Psychological games that people play : 4. The Alpha Male / Authoritarian


 Image Source

For my first post on this series, please click here.

Some people are born to take charge and to control.

They are the Alpha Male / Authoritarian (Note: some females exhibit this trait as well).

They are not used to being delegated but they often love to delegate. Some of them are often skilled at identifying the strengths and weaknesses of others and are adept at enabling others to work to their strengths. Many of these individuals work themselves to distinguished position of prominence, with some of them heading companies as CEO, project leaders, entrepreneurs and businesses professionals.

“While most of us are aware of the unpredictability of life, and that change may well be the only constant in life,  these individuals who love to take charge prefer to be the trailblazers that go against the trend, and often feel that they control their own destiny. And not only that, they tend to be opinionated and would have no qualms about teaching or lecturing others, when what others are saying or doing are against their values. One can say that they are individuals who aspire to have a voice in matters of the world, especially matters revolving around them. Conflicts are not something that these individuals steer clear of. In fact, they relish them. “

These individuals often have a stern or strict mannerism around them, such that others are wary of getting too close. They are well versed with logic and rationality (which makes them great teachers, especially language and/or the sciences. If they are creative, even humanities are for them :)), but there’s always room for improvement when it comes to using positive emotions to resonate with others (which is in direct opposition with the Clown / Jester, where laughter and lighthearted humour are their best weapons).

In the conversation arena, they are adept at conversations but tend to dominate the conversations. They are also quite forceful at time when putting their points across, so interrupting others and changing conversation topics are also common observations for individuals playing this role – which often puts them in positions of power.

In the dating arena, ladies often mention that they prefer confidence in men. What they are actually referring to are actually these individuals mentioned here, who often take on the role of the Alpha Male / Authoritarian. If one were to conduct a survey at speed dating websites, people taking on the role of Alpha Males / Authoritarians are often among the ones who make the strongest and deepest impressions among the ladies.

“When this role is played well,  the Alpha Males / Authoritarians are able to control a situation or bring it under control in a chaotic situation, such as can be commonly seen in the classrooms or emergency situations. Since these circumstances do not require much emotional connection but more on speed and efficiency, the Alpha Males / Authoritarian’s ability to direct and manage others comes immediately into play, thus saving the day.”

Furthermore, the Alpha Males / Authoritarians often take pride in sharing their beliefs, values, knowledge, experiences and expertise with others to enable them to be more knowledgeable. Most of them are caring in this way, but they often express them through actions, and seldom in words. With a stern demeanour, it is not surprising that they are misunderstood more often than they realise.

To the Alpha Males / Authoritarians, life is not about laughter (trademark of the Clowns / Jesters) but they often are on the same page with the Sage when it comes to learning and acquiring wisdom (which, for this role, is a result of life experiences more than an accumulation of knowledge, although it can be both at times). More than wisdom, life to the Alpha Males / Authoritarians is about discipline, values, beliefs and ethics. They are often the Order of the Universe, discharging their duties on Earth through ensuring that order is sustained throughout societies.

We can see many Alpha Males / Authoritarians in the military, the legal courts, schools and all uniformed groups such as the police, the fire departments and many more. Individuals adept at playing the role of the Alpha Male / Authoritarian flock to such professions because these organisations embody strict adherence to discipline and order.  In addition, the symbolic uniforms and ranks enable a gradual progression which seems enticing to the Alpha Males / Authoritarians,  and which appeals to the core of human nature – the aspiration and desire to improve oneself for self-esteem and self-actualisation, the top two element on Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

dictator  Image Source 

Alter ego of the Alpha Male / Authoritarian:

The Dictator

Control is a dangerous thing, both for oneself and others. When one strives too hard to control situations and circumstances, the results are often disastrous. A brief look at the history of dictators and war lords would have given mankind an important lesson on the consequences of an obsessive need to control.

“When the role of the Alpha Males / Authoritarian degenerates to such an extent that it becomes that of a dictator, self-confidence has turned to sheer arrogance. “

Seeking to discipline an child and enforcing discipline within an emergency rescue teams is all good. However, things often take a dark turn when this need for control extends to everything that a person comes into contact with or possesses.

“This often occurs when parents strive to accomplish what they failed to accomplish in their younger days through controlling their children and squashing the latter’s aspirations and dreams.  It can also materialises in the form of bosses micromanaging every aspect of an employee’s work.”

Dictators often cannot differentiate between giving others a direction and the need to control. Relinquishing control and especially power is hard for them because power is the very basis on which they thrive and survive. Take power from them and they collapse under the very weight of hopelessness.

While the Machiavellians and Narcissists rule by their chameleon-like adaptability and versatility to changing situations and the Schemers / Connivers dominate through plots and knowledge of human weaknesses, the Dictators reign through control – total control of every situation.

In the next post, we will proceed to examine another role that people play – the Rebel.



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