Monday, March 10, 2008

Alphaness

Alphaness is a term often used in describing social hierarchies in the animal kingdom. For instance, you have the alpha male or female which represent the leaders of the pack. It's also a term often used to characterize interactions between men and women. For example, if an interaction goes sour it is often said that the man wasn't "alpha enough" or something similar. It can become a very ego-based discussion which generally goes nowhere. But there is a way of understanding alphaness, without involving the ego.

It is true that most people tend to be followers and aren't in the habit of thinking for themselves. Alphaness is basically thinking for yourself. It's not about being alpha for the sake of being alpha (chest beating - ego). It's a level of intelligence where you are able to see beyond yourself, think critically about things, and use good judgement. And as a byproduct people tend to gravitate towards someone with these qualities for reasons of security and comfort. It's not even that the alpha wants to lead, but that he will not be led. He has a direction that he's going and if others happen to follow it's because they like that direction too. It's based on choice and free will on both sides. Now if others don't follow that doesn't matter to the alpha, as his direction will stay the same.

Where the concept of alphaness goes awry is that some men (and women) make a big deal of being "alpha", such as in the relationship. This is all ego, and possibly politically based. These people are generally close-minded, and insecure. They want the title of leader but lack the foundation. It is the fact that they are unable to look beyond themselves and their ego which makes them unfit to lead.

Now it is true that in general, women prefer to have the man lead in the relationship, but there are a few instances where a minority of women prefer to direct themselves in the relationship. These women are best matched with men who truly prefer to be led (who are also in the minority). But it's a choice to lead or follow. It's nothing that should be forced on anyone. It comes down to looking deep inside yourself and finding out where you stand and then finding people who are compatible with you.

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