The challenges of having Alpha personality traits

The challenges of having Alpha personality traits

What are Alpha personality traits?

Alpha personality traits are a selection of characteristics that include:

  • A strong sense of self
  • Determination
  • Conviction in beliefs
  • Ambition and the desire to work hard
  • Resilience
  • A desire to be in control
  • Confidence
  • Seeking out challenges

Traditionally these traits have been associated with men. Women who exhibited alpha traits may have found themselves described as ‘angry’ or ‘bossy’ and may have struggled to be accepted. Equally, men who exhibit more ‘beta’ characteristics and have less of an interest in leadership and gaining power may have been called ‘weak’. In reality, no one fits into one of these two well-defined boxes, everyone is on a spectrum of personality including alpha-beta traits. Also, while both alpha and beta traits are positive and important skills in certain situations, in others they can cause challenges to overcome.


Managing and utilising your Alpha personality traits

Alpha personality traits have been associated with high levels of success in the workplace and other areas such as sport. Characteristics such as determination and ambition are, understandably, helpful in these areas. However, sometimes the same characteristics cause problems such as:

  • Limited fulfilling relationships. Someone with a tendency towards alpha personality traits may not prioritise building and maintaining personal relationships
  • An extreme desire to be in control can cause problems both in personal and work-related relationships
  • Burnout caused by an imperfect work-life balance and neglecting or feeling guilty about self-care
  • Inequality can exist in relationships between people at the extreme end of alpha-personality characteristics and those at the extreme end of beta-personality characteristics
  • Alternately, conflict can occur when in a relationship or working with another person with high levels of alpha-characteristics
  • Being responsive to your inner critic. Someone with strong alpha characteristics may demand a lot of themselves. They may also listen to their inner critic more readily which can be related to poorer emotional wellbeing
  • Multi-tasking to such an extent that jobs are not completely thoroughly, or errors are made


To utilise your alpha-characteristics to your advantage focus on:

  • Collaboration with others, not control
  • Maintaining a work-life balance: place as much importance on your social and personal life as you do on your work life
  • Use your confidence and self-belief to help and support others
  • Put yourself out of your comfort zone occasionally and take part in something you’re not naturally good at
  • Strive for equality and ensure other people get their voices heard
  • Manage your inner critic
  • Try to slow down, be mindful and focus on the moment more often


Seeking help

If you are finding that your Alpha personality traits are having a negative impact upon your wellbeing then you can seek professional help at Morency. To find out more you can contact Dr Julie Hannan on 07530 854530 or at