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Forget alpha, the sigma male is the stealthy personality type that’s caught our attention

We've all worked with, dated or come across an alpha male, but have you considered they could actually be a sigma male?

We all know that an alpha male is highly intelligent, confident, and successful. In fact, this personality type represents about 70% of all senior executives in companies and some men and women claim an ‘alpha male’ is their type on paper (guilty). But new research suggests that the alpha male personality type has actually been replaced by a more dominant - and potentially dangerous - personality type: the sigma male.

Researchers at ThePleasantPersonality found that sigma male has a search volume of 33,100, compared with the 9,900 searches for alpha male; they also noted the sigma male personality trait was blowing up on TikTok. So what exactly is a sigma male and how can you tell if you're dealing with one?

“A simple description of a sigma male is that of an introverted alpha male, who values autonomy and solitude and thrives outside traditional hierarchies,” explains psychologist Chantal Gautier. Chantal explains that unlike alpha dominant males, who like to be the loudest in the room and impose their opinions on others, sigma males are much more subtle in their approach. “Whilst they too like to be perceived as dominant, sigma males do not force their authority onto others,” she notes.

Much like alpha males, sigma males are intelligent and attractive but much more mysterious - and are generally seen as enigmatic. “Men who identify as sigma often enjoy their own company, don't conform to societal norms, and are described as a lone wolf. They are regularly stereotyped as honourable, charismatic and magnetic, and are seen to be unafraid to take risks or make their own decisions.”

Weighing up whether you're dating an alpha male? These are the key traits to spot:

  • Self-reliant
  • Comfortable with who they are
  • Incredibly independent and ooze confidence.
  • While they can be charismatic, they prefer limited social engagement to solo time
  • Sigma males are also by definition introverted.
  • They don’t like to draw attention to themselves, or seek external validation from external sources and stay away from the herd mentality
  • These men have strong opinions, strong personalities and strong wills, and are usually ambitious focussing on their goals and principles.

Whilst sigma males have many positive personality traits, Chantal warns that people who are looking for a commitment, or for someone to always meet their needs, whether it be in a relationship or a friendship, a sigma male may not be a great choice, or you may have to compromise. “Sigma males struggle with commitment and will rarely take emotional, physical or financial responsibility for anyone but themselves, so it can be difficult to have a relationship with them,” she said. “They also won’t do anything that doesn’t resonate with them, so they can come across as selfish, unemotional and cold making it sometimes difficult to ‘reach’ them. However, when they do fall in love, they dive in with both feet. Generally, they look for someone who can match their own personality.”

Already involved with a sigma male and wondering how to navigate this specific personality type? It’s important that you don’t control them or try to enforce rules or instigate disruptive environments. “Sigma males tend to be mindful and appreciate tranquility and peaceful environments. When communicating, be concise in your communication. Be honest and direct - sigma males don’t like playing games or having to second guess what you need,” warns Chantal. “They value straightforwardness versus you taking their word for it, when they express something. Sigma males walk the talk, mean what they say, and say what they mean.”

Anyone else currently analysing their partner's entire existence?

This article was originally published on Glamour UK.

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