October 1, 2011

The Alpha Dog

Recently read an article in "The Week" magazine about how a male of any species can be divided predominantly into 3 categories (these categories are also present in females if not that transparent as in males). Even though this type of demarcation is clearly visible in animals when compared to humans , they have nevertheless mentioned the categories as follows.

1. Alpha
2. Beta
3. Omega

Alpha males are the born leaders, aggressive and other member of the same species literally follow whatever the alpha does. Talking in human terms they are the athletes, world leaders (except our PM :P, who by the way is an omega), army captains etc with testosterone levels running like rivers in their bloods. Of course too many alpha males and world will go into chaos :P. Beta males are the "wannabe" alpha's , but don't have in them to become the alpha. They are in constant competition with the alpha for supremacy , but as expected always end up loosing.

Omega males are the least aggressive of the species. Generally they follow others and keep a very low profile. Talking in human context they are geeks, mama's boys, shy and introvert people. They need others to take care of them, initially their mothers and later by their GFs/wife.High degree of accommodating other types of males, whether its an alpha, beta or omega types. Quite interestingly all these characters were portrayed in the movie UP  where the pack of dogs were clearly demarcated, which somehow dawned upon me after reading this article. The doberman is the alpha dog and not surprisingly named as Alpha, the leader no matter whether his intentions are good or bad. All of alpha dog's followers are beta dogs and again unsurprisingly one of these beta dogs is named Beta. The dog named Dug fits into the omega category, sissy, inefficient and bullied by others, with a constant companion being the 'cone of shame' :P.

Alpha and 2 Beta dogs- From "Up" Movie
Omega Dog-From "Up" Movie
 Also it got me thinking  as to what exactly I am i.e. what category I belong to?. After going back my memory archives, replaying and reviewing several instances, with pretty much my entire life being played before my eyes(black and white videos :P) I have come to a conclusion that I don't just belong to one specific category. There were times when I have shown traits of pure "alpha"ness and in majority of the cases being an omega, but quite surprisingly never a beta.The reason being , whenever I get the feeling that I cannot dominate, I pretty much go to the omega phase, skipping the beta category altogether. Overall considering all the instances of my life and with some amount of approximation I can deduce that the % of me being an alpha and omega is around 35 % and 65 % respectively.

So what does that mean. Is this sort of flip-flop possible only in humans, and I pretty much guess so. In animals an alpha to an omega transformation would surely result in it loosing the top position , usually being the head of the pack. Hence its pretty much like "Macho-ness Unlimited" :P. But in case of humans beings having the traits of an alpha male pretty much doesn't guarantee the top job. Also in case of humans we have something else which comes into play and which being much more powerful than the macho-ness. ie our brains, thinking power (intelligence quotient), intellectual capability, emotional quotient and so forth , making it a very complex affair. Nevertheless cases where alpha males marry/date an alpha female is a sure-shot recipe to disaster thanks to frequent ego clashes and battle for supremacy, whereas an omega man will be more than happy to be taken care and told what exactly to do by an alpha female and vice verse. Hence the phrase "Opposites Attract" surely finds its true meaning here :).

Furthermore the easiest way to go from Omega phase to Alpha phase in humans is without any doubt "sports". Any physical form of sports you take and within a matter of minutes aggression is dripping from the person's mouth. Enough of my personal analysis. Now lets see where the readers of this blog belong to :)


  1. hmm.. if i can add, there are so many fine-grained variations in human behavior (as you have observed) that cannot be attributed to just the 3 categories. The only truth so far in my observation is that the new replaces the old when the time comes. So, the new is currently in beta (like most current software) but will replace the current alpha. the beta is not always wannabe alpha in the way it is usually portrayed, but sometimes a sign of things to come.

  2. Ok... but I dont suppose all beta's can become alpha's.. so those successful become alpha and those unsuccessful remain as beta (same as in software :P)

  3. not sure whether u r alpha or not.. but u r the dog :P.....

  4. @vikimnnit:
    Just by calling one species as an another doesn't make it one
    Its like me saying "u r a buffalo" :D :D

  5. Forget the alpha and the zeta or the iota....dogs fighting buffaloes!! wat is the world coming to?? :P

  6. dogs fighting buffaloes is a common sight in the streets of bangalore(or any other Indian city) unless u are an owl who comes out only during the night :P !!!!!!!

    ****che che... wat has my blog become... A platform to trade insults .. :P *******


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