When we discuss psychological archetypes, we usually talk in binary terms such as “Type A” or “Type B” or as “introverts” and “extroverts.” However, not everything is as black and white. When it comes to male psychology, we often bracket men into Alpha (dominant) or Beta (submissive) males. The truth that’s recently coming to light is that some men also fall in between these two categories and are considered Sigma males. Keep reading the post to know about the characteristics of a Sigma male.
What Is A Sigma Male?
In simple terms, men who fall under the category of “Sigma” exist outside the Alpha and Beta binary classification. They’re characterized as being highly independent and original with little or no regard to societal perceptions.
To this effect, they will often break stereotypes, not conform to expectations, and generally pave a path for themselves that exists outside of what society expects of men. While Sigma men were thought of as exception or rare compared to Alpha and Beta men, there has been an increase in Sigma male mentality in recent years. It likely has to do with the social media trend as it opens ways of expression on the internet.
Characteristics Of A Sigma Male
Here are some characteristics of a man who falls into the category of Sigma.
1. They tend to be loners
It should not be confused with Sigma males disliking social company. Instead, it means they do not often need people to have a good time. On the flip side, they can also be pleasant and friendly with the people they like.
2. They are flexible
While Alpha or Beta males are more rigid when it comes to the personalities and environments they prefer to be in, Sigma males can adapt to most circumstances. They can perform well under different social situations, team compositions, and even outside the comfort zones.
3. They are themselves – regardless of who is watching
While others may tend to be around other people or show a particular face to society, Sigma males tend to be themselves regardless of who is around. They will be more or less the same person when alone as they are around other people, making it a remarkable attribute.
4. They can lead without exerting authority
When we think of leaders, we tend to think of Alpha men. Sigma males also make for excellent leaders, albeit with a different leadership style. They prefer to lead by example or mutual communication rather than establishing their dominance or authority. Sigmas will get what needs to be accomplished with a balanced approach to leadership.
5. They are good listeners
Sigma males tend to be good listeners as they understand the value of silence and respect when others speak as a matter of mutual courtesy. They give importance to content rather than the volume and thus listen well and speak when required.
6. They are self-aware
While this can be true about Beta males, it often manifests due to insecurity. When we say Sigma males are self-aware, it works both ways— they know their good qualities and also their flaws. Self-awareness helps them self-correct when they go wrong, and they do not repeat mistakes.
7. They have an ambiguous morality
Sigma males tend to see right and wrong in complex scenarios. In this regard, they may harbor a sympathetic attitude towards certain people other than judging them outright. It also makes them critical thinkers who analyze all aspects of the issue before passing judgment on it.
8. They have rusty social skills
Sigma males can come off as a little abrasive or uninterested since they rarely have emotional reactions and are direct while communicating. While some may see this as rude, it’s a consequence of them being good listeners. They do not disguise their intent with flowery language or flattery.
9. They can fit into friend groups but do not rely on them
Sigma males are flexible, making it easy for them to fit into different social groups and get along with people. However, it does not mean they are dependent on social groups or friends. They are content and happy on their own and stay the same, irrespective of their social circle.
10. They decide their future
While Alphas thrive in a high-functioning environment and Betas do well in a passive, low-stress environment, Sigma males succeed or fail on their terms. They know they are responsible for their fates and aren’t as bound by their society or environment. They hold themselves accountable for their actions and consequences.
11. They tend to have small but close social circles
Sigma males don’t feel the need to have big friend circles or impress crowds of people. Instead, they prefer to have a closer circle of friends they can trust and share the same wavelength. It may come off as anti-social but are not.
12. They are self-sufficient
Sigma males value independence more than anything and will do their best to be completely self-sufficient in all aspects of life. They do not want to rely on anyone for the basics in life and build their competencies to lead an independent existence.
13. They aren’t afraid to take risks
Sigmas rarely take the beaten path and do not deviate from established career and life paths. They dislike social structures and cages and like to break out and do their own thing. Also, they accept the risks associated with such a decision.
14. They aren’t attention-seekers
Sigma males don’t seek attention or validation from others. When they do get it, they don’t live for it or thrive on it. They tend to gel into the background and listen and observe rather than be the center of attention.
15. They have the potential to be an Alpha
With their social adaptability and flexibility, a Sigma man can also be an Alpha male. Sigma males’ leadership skills and independence play to their strengths and comfort zones.
Sigma Male vs Alpha Male
Ever since the archetype of Sigma males started to gain popularity, people want to know ‘What makes a sigma male so different from an alpha male?’ We’ll try to dive into some of the main differences here.
1. The value of silence
Alpha males need a specific environment to function. They like to speak and want to be heard. They are active for the audience and are at their best when people are watching. In short, they are “loud” personalities and wish to remain the same.
Sigma males are the opposite in every way. They respect silence and appreciate a quiet environment. They can perform better without an audience and rarely do things for public acknowledgment.
2. Flexibility and dominance
Alpha males have a compulsive need to compete and dominate their current environment. So, in a workplace, they tend to be competitive and ambitious. They do not perform well in groups where they are not the leader or center of attention.
Sigma males don’t care about dominance or hierarchy. They would operate outside known structures and hierarchy to get the best possible results. Their outlook towards people is based more on their value set, and they do not see others as competition or threats. They are also more flexible and do not mind working as a team or in a subordinate position as long as they like the job.
3. Social validation
Alphas are often seen as dominant and leaders but in their established social hierarchy. They have to see what the game is, play it, and win it to become “Alphas.” These men derive their entire sense of self-worth and respect from their position of dominance over others.
Sigma males differ as social validation and hierarchy mean little or nothing to them. They do not want to be part of any social games or power plays. They are also least concerned with how others view them and instead derive their self-worth and respect from their values.
4. Need to belong
An Alpha is only an Alpha if he is at the head of the pack. Thus, they need a social construct that they can lead or dominate to define themselves. It constrains them to specific behavioral patterns and social circles.
A Sigma male doesn’t require any of this to be himself and is fine in a social hierarchy where he isn’t ranked high. Indeed, he can even function as a loner, not relying on anyone at all. It allows such men greater social freedom.
Since an Alpha male’s self-worth is closely tied to society’s perception, they have an innate need to showcase their personality and achievements. They talk or brag about themselves and reinforce to the rest of the “pack” that they are the Alpha males.
Sigma males differ in this regard as well. Their focus lies more on the job itself than the societal standards. They will do the job to the best of their ability and not care for praise or public opinion. Their need for appreciation ends at them being seen as people who can do a good job.
Alpha men are characterized as aggressive, opinionated, competitive, and constantly active. People usually see an Alpha as someone who craves attention and lives for social validation.
Sigma males are harder to read for most people. Indeed, most people might not even know what the term even means since mainstream psychology has bracketed men into Alpha vs Beta for so long. Once people know someone with Sigma characteristics, they are seen as independent thinkers, lone wolves (as opposed to being in an Alpha’s “pack”), disassociated from a lot of social conventions, and good listeners.
Sigma males have only recently started to gain recognition as a personality type. For a very long time, the male psyche’s discussion was classified into black and white or “Alpha or Beta.” A Sigma male, while having traits from both, is different from them. He can be a good listener but also state his point eloquently. He will abstain from immediate judgment but can be a good judge of character through his observation and listening skills. He will not crave leadership or dominance but can handle the responsibility.