The Social Hierarchy of Men: Understanding How Men Operate In Groups

Are you an Alpha? or are you a Beta? These terms are often thrown around to describe where men fit in the social hierarchy. The Alpha is the man everyone wants to be and the Beta is everything we despise in men. However this black and white image of social status, leaves a lot to be desired. Men exist within a spectrum of qualities which at sometimes make them appear more or less Alpha. Instead of Alpha or Beta, I have decided to analyze male hierarchy as a tier system. Tier 4 being the highest tier and 1 being the lowest. Men might be tier 4 among their friends, but at work are tier 1. The proverbial big fish in a small pond highlights this. Men throughout their lives can change tiers depending on the situation.

In this brief essay I will outline the qualities associated with each tier and their inter-personal relations with other tiers.

The High-school quarter back is perhaps the most repeatable Tier 4 man out there.
The High-school quarter back is perhaps the most repeatable Tier 4 man out there.

Tier 4: A man who inhabits this tier is a leader. Men want to be like him, seek his approval or envy his high social status. He is aware of his social status, and comports himself in a way in which makes other people aware of it. This man is also highly aware of the status of those he surrounds himself with. The people he surrounds himself with are crucial to his status. The role of a Tier 4 man is to lead, he is dependent on subordinates to fulfill his role. Most of his subordinates will be happy to do so. At the same time, if any of his subordinates challenge him, he makes sure to remind them of his status and dominance. He will react strongly to any perceived threat.

Batman and Robin are a good example of a Tier 4 and Tier 3 relationship.
Batman and Robin are a good example of a Tier 4 and Tier 3 relationship.

Tier 3: A tier 3 man is the ultimate subordinate. A tier 3 man finds a tier 4 man to attach himself to. They are very similar to tier 4 people in their appearance, but they lack an awareness of social status. The Tier 4 man can pick up on this and utilizes tier 3 men the most because they are not a threat. the tier 3 man appreciates the leadership of tier 4 but can't handle all the responsibility that comes with that supreme social status. However he still benefits from the close proximity to the 4th tier man. He is incredibly loyal and will enforce the dominance of tier 4 among other subordinates. Despite this, he can never handle tier 4 status. If the tier 4 man were to die, the logical expectation is that his closest subordinate the tier 3 man would inherit his position. But this often creates conflict within the social group because he lacks desire to be a leader and is not status conscious.

Tier 2 guys are the worker bees, the build everything around us and make sure the world keeps running smoothly.
Tier 2 guys are the worker bees, the build everything around us and make sure the world keeps running smoothly.

Tier 2: A tier 2 man only cares about respect and doing his job. Most average men fall within this category. They can rise or lower in tier much more drastically than anyone else. They also are the basis for all success that the tier 4 man enjoys. They do the dirty work. However they aren't cucked to the tier 4 man, if their leader begins to falter and lose his charisma among his 2nd tier subordinates, the tier 2 men will find another leader or become a tier 4 themselves. If the 4th tier man takes care of his 2nd tier subordinates they are more likely to do what he requires of them. Despite this, tier 2 men really don't care about meeting his expectations. That's why the tier 3 man must enforce his tier 2 subordinates.

The Social Hierarchy of Men: Understanding How Men Operate In Groups

Alan from Two and a Half Men, embodies the 1st tier pretty well. He thinks he is more intelligent than his brother Charlie

Tier 1: Tier 1 men are sensitive and intelligent and like tier 4 they are highly conscious of their social status. He is unsatisfied with his position but is incapable of being a good leader, incapable of being someone men want to follow. He is also too conscious to be a Tier 3 man and will resent being in the 2nd tier. The intelligence they have often backfires because the think they should lead due to it. They can be a catalyst to disrupt the goal of the tier 4 man and sway the minds of the 2nd tier, which is the foundation for the overall success. Despite sowing the seeds of conflict among others he is almost always conflict avoidant. In order to avoid conflicts he has a tendency for dishonesty. There is constant tension between this man and the 4th tier man, because he believes he is more intelligent and could run things better. Its the responsibility of the 3rd tier man to check the behavior of the 1st tier man, to ensure that he can't disrupt the groups ambitions.

What can we learn: Men will often fit into these roles while they interact with one another. Its important to understand their characteristics so we can treat them properly. So how do we deal with these men? When speaking to the 4th tier men make sure you don't challenge their authority unless you are ready to lead or face the repercussions. With a 3rd tier man make sure you don't disrespect the organization or leader, he is highly loyal and will enforce his leaders will. With the 2nd tier men, make sure you appreciate their efforts and respect their work. Finally with the 1st tier man its important to acknowledge his intelligence, but never allow them too much power, they can easily thwart progress or change the minds of the 2nd tier men. Their intelligence is a valuable resource, but its important to stay vigilant to their schemes.

Its important to understand in which tier you fall in to so you can know how you best interact with other men. Depending on the group and situation, men can vary in their tier. There is no shame in falling within any of these tiers, they all have purpose in social settings. If you are a 2nd tier man at work, it doesn't mean you have to be a 2nd tier man at home with your family, you could easily be a 4th tier man with your children or wife.

The Social Hierarchy of Men: Understanding How Men Operate In Groups
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Most Helpful Guys

  • devilman666

    Sounds like nonsense to the point that you dont even know what you're talking about. Example: what you said about tier 4 can be summarized to be "he is a leader. Everyone follows him. His role is to lead. He doesn't like being challenged.". Nice way to say absolutely nothing.

    Overall I'd say the biggest flaw is the way you essentially break it down into a game of popularity and nothing more. The popular man is the leader, the slightly less popular but super loyal guy is tier 3. Then we have the basic laborer of the male hierarchy, the majority of men, not much else to say, in fact they are so poorly defined that they can change tiers most drastically of the groups. Tier 4 is just that one annoying guy who is not only useless but actually a hindrance to everyone around him including himself.

    It literally sounds like highschool politics.

    • All four tiers are poorly defined to be honest, the only one adequately defined was tier 1 because you hated on it so much that you actually gave it definition. The others you just used too broad of terms and said little useful about them.

    • Anonymous

      I appreciate your criticism, its all valid.
      I should have spent a lot more time on the other tiers.
      It is very vague and very simple.

    • Anonymous

      From your experiences, what would you want to add this system, or to a particular tier?

  • monkeynutts

    I think you need to re organise your mind into, confident, sheepish, we guys are all different, some get more attention from the ladies, others not so much. Just gotta let people be who they are, and encourage them to shine. Then every guy gets a girl that loves him and he feels a sense of purpose and self worth.

    • Anonymous

      I tried keeping ladies out of this
      But Its probably essential to understanding how men feel and behave within the hierarchy

    • Show All
    • That's hogwash, you treat em like ladies. Be polite, responsive, and respectful.

    • Anonymous

      Haha I know, I know :p

Most Helpful Girls

  • SueShe

    How many times must it be repeated that there is no such thing as an alpha male in humans.

    This type solely applies to the animal kingdom and not to humans.

    So called human alpha males are the ones that are primarily hunters, selfish, full of themselves (and too much testosterone) and don't care about anyone else but themselves.

    As long as they get what they want, the world can fall apart, they don't give a s**t!

    • Tall, good genes, natural charming, natural nice skin, nice hair, muscular, rich = Modern alpha
      Average height, genetically average, has to work hard in life = Beta builders of society
      Short, bad genes, ugly, receding hair, low IQ, bullied = Omega males

      Just how life is. It sucks but it's something we men see 24/7 all the time. You ladies never have to ut up with it. Sue if I take you to a party I can point out the alpha males, the beta and omegas within seconds.

    • Show All
    • PocketAces

      Sure there is there are plenty of them. Donald Trump, Floyd Mayweather, Brad Pitt the kind of guys who not only have charisma and people are drawn to them but they have a huge influence over people as well.

    • Anpu23

      I believe that the term for that is actually "dick," yes I do believe so... completely agree, and am so sick of this pop psychology bs.

  • Secret6620

    I like this idea of a hierarchy system to differentiate between types of males. I usually avoid tier 4 guys. We never have compatible personalities. There can never be two alphas. 🖤💜💙

    • Anonymous

      I tried to exclude ladies from this lol
      But now i realize I shouldn't have haha.

      I think most ladies fall into the 2nd and 3rd tier.
      You are exceptional

    • Show All
    • Secret6620

      Thanks for the mho 🖤

    • jst4fun

      I like it your thoughts on this. A post On the female hierarchy would be interesting too. Although it may primarily exist only within younger crowds. Would you say?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

What Girls & Guys Said

  • Ellie-V

    Yeah... no.
    I just say hi and move on. We you’re a cool person. Great. Fantastic. Let’s be friends. If you suck. O well, nice meeting ya.

    I don’t give a damn about which “tier” guys fall under. It’s really not that deep.
    But... thanks for the info... I guess?

  • sugarchateau

    This was a good read, hierarchies appeal to me so I appreciate you lining this up. I really want to apply this knowledge. Whether that be my position as a subordinate or how to better apply acknowledgments/respect different types of boundaries for the different tiers. I really wonder how to apply this towards women.

  • JayParris

    If we lived in isolated, closed groups, all this shit would make some sort of sense. But we each have many groups, and we play different roles depending on who else is in the current group. Human sociology is far too complex to be boiled down this way

  • CrazyKittyLady

    This sounds like a hierarchy for dogs rather than humans.

  • A_Bell

    Women have alphas and I think it is much stronger than with men. I am pretty independent and hate being in large groups with women because there are always these ladies who think they are natural bosses.

    • HereIbe

      That's not an alpha, that's just a bitch.

    • ROCKS128

      Dont get into this traps of alpha and betas.
      Women are women!

  • Browneye57

    You make all this up on your own? Or regurgitating something you read on the internet?

    • Hal2002

      I agree with you on this. I have never been in any social group, that even remotely comes close to anything describe in this rant.

    • Browneye57

      @Hal2002 - Uh, yeah. I think it's a bunch of bullshit. LOL
      We got some snot-nosed kid that over analyzes everything. Just shut up and do your job. ;)

    • Browneye57

      And just look at the goofy pink replies. Dear god. LOL

  • Anpu23

    Where the hell did you get this? I've never had this kind of interaction between men. Usually guys cooperate with each other, don't care about social status, until a woman is in the mix. Most guys when it is just guys are just doing whatever it is their doing.

    There are, of course exceptions, but we usually just call those guys dicks. This whole "alpha/beta male" this is just trying to create something that really doesn't exist. I honestly don't get it.

  • taleswapper

    The problem with this system is there are men who simply don't fit into it. They are outside the normal channels. the Sage, the Shaman,, the Expert and other roles that men have, that aren't part of a hierarchical structure

  • SlimeC0RE

    The problem with your analogy, other than it makes no sense, is overly simplistic and doesn’t address enough criteria, is that it doesn’t even mention people like me, who functions out of the hierarchy.

  • MlleCake

    The alpha and beta phenomenon doesn't exist in human beings.

    This is all psuedoscience.

  • DizzyDesii

    So what about when your mans happily a loner and doesn't need other men to tell him his place

  • tenukitanuki

    Hey man, could you just finish reading Brave New World and put down the fully caffeinated Autism Chips? Not only is your premise wrong; wolves do not have such a social structure and the writer who coined the term hated it their whole life. He was observing family structures, not social structures. F-

    If you'd like to go through with Greek Alphabet Hierarchy Game, you still have it wrong. What you really, really want are the Archetypes and Heroe's Journey. You want Hermeticism and Gnosticism. Carl Jung is a helluva drug

  • Phoenix98

    Yeah no, sorry but your theory is wrong.

    About the only thing it got right was that there are men who are followers and those who are leaders but that's about it.

  • Spoopy_Alien

    This is false. It is the men with natural dominance, intelligence and social skills that tend to do the best in society. The men in the "lowest tier" would likely be those who are socially inept, neurotic, and untalented.

  • themomo84

    Tiers? If you feel this way, you're entitled to your opinion. I'd rather not label men or myself or anyone. Ty for the post.

  • up_64

    What about those of us who don't give a shot about social status. This dank depends on me being invested. I done take shit from anyone and won't engage in these power ladders so where do I fall?

    • up_64

      Fuck autocorrect


  • starfyredragon
    • Phoenix98

      You do know like half of his videos are actually wrong right?

    • Phoenix98

      General research lol, you can prove some of his videos wrong with just simple research and google.

      If you want direct sources then you'd have to start going into specifics like certain videos.

  • hugzy

    why men only... females as well as males , act the same way... in either case , the low intelligent individual would strive, by any means , to prove they are better than the rest , for selfish reasons...

  • HereIbe

    Wow, a lot of silly pop-psych bullshit here. Try studying some actual social science.

  • Levin

    I mean, no offense or anything. But this was pretty retarded.

  • Jennifer_32

    All there is in life is Alphas, betas, and omegas. 90% of men aren't true alpha males. Most are beta as shit. Omega males normally off themselves sooner or later.

    Life is a sick joke.

  • Evil_Chuck

    This take bears about as much resemblance to real life as Mickey to a genuine mouse, except Mickey is entertaining.

  • zagor

    I do not find such simplistic patterns to hold.

    And where did you get that old pic of Joe Namath?

  • sasukeuchiha7

    I feel like I don't fit into any of these categories.
    I'm more detached from the world, I spend time away from the groups.

  • ROCKS128

    There are some autistic men and some disabled men, who hold capability to contribute.
    Where can we put them?

  • The_Underground_Man

    While I agree with almost everything you wrote, I'm starting to adopt a more esoteric approach to matters. I think that while these categories are helpful, I'm not exactly sure if they are intrinsic. The more I analyze the autobiographies of many well known 'alphas,' the more I am convinced that a lot of them such as Napoleon, Hitler, and Caesar were actually high functioning betas. That is, while they were able to serve as alphas and adopt an alpha role in society, intrinsically they were betas inside, and I can elaborate more on each of these figures. It is rather interesting that so many men who were intrinsically beta managed to become some of history's greatest (and worst) alphas.

  • andreasderjuengere

    Your thoughts revolve around 'leadership'. The text sounds logic, but I don't think that it's universal truth. Also: to sort man-kind into just four different boxes does not take into account that we are BILLIONS of INDIVIDUALS on this planet.
    Example: I have no urge to lead others. But I also do not allow others to dominate me. I challenge authority, but will be supportive and cooperative in a 'team' at the same time. I get (and got) to lead groups, but that happens unintentional and without specific personal satisfaction.

  • MarketData

    So instead of two meaningless subcategories we now have four meaningless subcategories.

  • es20490446e

    Alpha is a person that makes others believe in themselves, and act accordingly.

  • DonCachondo

    Alpha/Beta is too damn simplistic. I had hoped the internet would've developed beyond some of its earliest theories...

    • lernulo

      At the beginning any type of psychology would approve that dichotomy.

      I will tell you some types of PERSON which you can use, and as they say when you study them.

      It's more orientative that anything else.

      Eneatype, 9 of them based on the life-mode.
      0. Peacemaker
      1. the rebel
      2. the saint
      3. Your alpha, the wolf of wall street
      4. The romantic
      5. The scientist
      6. The soldier
      7. The adventurer
      8. The dictator

      About the other scale.

      Mbti with:

      I/E, N/S, T/F, J/P

      It has been the scale psychology used for more of ten years.

      If you are going to use scales at least, use one with some portion of reality in it.

  • DaddyRollingStone

    As Socrates says, some men are born to be leaders and others are born to be slaves.

  • VaIiant

    Men are not like this in real friendships.

  • ChefCurry

    What the fuck did I just read

  • brittslitt

    I don't believe in the alpha beta nonsense

    • SvanUlf

      Well, it was probably pretty accurate... for that ONE study... on inbred wolves in captivity. ;-)

  • blythely

    The internet breeds alpha delusions

  • BronzedAdonis

    complete bullshit

  • RedThread

    Uhh what?

  • Secretgardenblood

    Good take

  • S_Rose

    I never thought about this. Thanks :)

  • Koreantransgender

    They are dogs

  • clampfan101

    Interesting Take.

  • Liam_Hayden

    I have ever seen this in any of my social groups.

  • Jamovitz

    Did Jordan Peterson write this

  • Asianguy123


  • Anonymous

    with my best friend im a beta, with almost everyone else im an alpha

  • Anonymous

    Lol your looking too far into it, I'm pretty sure me and my drinking buddies don't have a hierarchy lol we just hang out and get loaded and shoot guns n shit

  • Anonymous

    I think you over complicated the whole thing. I do think there are alpha and beta males. There are noticeable differences between the two.

    Betas tend to follow, chase, be and act desperately and often have little or not self-respect These guys are constantly throwing themselves at women.

    Alphas lead, they don't chase, they don't need to. They're far from desperate and have a lot of self-respect. They're often pursued by women.

  • Anonymous

    Not sure but ok

  • Anonymous

    Lmao. Just...


  • Anonymous

    your theory has some truth to it but it's still over-simplified. the world doesn't really work like that. while some natural born leaders are living normal lives and have "tier 2" jobs, those who lead are so incompetent, they don't fit in any of your categories.