If you are an alpha, you are most likely proud of it. You should be. “Alpha” designates “the first” and we first started designating this to the leaders of animal packs, such as wolves. Approximately 40% of the population is alpha. We are usually the strongest and the bravest, the leader of the pack. We possess such attributes as dominance, confidence, and a take-charge attitude. We have a high level of self-directedness, as we doggedly go about our goals. We are aggressive, competitive high achievers, with a strong sense of mission. We can be bold, creative innovative thinkers. Often highly successful in the world, our traits of persistence, tenacity, determination and steadfastness help us to achieve our goals.
Alphas are built and trained not to let others take advantage of us, and if anyone should try, we are trained to hurt them in such a way that they will think twice before they ever try to do that again. We don’t blink first in a stare-down. We are trained to compete, and win.
On top of it all, we are also often blessed with high levels of charisma, which we can use to charm others into agreeing with us. We are often good at persuasion, sometimes arguing with others until they either agree with us or shut up. When persuasion doesn’t work, we also know how to intimidate, subtly or directly.
Alphas are born with these traits because at our best, nature created us to protect and provide for our families and our communities. The alpha is the Wall Street executive, the successful professional, such as a doctor or lawyer or university professor. The alpha is our firefighter, soldier, police and successful tradesman. Genetically, our alpha traits prepare us well for survival, for ourselves and for those we love. However, these very traits in us human alphas don’t work at home in our intimate partnerships. The very things that make us successful in the world outside can often ruin a relationship. We can be short with our partner, not wanting to take the time to listen to their point of view, because we often know we are right. We can be intimidating, causing our partner and our children to fear us. We don’t like disagreement, and will often charm or intimidate those who disagree with us. We can compete, instead of work in teamwork with our spouse or mate. We can work ourselves and our families to the point of exhaustion. We get impatient; we can be critical.
Often at midlife, we find ourselves unhappy, with a nagging sense that something is missing in our lives. We may be overworking, or toying with overuse of alcohol or even drugs. We feel a subtle or blatant emptiness when we slow down long enough from pursuing our goals. We review a series of failed intimate relationships. We look at other couples. Some of them look happy, and we wonder how they do it. Others look bored with each other but stay married for the convenience. We aren’t sure we want that. We consider the possibility that we might die lonely and alone, or perhaps surrounded by sycophants. We begin to consider that maybe, just maybe, the problem may have something to do with us, even though we hate to admit it. Still, we may not have a clue what the problem is. And we don’t like that. After all, we are alphas; we are used to identifying problems and solving them. We’re good at that.
Winning at Love offers a clear analysis of the problem and step-by-step approaches for addressing the problems. We will have to practice, and we are capable of that. After all, we have practiced skills in becoming successful in our business, profession or trade. We have practiced skills to improve our golf game, or fly fishing, or skiing. Why can’t we practice skills that will allow us to have loving partnerships? We’re up to it. After all, we’re alphas.
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