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.
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.
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: 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.
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.