qualities of a strong woman

18 signs you’re an alpha female and most men find you intimidating

What is an alpha female? And how do you know you’re an alpha female?

According to research, here is the true definition of an alpha female:

Alpha females have the intrinsic traits of being competitive, controlling, and aggressive. They are natural leaders, bringing out the best qualities in people around them.

Female alphas embrace their natural leadership qualities and this helps them to lead others. An alpha female is likely to:

  • Attract the attention of others
  • Believe in her abilities
  • Self-identify as an alpha female
  • Be ambitious
  • Have an impact
  • Be respected as an equal
  • Show leadership qualities

Still unsure whether you’re an alpha female? Read on to discover the traits of an alpha female.

Alpha female traits

Here’s a list of 18 traits to tell you are, in fact, an Alpha Female.

1) You Don’t Go Looking for Attention. It Goes Looking For You.

Wherever you go, people flock to you like moths to a flame. You’re irresistible, and your energy is infectious.

You are never alone. You don’t worry about traveling solo because it won’t be but a minute before someone is drawn to your charisma. You’re a fast friend to everyone.

According to bestselling author and behavioral investigator, Vanessa Van Edwards it’s because alpha females are “social lubrication and business mediators.”

She explains:

“They bring social ease to a group, they tell jokes, they start conversations, they introduce people, they smooth over business disagreements and take charge.

“As leaders, this drives most females to use their influence to connect other people, making them the glue that holds groups together.”

You aren’t afraid to be alone or strike up a conversation. This lack of fear is a source of strength, letting you live an uninhibited life.

2) You Encourage Men to be Their Best Selves.

An alpha female strives to live the best life she can. 

However, one underappreciated quality of an alpha female is that she also brings out the best in her partner. 

We all need to live meaningful lives and to dedicate ourselves to the people we care about.

I know this because I’ve recently created an online course on taking responsibility for our lives. What I teach is the importance of having a sense of purpose and taking action every day towards it.

And I think an alpha female will do all she can to give the man she loves a sense of meaning and purpose in their relationship. 

The best way to do this is to trigger his hero instinct.

The hero instinct is a fascinating new concept in relationship psychology that’s generating a lot of buzz at the moment. 

It claims that men have a biological drive to feel needed, to feel essential, and to provide for the woman he cares about.

The hero instinct speaks to the built in desire men posses for something in life that goes beyond sex and even love.

For a relationship to be successful, it must give men a sense of meaning and purpose. That you genuinely want and need to have him around. Not as a mere accessory, ‘best friend’, or ‘partner in crime’.

An alpha female will trigger this instinct in her man because she’s not afraid to let him step up for her. She knows that she doesn’t need a hero but that men need to feel like one regardless.

The hero instinct is not about her, but about him and what he craves from a relationship.

To learn more about the hero instinct, check out this free video by James Bauer. He’s the relationship psychologist who coined the term. 

James reveals the exact phrases you can say, texts you can send, and little requests you can make to immediately trigger his hero instinct.

Here’s a link to the video again.

By triggering it, he’ll immediately see you in a whole new light. Because you’ll be unlocking a version of himself he’s always longed for.

3) You Get What You Want.

You don’t have to wait very long for the things you want in life because you don’t wait around.

You know that good things aren’t handed to you on a silver platter. So what do you do? You make it happen!

When you put your mind and effort into it, there’s nothing stopping you from achieving your dreams. 

(Taking responsibility for your life is the most powerful attribute you can possess. Learn how to take ultimate responsibility for your greatest challenges in life with our best-selling eBook here).

4) Every Song About Being An Independent Woman is Basically About You.

“I am woman, hear me roar!” 

Sing it, Helen Reddy! 

Whenever a girl-power anthem comes on, there’s zero doubt in your mind that it could have been written about you. 

You are what Alpha Female is all about. You can take care of yourself and don’t need a man to complete you.

Sure, it’s nice to be in a relationship, but your guy has to understand that you’ve made your way in life thus far, you can go the rest of it alone too if need be.

Any guy who is going to be with you needs to have his life together too.

5) You’ve Got Your Sh*t Together and Nobody Questions That.

You’ve got your tax return thrown into an IRA while your friends are still asking “what is turbotax?” 

Call it “adulting,” call it “being responsible,” call it “having your shit together.” Whatever it is, you got it and everyone wants to know your secret. 

You’re operating in first gear most of the time and still knocking home runs out of the park.

The truth is, alpha women are just naturally good at what they do.

According to leadership consultant and licensed medical doctor Gabriela Cora:

“Alpha females have intrinsic characteristics—aside from being competitive, controlling, and more aggressive, they are also born healthier, more energetic, and more resilient.”

You know your potential and have figured out how to bring your dreams to life without killing yourself to do it.

6) Stress Can’t Stop You.

Some of your best work has been done during stressful times or working toward a deadline. You can dance with the best of them, but make no mistake: you are always leading the way in whatever it is you are doing.

Others clear paths for you because they want to see what you will achieve and they want to take the opportunity to learn from you.

7) Ain’t Nobody Going to Hold You Down.

As T-Swift sang, “haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.” 

You’re not gonna let a hater get in your way. You’re too busy excelling at life to worry about the people who don’t cheer you on. 

In fact, you don’t want to bring anyone down. You lift others up!

You are happy to help someone who is happy to help themselves in the process, but you don’t let anyone drag you down to their level of negativity and discontent.

8) You’re the Glue That Binds You And Your Friends.

If you aren’t going to make it to dinner, then dinner is off. Your friends don’t hang out without you because they need you in the group to keep the conversation going and bring some life to the dinner, or drinks, or whatever it is you are going to be doing together.

You’re the center of gravity of your friend group. 

You’re just a natural leader. People always seem to come to you for guidance.

A 2010 study published in the Sage Journals explored how to “define” an alpha female’s various traits.

The researchers looked at qualities like emotional intelligence, confidence, gender ideals, and extroversion. They found that alpha females naturally embrace leadership roles and are drawn by it. 

You are the one that people all turn to for advice, help, and insight into their own lives, and they wouldn’t dream of hanging out without the one they all like.

9) You Admit Your Mistakes.

You take responsibility, no matter if the end result is bad or good. 

You are so confident in your abilities that you are not afraid to say when you’ve messed up. You recognize the learning that is possible because of the situation and you go on to pick your socks up without skipping a beat.

Some might criticize you for your choices, but you are already too busy making new choices to let criticism drag you down.

10) You Don’t Put Up With Terrible People.

There’s no room in your life for someone who doesn’t respect you or your time. If someone is rude or mean to you, you don’t hesitate to cut them out of your social circle. 

You respect yourself, your happiness, and your friends’ happiness too much to put up with such negativity. 

11) You Aren’t Intimidated By Anything.

Where other people see danger, you see opportunity. New people, new places, new jobs: these are steps on the ladder of your life. 

You have your own back and know that there’s nothing you can’t achieve if you put your mind to it.

Dr. Cora explains:

“Alphas can get themselves into more stressful situations by virtue of being more dominant and on the front lines at all times, which in turn make them more vulnerable to personal attacks. Alphas get to have more head-to-head physical, emotional, and intellectual confrontations.

Their innate ability to endure frontal assaults may exceed others’ genetic capabilities to sustain stress itself.”

If you aren’t bothered by things normal people get stressed with, you’re definitely an alpha female.

12) You Show No Fear.

You have an incredible ability to contain fear in the face of danger, frustration, ignorance, and even threats.

Alpha females have an innate ability to transform into someone who can move mountains if the situation calls for it.

Your ability to put yourself in front of danger to protect those around you is unlike anything else on earth.

So if you’ve got her head held high and you’re heading into a situation that most would cower away from, you know you’re an alpha woman.

13) You’re Tuned Into Your Emotional Intelligence.

Alpha women are not only strong physically and mentally, but they are wise to and tuned into their own emotional intelligence.

Contrary to popular belief, alpha women aren’t aggressive because they want to be. They’re only assertive when they need to be.

Alpha Females lean into their emotional intelligence (a sixth sense that allows you to read the emotions of yourself and others) in order to know when to apply the proper response to ensure a positive outcome. 

In short, you know when to step up, when to be kind, and when to put your foot down.

Where weaker people might fall on their knees and give up, you understand the desired outcome of a difficult situation and assigns the appropriate thoughts and feelings to get the job done.

Dr. Cora says:

“An alpha who has trained herself—yes, even alphas can be trained—to be more flexible, inclusive, and collaborative will be wise to choose when to be more direct and dominant, as compared to when to be more cooperative and open to alternatives.”

You’re not a slave to your emotions. You’re the master.

14) You’re Always Learning.

Women who are Alpha females are always working to up their game. When you see a woman with her head buried in a book instead of her phone, you know she’s got a grip on her life.

Women who make time to better themselves are more likely to be better. Being successful doesn’t get left to chance and you know that.

In fact, a study from Walden University called “Leadership Influences of the Veteran Alpha Female Leader” found that veteran alpha females are commonly inclined to continuous learning.

The study’s author, Danielle J. Moncrief wrote:

“The findings indicated that although alpha qualities can emerge early, most attributes take time to develop.

“Seeking opportunities and ongoing mentoring influenced leader experiences and contributed to success and leadership duration”

Whether learning through formal education or through hard-knock life lessons, you can bet that you’re taking notes through it all and making sure that you emerge from the situation better than when you went in.

15) You Can Hold Your Own in a Room of Men.

We’re not saying you’re getting into a shot-for-shot drinking contest with the biggest man at the bar (but if you are, all power to you). 

What we mean is that you aren’t one to be disrespected or shut out by a group of men. 

Alpha males can be boastful and arrogant. They too like to be the center of attention. 

Alpha females don’t have to stick out their chest and stomp their feet (but they can if that’s what the situation calls for). 

Instead, they expertly know how to assert themselves into conversations and command respect from a group of men.

It’s harder for women to show their strength, especially because they have to put up with societal norms of how a woman should act.

Dr. Cora explains:

“Societal expectations that a woman should find consensus at all cost, be nice, and collegial, conflicts many women in the workplace.

“Wanting to be liked and be accepted by the group adds to the internal turmoil of being proactive when wanting a position while continuing to be perceived as a team-player.”

Importantly, alpha females also use their confidence to help elevate other women. They’re leaders and team players!

16) You’re Too ambitious – According to Some.

A lot of Alpha women get a bad reputation because others decide that they’re too aggressive or ambitious. 

This is outdated. It’s not 1950 anymore. A woman’s place is wherever she pleases, whether that be as a homemaker or a CEO. 

It’s really only a matter of time before the world wakes up and realizes that if you want to get anything done, you need a woman on your team.

17) You’re a Champion For Your Family.

Women who identify as Alphas are fiercely independent, but that doesn’t mean that they have forgotten where they come from. 

Instead, alpha women fiercely champion their support network — being leaders, advocates, and defenders for their families. 

One study published in the Journal of Leadership Education found that alpha women value their family relationships highly.

According to the study’s researchers:

“The strong base that family empowerment and support gave them served to pay dividends in
the college environment.

Not only did Alpha Females have a nurturing environment, but they also had role models that taught them that being female was either a non-issue or an advantage.”

Alpha women are strong and independent because of their family. You champion them and their mission in life and will be there at a moment’s notice if they should come calling.

This does not make you weak; it makes you loyal.

18) You’re a Force to be Reckoned With.

Alpha Females don’t go gently into that good night.

You get things done and you don’t need anyone’s permission to move forward in life.

You’re a force of nature and sure to make the world a better place because of it.

What alpha females seek in a partner

how to tell if someone is highly intelligent

Alpha women are strong, independent, and more importantly, starting to stand their own ground.

In days gone by, women were encouraged to let the man step in and take over, run the business, change the oil in the car, and take care of the finances.

Can you imagine? Neither can we. But our mothers and their mothers lived like that for years.

These days, alpha women are bursting at the seams and are making headway in running the world.

But they aren’t without their desires: alpha women desire to be in relationships too.

But, on their terms.

If you are an alpha woman who is looking for love, here are some things you need to look for so that your new partner doesn’t become a project.

1) A man who steps up for you.

Remember how I mentioned the hero instinct above.

While it might sound counter-intuitive, an alpha female will always trigger the hero instinct in her guy. Because she knows that he needs to feel like he’s a protector, provider, and essential to the woman he cares about. 

James Bauer, the relationship psychologist who discovered the hero instinct, has created an excellent video about it. Watch the video here.

I know it might all seem kind of silly. In this day and age, an alpha female doesn’t need someone to rescue them. They don’t need a ‘hero’ in their lives.

But a strong woman understands what the hero instinct is all about.

It’s an instinctive need that men have to step up to the plate for the woman in his life. This is deeply rooted in male biology.

Although women may not need a hero, a man is compelled to be one. And if you want him to be happy in your relationship, then you have to let him.

The trick is to make him feel like a hero in an authentic way. And there are things you can say, messages you can send, requests you can make to make him feel like your provider and protector.

Here’s a link to James Bauer’s video again.

I don’t often recommend videos like this. But the hero instinct is one of the most fascinating concepts in relationship psychology I’ve come across. I think it could be a game changer for a lot of relationships.

2) A challenge.

Your partner should provide you with many challenges to keep you on your toes without tying up your precious time.

This means they shouldn’t add to your workload. They should be able to challenge you, but not be challenging.

They don’t need to be confrontational, but they should be able to point out things that aren’t going well and vice versa.

3) Opportunity to grow.

A great partner for an alpha woman is someone who gives you the space to do your own thing without fear that you are going to leave them behind.

In other words, don’t date guys who are super insecure and jealous. That’s the last thing you need. A man needs to be able to handle your confidence and growth plans.

4) Balance.

Your man is going to have his act together. This doesn’t mean he needs to be rich and has four properties around the globe, but he does need to have a job or another means to support himself.

You aren’t about to take on a dependant to bring down your independent lifestyle. Make sure he’s got his stuff balanced and he’ll add balance to yours.

5) Give-and-take.

Like any good relationship, each partner has to give and take at times. As an alpha, you may be used to doing your own thing, but you are capable of giving in when you need to.

He also needs to be able to do that. Admitting when you are wrong, showing up for each other when it’s needed and trying to find the good in the bad times is going to go a long way for you both.

Guys how can do that are worth hanging on to.

6) Confidence.

Your man needs confidence. Hello? Have you seen you? Have you seen your bank account?

He can’t be hanging around feeling bad for himself while you are out there taking on the entire world and looking like a million bucks while you are at it.

Don’t let his lack of self-confidence hold you back. Make sure your guy can fly on his own and is cool with you flying on your own.

7) Trust.

Your guy is going to have to trust you. There’s no room for ego in this relationship. You don’t have time to make him feel secure – he needs to just show up feeling like you’ve both got this.

When you are looking for someone to share your life with, make sure he can hold his own and doesn’t look to you to provide that sense of stability for him.

8) Independence.

Heading out with the girls? What’s your guy doing? If he’s a sad sack on the couch because you are leaving for the night, this relationship is probably not going to work.

Soon, you’ll start to feel the guilt of leaving him behind and nobody needs that. As an alpha woman, you need a guy who is confident enough to just get up and go when he wants too.

9) Authenticity.

He better be real. A guy who is going to get with an alpha woman is going to have to be vulnerable as well as strong, honest, trustworthy, and willing to show his deeper side.

Alpha women, as you know, are very tuned into their thoughts and feelings and in order to continue to create the best environment for that truth, your partner needs to be authentic and upfront about who he is and what he wants.

10) Real expectations.

No relationship is perfect, but your guy had better realize that you have places to go and people to see. You weren’t born with this guy on your hip and you won’t die with him on it either.

Women who are alphas need to be in relationships with guys who can not only recognize your independence but respect it and love you for it.

11) You may consider a beta mate.

Biologically, two alphas usually clash in the same space. This is probably why you should consider a more beta mate.

According to psychotherapist Dr. Sonya Rhodes:

“Funny, strong, independent, and comfortable in her own skin, the Alpha believes in herself—but has some blind spots. She assumes that as an Alpha female she should be partnered with an Alpha male.

“The problem is, two Alphas will tend to compete for power and dominance. I believe that Alpha women can learn to envision themselves as the Alpha in a relationship with a Beta man, who just might make the best fit.”

Alpha Females in Relationships

Dating an alpha female requires that the partner embrace and support these critical needs that alpha women have in relationships. 

Honesty

Alpha women are honest. They don’t shy away from the truth, because they have no fear of the truth. They understand that honesty means fewer complications, a faster solution, and a more positive outcome. If you’re dating an alpha female, understand that honesty is a MUST!

Space

Alpha females certainly make their partners their priorities. But, because alpha women have a profound sense of independence, you’re going to have to respect her need for space in the relationship. When in doubt, ask her about her needs — she’ll certainly be honest about it. 

Support

Alpha females are independent and goal-oriented, but they can’t do it all on their own. As the partner of an alpha woman, you need to support her in all of her endeavors to ensure that her dreams can succeed

Variety

Alpha women are often experience-driven. Since they are so fearless and bold, they’re constantly seeking out new experiences, meaning that the same-old-same-old may become disinteresting. You’ll need to keep her on her toes with new and exciting activities and dates to keep her energized. 

Empathy

When you’re dating an alpha woman, you may find that she feels that she’s under a tremendous amount of pressure to perform to the expectations people have of her and that she has of herself. You need to empathize with her pain. She needs a partner that she can let her guard down with. 

How to Tell if You’re an Alpha Woman

So how can you tell if you’re an alpha woman? You’ve looked through our list of 17 signs and thought “maaaaybe that’s me, but I’m not sure.” 

Basically, you want to be put to the test. You want a concrete answer on whether you’re an alpha woman or not. 

Well, It’s not that easy. 

I can’t just give you a quiz that’ll spit out “you’re 85% alpha female.” 

Life doesn’t work that way. 

Instead, at the end of the day, realizing that you’re an “alpha female” is a decision that you’ll have to make. 

At the end of the day, an alpha female is a “woman who has embraced her leadership ambitions.” 

While there are many signs, such as “you show no fear, you admit mistakes,” you have to decide for yourself “have I embraced my leadership ambitions?” 

It’s a hard question to answer. 

But it means that you can choose to become an alpha — you can choose to embrace your leadership ambitions. 

How can I embrace my own personal power? 

If you’re looking to embrace your own leadership abilities, but feel that you’re being held back by blockages in your life, it might be time to consider some outside help. 

Luckily, we here at Ideapod have partnered with contemporary shaman Ruda Iande to bring you a free masterclass on unleashing your own power. 

It’s called From Frustration to Personal Power

In this 70-minute free masterclass, Ruda takes you on a journey to:

This class is perfect for helping you bring out your own, natural leadership capabilities. 
 
Don’t rely on a quiz to tell you if you’re an alpha female. Embrace your own capabilities for change and create your own destiny instead!

Alpha Females Don’t Run in Packs

There’s never two alpha wolves vying for control of the pack. 

Likewise, the alpha female is often a party of one. While the alpha is a social butterfly who brings many friends into her pack, there is only ever room for one alpha. 

This can make for a lonely situation, as the alpha has no one to shoulder the burden of society’s expectations. Everyone looks to her for guidance, while she has to look to herself for strength. 

It’s critical then, as an alpha female, to take plenty of time for self-care, reflection, and rest. You have to look out for yourself and be your own leader.

Notable replies

  1. Although this article is written in a positive light and absolutely spot on, I’m annoyed that there are pop up banner ads for another article called “#1 Reason Men Pull Away” or “Why Men Leave Women” woven into this one. Let’s subtly make strong women question themselves?
    Come on Ideapod.com - REALLY? You‘ve got to be f’ing kidding me.

  2. Glad you found this article useful.

    Do you mean the advertising that appears within the article? Those ads are personalized and delivered by Google Adsense. They are personalized to you based on your own browsing history as well as based on the content of the article itself. Unfortunately, we don’t have control over the ads that appear, though we do stick to just Adsense to result in a better experience. You can switch off the advertisements by becoming a Prime member.

  3. Avatar for ACD ACD says:

    This seems to me to be an example of male chauvinist condescension. Imagine a white person writing this about a black person.

  4. Avatar for ACD ACD says:

    “… Maryellen MacGuigan had the audacity to ask: ‘Is Woman a Question?,’ and if so, why ? Why, she wondered ‘does [woman] present a special problem to the philosopher, over and above the general questions that must be dealt with in the treatment of human reality as such?’ … truly living the life of the mind meant figuring out how to take up residence in a mind of one’s own. Already in 1949, Simone de Beauvoir showed them just how hard this would be. In The Second Sex , she explained how woman had been made the Other to man’s normativity, with disastrous consequences for her intellectual autonomy and moral authority… As if responding directly to a wisdom-claim attributed to Aristotle—‘knowing yourself is the beginning of wisdom’—artist Barbara Kruger helped make unmistakable the implications of de Beauvoir’s existentialism. She fired back in 1982 with a shot that punctured the hidden ‘masculinist’ conceit of this affirmation. Perhaps self-knowledge for a woman in a culture that doesn’t truly know women may not even be possible:‘You are not yourself[.]’ … when we speak in the first person, we speak with multiple voices, and sometimes the voice of a culture unable or unwilling to see us.”

    Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. ~ Carl Jung

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Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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