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I was at a party and nearby two guys who seemed to have just met that night (introduced through a mutual friend, probably) were talking to each other. One was taller than the other, and dressed more stylishly. Both of them, near as I can judge these things, were about equally good-looking and the same age.


Now, if you had framed the scene right there, and this is all the information I had to go on, (or YOU, the reader, had to go on), you/I would assume the taller, sleeker dressed man was more alpha and did better with the ladies. But this was not all the information available to me. I couldn’t hear their conversation, but I could observe their body language.

The taller man fidgeted a lot. He bounced on the balls of his feet, constantly adjusted his weight from one foot to the other, shoved his hands in and out of his pockets, moved his shoulders around, bobbed his head, craned his neck, nodded frequently, twisted his torso, tapped his toes, lifted his heels, put his fingers up to his mouth, incessantly stirred his drink and generally acted like he had an overabundance of nervous energy that needed burning off.

The other man, the shorter one, barely moved at all. He occasionally smiled and lifted his drink to his mouth, but besides those minimal motions his body remained mostly still. Earthbound. When he talked, the other guy leaned into him to listen; he himself never moved in closer to be sure he was heard, even though the venue was fairly loud.

Now I had the telltale glimpse of each man’s soul, the body language that revealed the extent of their self-possession. Snapshots of men, unlike snapshots of women, tell us little about men’s true value, for a man’s looks and height are but two components of the complete man. You need context, physical expression and interaction to sufficiently judge a man’s alphaness. And fidgeting subcommunicates one thing: betaness.

The taller man’s height and more stylish clothes were inadequate compensation for his beta fidgeting. If he appeared beta to me, you can bet that women, with their finer grained radar resolution for men’s social status and dominance, would near instantly perceive him to be the lower ranked, less attractive beta of the two men.

Get your alpha body language down, because those critical first few minutes (seconds?) you have to make an impression on a woman depend primarily on how powerfully you carry yourself, and nothing influences a woman’s perception faster or more viscerally than your radiating nonverbal vibe.

I was not at all surprised to find that at the end of the night the shorter man was surrounded by women while the taller man sipped a cocktail alone. At least the fidgeter can console himself with this study which shows that fidgeting will help keep you lean.


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