On the bright side, there are awesome resources like today's guest poster, here to remind me that, while it's good for my characters to seem real, I also have to remember that I'm the one in charge, and that it's my responsibility as an author to torment and rev up the tension as much as possible. What a great reality check!
This post will deviate from the typical "author interview/guest post," but I hope all of you readers (and aspiring authors) will appreciate what Jeannie has to say. And while you're here, make sure to enter the giveaway and go show her some love--she just relaunched The Character Therapist and is looking for more people willing to present her with characters to dissect :)
Allure of Alpha Males
By Jeannie Campbell, LMFT
Females seem to dig alpha males, thus, many romances we read feature the swashbuckling muscular hero on the cover—usually shirtless, sporting washboard abs, and possessing a chiseled jaw.
With a description like that, it’s not too hard to see what the attraction of these men might be.
I’ve always wanted to know why though.
So I used my training and powers of observation to discover a few facts.
1) Alpha maleness doesn’t hinge on looks. Don’t get me wrong. I like a good-looking guy as much as the next girl. But don’t tell me that a guy with a slightly crooked nose or a rugged scar hasn’t mesmerized you. Doesn’t it just add to the masculine power they possess?
2) Alpha maleness doesn’t hinge on aggression. Studies have been done on this phenomenon I’m about to share. But alpha males seem to differ from other men in that they have a lack of excitability. They have solid inner strength, the kind that’s not shaken easily and doesn’t require violence or force to protect. They generally don’t raise their voice and maintain a calm demeanor, even when under stress.
3) Alpha maleness doesn’t hinge on confidence. I add this qualifier because I know lots of men who have copious amounts of confidence and self-esteem—but instead of drawing me in, they push me away and come off as arrogant. An alpha male, while usually confident, seems to possess more of a natural dominance in their power to command…a “quiet confidence,” if you will.
4) Alpha maleness doesn’t hinge on charm. There are men who command attention without saying a word. When a man has got the art of body language down to a masterpiece, wit and humor aren’t necessary. Flirty behaviors sometime serve as a mask that a beta male uses to prevent the risk of being direct. A sizzling, smoldering stare might be all the come hither a woman needs instead of blathering compliments, however sincere.
So, now that I’ve discussed what doesn’t equate with alpha maleness, I’m sure you’re wondering what does. And that’s where you come in.
I’m afraid I don’t have a psychological reason to give you. There are theories, granted, such as the evolutionary biology theory that women want alpha males to mate with so that their offspring inherit characteristics that will ensure survival…blah, blah, blah.
What I find far more interesting is individual experience. What traits do alpha males who you know exhibit? It could be some of what I mentioned above—remember, I said alphas don’t have to have good looks, charm, and confidence, but they certainly can.
Leave a comment with your own assessment of what makes a man an alpha to be entered to win my Writer’s Guide to Personality Types. Don’t forget to include your email address so we can alert you if you’re the winner.
I hope that I’ll get a chance to connect with many of you over at my new website, The Character Therapist [http://charactertherapist.com] and my blog (http://charactertherapist.blogspot.com) If you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll receive my Writer’s Guide to Character Motivation for free!
Thanks for stopping by, Jeannie! I hope that all you readers--whether you're writers or not--will go check out The Character Therapist. There's a lot of interesting information that can always help you better understand the book characters you adore (or hate).