Let’s imagine a situation where a guy is talking to a girl at a party. He’s having a great time, she seems to be interested and if all goes well they’ll hopefully be exchanging numbers by the end of the day…
But then suddenly, in burst a bunch of noisy guys who are showboating, posturing and generally being rowdy. All eyes turn to them – they’re confident, funny and intimidating for our hero. Suddenly he shrinks into the background, the girl starts paying these guys more attention than him, and it looks like game over. How can he compete with those kinds of alpha males?
This situation doesn’t only apply when you’re trying to chat someone up either. Just as likely it can happen when you’re trying to make an impression on a group of friends, or people you’ve just met. In any scenario, feeling like you aren’t able to compete because you don’t have that ‘alpha male’ x-factor, is something that can be very upsetting and leave you feeling rather less impressive than you might like.
What Not to Do
Most guys will have been in a situation like that at some point. Even if you’re the most confident guy on the planet, it can still be overwhelming when a bunch of men taller than you come in and start throwing their weight around.
Normally we’ll react to this in one of two ways…
Option one, is you shrink properly into the background, becoming quiet and feeling sorry for yourself. Option two, is you grow a pair and decide to play these usurpers at their own game – seeing if you can’t ‘out manly’ them by telling your own stories and trying to steal the limelight for yourself.
Unfortunately, neither of these strategies is likely to be particularly effective. If you shrink into the background, then this obviously isn’t going to make you look particularly masculine, and unless you’d already developed a good relationship with whoever it is you were talking to, they probably won’t make the effort especially to come and seek you out.
On the other hand, if you try and compete with someone who is naturally louder and larger than you, it can often end badly. Either you will look like a jerk because you don’t enjoy losing the limelight and can’t handle it, or you will simply fail in your attempt to compete and this will only highlight how you are perhaps the less ‘alpha’.
Fortunately, there does exist a solution and that is to continue participating in the conversation, but not to ty to steel the limelight. That means you’re going to listen to the stories these guys are telling and complement them, it means you’re going to laugh at their jokes and it means you’re going to ask them questions.
Now these guys are obviously the kinds who enjoy showing off and being the centre of attention, so they’re going to love getting the attention from you. You remain central in the conversation, but you won’t be causing any animosity by trying to steal the limelight.
At the same time though, what you’ll also be doing is putting yourself in a position where you are now ‘running’ the conversation. Think about it – you are giving them your approval and attention and you are telling them to continue. In short, you’re now ‘the one to impress’ and they’re now the ‘jester’. This can result in a subtle power shift as they attempt to get your approval, and that will be noticed by others in the conversation.
All the while, you don’t have to start shouting and performing yourself and you can remain the calmer and more mysterious person. Suddenly, you become the one to watch again.