Lions do not concern themselves with the opinions of sheep.
Alright, “alpha,” let’s stop you right there and think over this favorite quote with which you and your so-called fellow alpha males/females love to retort when told that you may be causing more harm than good. Why do you feel the need to label yourself as a carnivorous cat (especially when the term alpha calls to mind wolf packs) while putting your friends down to being defenseless grazers? Do you feel the need to prey upon them?
I may be reading a bit far into the quote, but the trope of alpha males/females in online articles is nothing short of tiresome and slightly worrying. Alphas define themselves as being leaders that are fiercely independent and care little for the opinions of others. Being called an alpha though hardly seems to be a compliment if one is to look beyond the positive words such as independent and witty that mask the true nature of the alpha. Firstly, to be an alpha, you must embrace the concept of those around you as being lesser. You must demote your friends to being betas, the sheep to your lion; you must demote them to not being a free thinker or being capable of forming opinions without your leadership. You must be everything that they are not if you want to be the leader an alpha purports to be.
In seeing leadership as being more interesting, more strong-willed, and overall more in every way than others, you create a divide between yourself and those around you which can lead to difficulties in empathizing. Alphas often claim to be sarcastic or witty, and not a single alpha would hesitate to insist they always speak their mind even if those around them are “too sensitive” to understand they are only telling the truth. While sarcasm and banter are fun and a normal part of friendship, it is important that these not be used in a harmful way. The alpha may be accused of taking a joke too far, but not realize the true insult while operating under the assumption that the target of the joke takes themselves too seriously, and the alpha knows taking yourself too seriously is a quality only a lowly beta could have. Saying whatever pops into your head with disregard for the feelings of those around you is hardly the quality of a leader; it is the quality of, to be frank, a human being that is incapable of empathy. A decent leader and not an internet alpha knows how to be charismatic and kind in speaking their opinions.
This lack of empathy continues to be a defining feature in the alpha code with promises of being frightfully independent and too busy with their own lives to make time for betas, particularly in discussions of their romantic lives. Compromise seems to be a foreign concept to the alpha who would rather define themselves as unyielding. Being an alpha means not committing time to anyone unless that suits a need of yours in your quest to live the life that makes you happiest. The alpha life is a selfish one at best. A true leader in society takes time to care for others and lives not only to reach their own goals but to help others succeed as well. Between the lack of empathy and the unwillingness to compromise, the alpha leads not an independent life, but rather a life of self-isolation.
I am yet to see how being an alpha is a positive. You are a human, not a pack animal. You do not need to label yourself as being above your friends. You do not need to lack empathy. If you want to be a strong-willed, independent leader, you must also recognize the importance in connecting with those around you. Being strong means being strong enough to open up to a network of people and even being strong enough to love and put the needs of others before yours. An alpha is not the fearless leader they claim to be.
Perhaps the sarcasm is a wall, and perhaps the lack of empathy is a way of avoiding putting too much trust into others, but without empathy, you won’t be the alpha in the pack; you will end up a lone wolf.
But hey, why listen to me anyways?
After all, lions don’t concern themselves with the opinions of sheep.