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How to Be Dominant: 20 Calm and Firm Ways to be the Real Alpha

If you tend to be submissive and think you’re being taken advantage of, you can change that if you want to. So, here are great tips for how to be dominant.

how to be dominant

Being dominant comes very naturally to the alpha male or female. And, then there are the rest of us. The majority of us want to get through life unscathed, avoiding conflict, and not making too much of a spectacle. In other words, we should learn how to be dominant because we aren’t.

What we find, however, is that we end up feeling used, taken advantage of, or never really getting what we want out of life.

If you are tired of being the one always to give in, taking care of others, or sacrificing your own needs in lieu of others, then you may be asking yourself the question – how to be dominant?

[Read: Martyr complex – How to recognize the signs of this syndrome in you]

How to be dominant – 20 things that set alphas apart

Dominance is not an innate quality for everyone. It is a feeling like you are the head of the pack and that no one can challenge you.

With inner confidence, the good news is that even if you are the meekest of souls, it is possible for you to find the dominant inner personality to make people stand up and take notice. 

At the very least, these behaviors can give you the strength to say “no” when you want, stand up for yourself, and not be taken advantage of for your kindness.

So, here’s how to be dominant and take a stand, without revealing just how weak you feel inside.

1. Pretend you are stronger than you are

Half of the person we are is the persona that we show to the rest of the world. One of the best parts about getting to know someone new or moving to a new job or place is being able to reinvent yourself.

Just like what people tell you about yourself can turn you into what they say you are, what you tell yourself you are, can alter who you are and the way that people see you.

Instead of always seeing yourself as the nice guy who goes along and never goes against the grain, role-play the person you admire most and become the character that you have always wanted to be.

After all, no one can tell you who you are and what you have inside your heart but you. Tell yourself you are a dominant person and you can transform yourself from the inside out. [Read: 30 alpha male characteristics that make you a real alpha]

2. Just say “no” 

Dominant people aren’t beholden to do what other people want them to do. All too often, we become little minions out of the inability to say no to other people. We let people manipulate us either out of obligation or sheer guilt.

Don’t allow anyone to make you do something you don’t want to do. If it puts you out or is something that isn’t going to be good for you, then you have to be domineering enough to know that you owe no one anything and that you always have the right to say “no.”

No is a very powerful word that can have you ruling over other people. [Read: How to say no – stop people-pleasing and feel awesome instead]

3. Talk soft and carry a large stick

Dominant people have those things that make them feel powerful. Put on your big boy or girl pants that no one knows about or carry a large stick in your back pocket.

If there is something that gives you strength, bring it with you so you can continually remind yourself of your potential and how tough you can be when you need to be in any situation you encounter. [Read: How to stand up for yourself – Get what you want and deserve]

4. Realize that no one can keep you back but you

There truly isn’t anyone who can hold you back from what you want but you. Sometimes being dominant means that you not only have to convince people that you are the alpha dog but convince yourself as well.

If you can’t sell yourself as being the Alpha, then how is anyone else going to follow you? Believe in yourself and the rest will fall into place. [Read: How to succeed in life – All you ever need to know]

5. Take down the bully

Nothing can put you in the top spot more than taking out the bully. A bully is someone who uses force to be dominant. There are many ways to gain dominance, and bullying is not one that typically keeps you on top.

If you want to be dominant, then you have to take out the bully. By showing everyone the true colors of the one who is calling the shots and doesn’t have the authority, everyone will look up to you, and you can take the king of the mountain spot. [Read: How to deal with bullies – 13 grownup ways to confront mean people]

6. Never let them see you sweat

Another great tip for how to be dominant is never to let your guard down or to show your fear. Even in your most fearful moments, putting on a good face and showing that you aren’t going to succumb or go down is the most powerful tool at your disposal.

Playing chicken is the only way to show someone you aren’t going to give in. Even when you want to run and hide, you have to show a different face to the world.

7. Give yourself a pep talk

Self-affirmation and real pep talks can help you to maintain dominance over other people. Continually boosting yourself up and not allowing self-doubt to creep in is integral to maintaining the top spot.

Don’t allow others to make you feel inferior. Stand in front of the mirror, remind yourself who you are, what you want, and what you will and will not put up with. [Read: 16 reasons why you’re always being taken for granted]

8. Have a plan

The best tip for how to be dominant is to have a plan and know what the goal is. Most people know how to be dominant and assert themselves when they know that they are either absolutely correct, or if they are talking about something they are passionate about or know a lot about.

The more self-assured you are in any situation, and the more you are certain that you know how to see it through, the more natural dominance in a specific setting will be.

9. Overcome your fears

One of the biggest things keeping you submissive in your own life is fear. We all have fears, yup, even the most confident among us. A key for how to be dominant is to let go of those things that you fear most.

Approach every situation not by thinking of the worst that can happen, but the greatest outcome that can come from success.

All too often, we talk ourselves out of taking charge, entering into new situations, or getting ahead of the pack by allowing fear to rule us. Let go of your fears and you will find that dominance will be your new guide. [Read: 18 ways to become more spontaneous in life]

10. Believe in yourself

Self-doubt will keep you in a submissive role in your life eternally. Being dominant is about having others follow you and being “the leader.” That comes from convincing those around you that you are worthy of following.

If you don’t believe in yourself, then it becomes problematic to have others follow in your footsteps. If you want to be dominant in your relationship, your job, or just generally overall, you have to believe that you are worthy of people’s respect and adoration.

11. Practice makes perfect

Being ahead of the pack doesn’t come naturally to all of us, which is why it may be important for you to practice taking the lead. That is sometimes easier said than done. If you have a tendency to be submissive, then telling others what to do and taking charge may feel strange and fake.

The more you practice your dominance over others, the more natural it will feel. Just because something isn’t comfortable doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.

If you want to excel, then sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns. But, first, you have to practice how to grab those reins a couple of times. [Read: How to be assertive – 17 ways to speak your mind loud and clear]

12. Take small steps to get there

If you want to know how to be dominant, it isn’t going to happen overnight. You have developed a style and personality that you guide your life by. Change is never easy, nor is it instantaneous. Knowing how to be dominant, you have to take small steps to let the submissive part of you take the back seat.

That may mean one day you say “no,” another that you tell someone else what to do. It may take a while to get the hang of it, but recognize the incremental steps that you make along the way to give yourself the confidence to be as dominant as you wish to be.

13. Start as a big fish in a small pond and branch out

Being dominant is much easier in a small group than it is in a big one. That is why many people who are dominant in their high school find themselves in a completely different role in college.

If you want to know how to be dominant, it is about first conquering smaller tasks and then moving on to the bigger. It is a good idea to get practice with smaller groups than to try to take over a corporation overnight! [Read: How to take that next step towards success]

14. Don’t take “no” for an answer

Submissive people don’t command, they ask. If you are tired of asking for what you want only to get a maybe or even a “no” and walking away feeling squashed, then it is time to not take no for an answer.

Dominant people don’t ask; they tell you what it is that they want and why you are going to do what they ask. Instead of just accepting someone saying “no,” push until you get what you want and need.

15. Draw a line in the sand and don’t ever go back

Too often, submissive people walk into a situation without a clear line drawn. That means that they have no expectations of gaining dominance, they only hope that they get what they want.

If you want to be a dominant person, then you have to have strong convictions, draw a line in the sand and never step back or let up.

If you do draw a line in the sand, be prepared to protect it. Otherwise, it will be even harder the next time you want to exert your dominance over someone. [Read: How to set personal boundaries and guide others to respect it]

16. Make the first move

If you’re in a group of people, make sure you are the first one to do something. The less dominant people will look around to see who is going to go first and take the lead.

But dominant people don’t do this. They make the first move and don’t look to others to do it. If there is a decision to be made, they speak first. If there is someone coming to visit, they are the first to greet them. [Read: 10 tried and tested ways to become a better leader at work]

Making the first move in any given situation will let people around you know that you are confident and willing to take the lead. This is definitely a dominant move. Just make sure that you know what you’re doing.

17. Make other people follow your lead

When people follow you, this is the definition of power. This means you are acting as a leader and are the most powerful person in the group. 

When you make the first move, then people will naturally just follow you. It’s almost human instinct. They think you know what you’re doing, so they think it’s the best route to take.

You might even want to directly tell them to follow your lead. This is helpful if they seem hesitant at first. But when you outwardly encourage them to follow you, then they will most likely do it.

18. Assign people tasks

Dominant people tell others what to do. They do it when they have formal authority, of course. But even when they don’t, they still assign tasks to people to accomplish.

People are used to taking orders from authorities. So, if you tell them what to do, they might automatically assume that you are an authority. Even if they don’t, you are still acting like it, which is a dominant move.

19. Use social pressure

A dominant person can create social tension when they want to. They do this so that the more submissive people will comply, act, or crack. [Read: How to stand up for yourself get what you want and deserve]

You can also create this social pressure without an actual reason, just for the fun of it. They can put their power out there, and have people feel the peer pressure to follow them.

Think about the bandwagon effect. People will follow the crowd because they don’t want to be an outcast. So, if you tell the crowd what to do, then you will definitely be dominant.

20. Have dominant nonverbal communication

Body language is so important, and it accounts for about 90% of the meaning of any message. So, don’t ignore what you can get across to others by what you do with your body and your environment.

Dominant people touch the less dominant more often. They also have more direct eye contact and take up more space when they sit.

They also take up more territory. Think about it. The boss has the biggest office, right? That’s because they are dominant. People who are more submissive take up less space not only with their environment but also with their body as well.

So, don’t underestimate the power of nonverbal communication. It is more powerful than you realize. If you can master this, then you are well on your way to knowing how to be dominant. [Read: How to have a difficult conversation without losing your nerve or appearing uncomfortable]

Dominant or meek? It’s always a choice

The dominant personality is not something that all of us are born with, but the good news is that it is something we can all learn.

The key to being dominant is practice and convincing yourself that you are good enough for people to follow. If you don’t believe you are worthy of being followed, who else is going to?

[Read: How to be a badass – 25 awesome ways to be intimidating and desirable all at once]

If you want to know how to be dominant, take small steps and practice often the art of saying “no,” not taking “no,” and drawing a line in the sand that you are willing to protect at all costs. 

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