The Delta Male and How to Escape Being Him

The delta male is one of the most misunderstood and controversial members of the socio-sexual hierarchy. Men don’t want to be him, and women don’t want to be with him. But what is a delta male? How can you recognize him, and what should you do if you are a delta?

Is the Socio-Sexual Hierarchy Real?

There are many ways that psychologists determine personality. The idea of the social dominance hierarchy is common in the study of animals but many think it is too simplistic for humans. Although sometimes called pseudo-science, placing males in a hierarchy based on their personality traits has stuck because it works so well.

Other methods of defining different personalities are also imperfect as science still doesn’t have a full understanding of this field yet. They include:

  • The Myer-Briggs Type Indicator
  • The Big Five Personality Test
  • The Extroversion scale
  • Jung’s archetypes
  • Other Personality Tests

The best way to assess the effectiveness of any technique is to look around you and see how well they describe the people in your life.

What is a Delta Male?

The delta male is one of the six personality types from the socio-sexual hierarchy. Besides, the delta are five other male types:

  • Alpha Male – Dominant in social situations, the most assertive personality type.
  • Beta Male – The least masculine male, often follows alpha males.
  • Gamma Male– The explorer, a natural outgoing extrovert, loves travel and new experiences.
  • Delta Male – The average Joe, he’s good to others and has balanced qualities.
  • Sigma Male – Lone Wolves, an introverted temperament that is domineering when it needs to be.
  • Omega Male– The “nerd,” who prefers to stay in his inner world

Each type has his own traits and personality that make him easily recognizable, but the delta male can be much more challenging to spot.

The delta male is your average Joe. He doesn’t have magnetic energy or shies away from social interaction. He’s not the boss of the company, nor the IT nerd in the corner. Instead, he’s the average worker getting things done.

How to Spot a Delta Male

1. He Shows Up and Gets Stuff Done

If you’ve ever known someone at work that consistently gets things done, is rarely late, or misses deadlines, you know a delta male. But he isn’t pushing the pace or striving to hit new goals. Instead, he shows up and does what he’s supposed to do, nothing more.

Most people won’t even recognize his work. He doesn’t run into trouble, nor does he make outstanding achievements. Look around, and if you see someone you usually never even think about, he might be a delta male.

2. Delta Males Are Boring

The delta male doesn’t want to live out his passion or make his own way. Instead, he’s content to do what he’s supposed to, both at work and home. While this makes for a very stable personality, it means that delta males aren’t that interesting.

If you’re talking to someone who never has an extraordinary story to tell, never does anything different, and is happy to live the life given to him, you’re probably talking to a delta male.

3. He Doesn’t Want to Lead

Deltas aren’t introverted, and they have the potential to lead and even become alpha-type personalities, but they lack the drive. They don’t want to lead. They’re happy to show up and do their work without needing to take the reigns.

They are often introverted extroverts or omniverts close to the borderline of the extroversion scale.

When an alpha male loses his desire to stay on top, he may become a delta. Some recognize a delta when they meet someone who could be much more than they are if they only wanted it. They often have the potential but not the drive.

4. He Doesn’t Need Passion or Purpose at Work

While the omega male feels a strong pull to follow his passion, the delta male is satisfied to work in a job he doesn’t care for. It’s not that he resents being there or wishes he could do something else. He just doesn’t get his life’s meaning from his work.

There may be other careers or interests he’d like to do, but he needs to feel stronger about them to quit his job and make them a reality.

5. He Conforms to Societal Norms

The gamma male is the explorer and will likely become a digital nomad traveling the world. The alpha and sigma are building companies and leading teams, and the omega male is following his path regardless of what the world thinks about it.

But the Delta male isn’t doing any of these things. Instead, he’s doing what society expects of him. As a result, he’s got a stable job, a steady girlfriend or wife (or he wants one), and has no desire to change things.

6. He Blends in With the Crowd

The delta male can sometimes be hard to recognize, not because he’s hard to differentiate from the other male personalities, but because he blends in with the crowd so much that you forget he’s even there.

Nothing about him sticks out as notable, interesting, or fun. Yet, he’s not shunned by society. He’s always there in the office, at parties, and at social functions. You interact with him every day. He’s just not thought about.

Delta Males in Relationships

Delta males, despite being a little dull, actually make good partners. They are reliable, well-mannered, and not likely to do anything too wild.

They make good fathers and husbands, but they have trouble finding partners. Women, who are often attracted to confidence and power, often see the delta male as a runner-up prize, safety net, or “just a friend.”

Delta males, therefore, will often look for women with similar personalities. Less confident and more stable women. Once these two personalities meet, the rest is usually history. If you know a couple that has been married 50+ years, they are likely both deltas.

How to Stop Being a Delta

You can think of the delta male personality as a placeholder. Though many remain deltas for their whole lives, many also develop into one of the other personalities.

How to Go From Delta to Alpha

It’s possible to become an alpha male if you are a delta. But to go from Mr. Boring to the center of attention takes drive, self-confidence, and non-stop effort to interact with everyone below you in the hierarchy. You don’t need to become aggressive, although aggression is one of the alpha male’s most common tendencies.

If you are shy or an introvert as a delta, it’s unlikely you will transform into an alpha but if you are already high in extroversion here’s how to go to the top of the hierarchy.

  • Gain confidence by working out
  • Seek out beta males who will boost your position
  • Learn how to be charming and apply what you’ve learned
  • Always place yourself at the top of any situation (volunteer to lead, push your own ideas, etc.)

Transform From Delta to Omega

The omega male is the guy that doesn’t care what the world thinks. Instead, he wants to follow his favorite hobby or passion. If you’re introspective or prefer to spend time alone, you could easily become an omega male.

Delta males can become omegas easily by reminding themselves what they wanted to do before getting their 9-5 jobs. Once they know their dream, all it takes is hard work which deltas are good at, and they will become omega males.

Can a Delta Male Become a Gamma, Sigma, or Beta?

Delta males are less likely to become gamma, sigma, or beta males. These male personality types are more extreme and further from the delta.

The gamma is the extrovert explorer. The sigma is the lone wolf, and the beta is the follower. None of these personalities are adjacent to the delta, so although possible, it’s less likely for a delta to develop into them.

Famous Examples of Delta Males

As deltas are often defined as average Joes, so finding a celebrity delta male is tricky, but here are some fictional characters who fit the delta male profile.

  • Lenny and Carl from The Simpsons
  • Gunther from Friends
  • Mitch from Modern Family

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Gregory Gaynor Avatar

Meet Gregory, a writer and the brains behind Face Dragons. He's the go-to guy for getting things done.

Gregory's been living the digital nomad life in Asia for as long as anyone can remember, helping clients smash their goals. He writes on topics like software, personal knowledge management (PKM), and personal development. When he's not writing, you'll catch him at the local MMA gym, nose buried in a book, or just chilling with the family.