One of the hallmarks of beta male-dom is that one often prefers one's own company to that of others.
Introversion can be learned in different ways. If all you ever do is get rejected socially, after a while you won't feel like putting yourself on the line anymore. If you're the type who feels mortified after making social mistakes, you'll be less eager to place yourself into similar situations. And if you're smarter than most, you'll eventually tire of listening to lame jokes, uninsightful "insights," and hackneyed opinions.
I fall into the "always rejected socially" category.
An alpha sees a pretty girl and thinks, aha, I have to try my luck: once she sees I'm me she won't be able to resist. My instinctive reaction was always, why bother -- I'm not going to get anywhere with her anyway.
An alpha may flirt with such a female. I daydream about doing that.
When an alpha hears the words, "Hey, there's going to be a great party on Friday night," he thinks, all right -- good time coming up! My immediate instinctive reaction: shoot, now I have to come up with an excuse not to go.
To an alpha, going to a party is a prelude to getting some willing female to climb into bed with him. I'd rather skip the party and just get under the covers immediately, to watch TV in peace.
An alpha lives in the moment. That's why he tends to view alcohol as a good thing: it makes him feel good right now. A beta tends to live more in the past and the future. So being fresh the next day, avoiding smoke and alcohol, and getting enough sleep are priorities. (Avoiding all that fun certainly paid off though: at age 57, I only look 56.)
An alpha regards a party with keen anticipation. I think, I'll have to be polite, pretend I'm interested in people I'm not, laugh at jokes I don't find funny, and even worse, listen to my own tired old stories again in order to keep up my end of the conversational bargain. I'm tired of the party before I even get there.
An alpha sees every stranger as a potential friend or ally, thinking he'll bowl them over with his charm. I always just assume they won't like me for some reason; everyone is a potential enemy.
Even going up to a stranger to ask for directions fills me with a mild dread; an alpha has no feeling about it one way or the other.
To an alpha, other people are there for his enjoyment. To me, people are essentially tests, to which I am often assigned failing grades.
An alpha opens a door, sees a roomful of strangers, and thinks, aha, new people to meet! He just loves to schmooze, and pump new hands. (It's called being high-powered.) I look around for any familiar faces; if there are none, I try to just close the door and slip away unnoticed. ("Low-powered.")
To me, books are almost always better company than people (even the ones who write them). To an alpha, books are basically unwanted homework. No alpha is ever described as "bookish."
An alpha doesn't even really understand the concept of self-consciousness. I constantly worry that I might appear too conceited, or overfriendly, or rude, or lame, or uninformed, etc.
An alpha just says what's on his mind, and never apologizes for it. Even when I don't offend, I apologize anyway.
An alpha who was the recipient of a surprise party will radiate genuine happiness at being the center of attention. Any happy act I tried to put on would be rendered false by my obvious annoyance.
Alphas turn into happy (if somewhat garrulous) old men. Introverts turn into curmudgeons -- a term first applied to me when I was 28.
All of this is of course tied into optimism and pessimism. An alpha's glass is always half full. Mine is, well, you get the picture.