusive – because they have no confidence in winning. That’s the driver behind all their passive-aggressive sniping. YOU, as a trainee-alpha, require a clear win/loss outcome. How can we get that in real life? Here’s a few easy games to play:
1. Hold The Line – Regular big-city commuters are well aware of the multiple daily stand-offs that can occur on your commute to work. The pushy woman trying to force her way onto the Underground carriage before everyone has got off, the passive-aggressive beta who looks down at his Blackberry while he walks down the street so you’ll get out of his way because you can see him coming and he can’t, the deli queue jumper who tries to use the bustling confusion to get her order in first, and my personal favourite is the shopper who wants to straddle two or more checkout queues rather than just pick a line.
How can you use this to up your alpha quotient for the day? Simple – choose your line and hold onto it at all costs. Push that woman back off the train or just plain walk through her. Shoulder charge that beta with his Blackberry. Ask the woman which queue she’s in and if she won’t say then just pick one for yourself. The principle is always the same – you have a right of way and no fucker is going to push you off it. Do not back down. Before long you’ll find you subcommunicate such dominance that people start getting out of your way long before you reach them.
2. Don’t apologise. See how long you can get through the day without reflexively saying sorry. A guy turns around negligently from the deli counter and bumps his sandwich into you, who are stationary. He might say sorry, you shouldn’t but I’ll bet you do. Some idiot tourist is dithering at the Underground ticket barrier and getting in the way. Don’t wait or apologise, just ease them out the way and go through. Some woman is spending a half hour at the milk/sugar counter in Starbucks? Reach across and get your skimmed milk but do not apologise. Just do it. Remove all apologies out of your life. Unless you just raped your boss’s kid daughter – then just maybe you should grunt a non-committal “uh, sorry mate”.
3. Rapport laughter. Eliminate it. When the boss tells a shit joke in the meeting – do not laugh at it. Shake your head ruefully and look out of the window. When you are shaking hands with a client and commenting on the weather do not put an ingratiating laugh on the end of it. Rapport laughter is for approval-seeking betas who hope that smiling at everyone will help them avoid a kicking.
4. Mental state games. Before you enter a room, or get out of your chair, or whatever change of venue put yourself into the state of a predatory alpha. Make it ridiculous – visualise yourself as king of the jungle, a wolfman, Hulk about to go hulk-smash, a hitman about to whack a witness. Whatever. Just make sure that when you enter that new location you are walking slowly, purposefully and subcommunicating that you’re about to tear everyone to pieces if they fuck with you, but hey, you’re cool if they are.
5. Confront all passive-aggressiveness: The standard jostling for status between women and beta males is the unconventional warfare of sniping. It’s the dark art of subtly insulting others while maintaining plausible deniability that it was an innocent comment. Your goal is to shine the light of directness onto the snipe and force the sniper to either openly aggress or to perform an emasculating dick-tuck as they slink back into their cesspool. The Rawness has a great series of posts on what he calls the Reardon gambit. It defines and names something I’ve always done – reframe their comment as an innocent question on whether it’s an insult. Follow up with a statement of recognition, like a barrister ensuring an exhibit is documented in the court record to refer to later. Quick example:
Ugly Old Shrew: Men can be such bastards when they do that
Krauser: Are you calling me personally a bastard?
UOS: Well….um…..no…. but it’s really not appropriate to…. well
Krauser: OK, you’re calling me a bastard. Noted.
Remember what all these little games have in common. You are consciously and deliberately standing up for yourself in all the subtle areas of life where your snidey fellows try to get one over on you. By accepting the inevitability of conflict, you are steeled against it. You don’t fall into the beta-trap of “It’s not worth it”. Initially you might feel like a cunt, like a troublemaker, but remember you are not creating these situations you are merely forcing the value-taker to face the consequences of their attempt.
It is not your responsibility to protect harmony when others seek to disturb it.