May 7, 2019 | Jess Silverberg

Men Share The Most Pathetic Thing Another Man Has Done To Assert Their Dominance

Are all males born with an innate urge to establish dominance over other males? Who's the alpha male? The ways in which men try to assert their dominance varies wildly. It's all based on the culture they grew up in, the things they values, and if there are any ladies watching. This can lead to some rather aggressive peacocking, which usually ends up just awkwardly stunning everyone rather than impressing them.

The stories below consist of some of the most pathetic things a man has ever done to try to establish their dominance over another man. Hopefully, none of these behaviors are familiar to you:


Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!

#1 The Shoulder Check

I always feel like the guys who refuse to make room for you while you walk by them in the other direction are trying to assert their dominance. It's as if they're trying to make themselves feel like their hot stuff or something. I never understand why people do that.


#2 Hydrate Like A Man

He tried to drink water faster than me. He literally opened his water bottle to his mouth and tried to squeeze the water so it would flow into his mouth faster. How delusional. No one drinks water faster than me.


#3 The Impressor

Last weekend, some really tipsy dude who I had never once met or interacted with tried to fight me, I guess to impress the girls he was with. It was completely ridiculous. The way he tried to initiate it was by body checking me repeatedly on the dance floor. I ignored him because I thought he was just being tipsy and dumb.


#4 Taller Target

If you are tall, you are a target. It makes no sense and it has nothing to do with the personality of the "tall guy," it's just what it is. It's even worse for bouncers. The mentality is that if you're an aggressive smaller guy and you fight a bigger guy, it's a win-win. Either you lost because he is bigger or you won and took down a bigger guy.



#5 You Are What You Drink

I used to tend bar in Milwaukee, and there is nothing that triggers self-conscious wieners more than seeing someone drinking something they personally don't like. I cannot tell you how many arguments began with some dude, always unsolicited and unprovoked, feeling compelled to judge and "educate" other guys about what they're drinking (or not drinking).


#6 Getting The Upper Hand

I worked as a lifeguard at a summer camp years ago. During safety training, we had to do a missing person search which required all available staff to join hands and walk from the beach to the water as far as we could while feeling with our feet for the missing swimmer. The guy next to me kept insisting on holding my hands in a certain way. "I will take the upper hand in this situation," he said to me while staring me down. Whatever, dude. We're theoretically looking for a drowned child right now.


#7 Gorilla Pose

In junior high, I remember this one bully who would get on his tiptoes and bow out his chest like a gorilla. He'd get all in your face whenever he felt threatened. It was such a funny stereotype maneuver.


#8 You Shall Not Pass

A former coworker of mine would just stand in the way of me and refuse to move. Even if he wasn't in the way, he would purposely get in the way. I work in a narrow kitchen, so you can imagine how annoying that is.

At one particular moment, I was carrying a bulky 20-pound box and he decided to do that. I pretended to not see him and barreled into him. He fell over and got incredibly mad at me. He started talking about how I had no muscle. It was pretty funny.

It was a display of the most fragile masculinity I've ever seen.


#9 Wrestling For Dominance

One time at a house party, a few of us were talking to some of the girls there and one of the guys randomly started talking about how he does MMA. Then another guy joined in and those two started wrestling in front of the girls. I don’t think their shirts needed to come off either but what do I know...



Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Stories that matter — delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you!
Error, please try again.

#10 Not The Way To Play

My friends and I were playing Dungeons & Dragons when another group of guys walked into the store. They hovered over us and watched, not saying a single word, but scoffing and smirking anytime we made a move. They were trying to hint that they were better than us and that we didn't know how to play. My friend owns a D&D store, I think we know what we're doing.



#11 Little Guy Lifting

I work in a grocery store and sometimes help unload the delivery trucks. Our delivery comes in on what we call "cages," which are 6-foot caged boxes on wheels. Obviously, one that's full of toilet paper will be really light and one filled with 2-liter bottles of juice will be heavy. The lift that lowers them from the truck has that patterned metal floor and you have to pull the heavy cages hard to get them off.

Now, I'm 5' 8" and don't have a lot of weight on me, but I can pull these cages off just fine. But there's a guy who's like 6' 2" and is always trying to show how strong he is, so whenever I'm helping and he's there, he always insists he gets the heavy cages and that I get the "little guy cages." Everyone agrees he needs to grow up.


#12 Do You Even Push Up?

I was standing in the breezeway outside a friend's apartment while in college, and a guy coming down the stairs from an upper floor kind of tripped near the bottom of the stairs and stumbled into me. It was clear he was super tipsy and he immediately got aggressive. He was so worked up about being tougher than me that he started doing push-ups while my friends and I just laughed.


#13 He Doesn't Even Go Here

He talked about the MBA program at his alma mater and how it was superior to where I was getting my MBA.

For clarification, he doesn't have an MBA nor is he working towards one. He just wanted to be sure I knew he was better because he went to a school with a perceivably better program.


#14 Hold Of Failure

A friend tried to make himself look good in front of his crush by literally putting me in a random choke hold "for a laugh." Turns out, it was because I was talking to her (I had a girlfriend at the time, we were just talking).

It creeped the heck out of his crush that he would do that out of nowhere. She ended up not talking to him after that. Apparently, she quite liked him up until that point, so he kind of shot himself in the foot.


#15 You're No Me!

I was out having a drink and I started chatting to the guy next to me. I learned that he too was a musician. He then told me, "You're not a musician. I find it offensive when people tell me they're a musician when they haven't put in the time and dedication that I have." Okay dude, come down off your ego trip.


#16 Run, Milk Boy

When I was in the eighth grade, there was this one kid who hated me for no reason. I was really big for my age, so there was no way this 5' 1" guy was going to fight me, but he did something so cringy it's been burned into my memory ever since.

I was sitting at lunch with my friends, and this kid walked up to us and spit in my glass of milk. He said in a very commanding tone: "Drink." I just stood up and the kid bolted. Got a good laugh out of it with my friend, though.



#17 The Boss Lean

Earlier this year, my boss asked me to do something. He leaned over me and said, "You are going to do it." He was like, literally leaning over me because he was 6' 8". Dude acted like a cliche high school bully from an '80s movie.


#18 More Drinks = Bigger Man

I was leaving a gas station once with a six-pack of some adult beverage to go watch a game at my friend's house. A group of college kids was driving out of the parking lot and one yelled out the window, “Six packs are for losers!” I guess the amount of beverage I was planning on drinking that night wasn’t adequate to his standards.


#19 Who's Interviewing Who?

We once had a candidate come into the interview and legit say he wanted to sit behind the desk because he was going to be asking the questions to decide if he wanted to work with us. I think he'd gotten some bad advice about having confidence. I laughed, but our HR manager flipped her lid. It was the only time I have ever seen her call security.


#20 I Have One Too

I once tutored this truly clueless girl in general chemistry. She wanted to be a nurse and couldn’t get past the first class. She was, however, very pretty. During our second tutoring session, she showed up with her boyfriend. The dude didn’t study. He didn’t say a darn word during the whole two-hour session. He just stared at me and her going over the basics of chemistry. The next session was the same thing. Eventually, I decided to bring my girlfriend to have a stare-off with him. He got the message and left us alone.


#21 Free Is Best

I was at a party and was given the task of handing out drinks to people. This guy flipped a lid, screaming that he only drank REAL drinks. Dude, it was cold and free, that is the best beverage there is.


#22 Revved Up, Blew Up

A guy was mad at me while sitting at a light. He was revving his engine. It sounded like he held it at the red line, and there was a big "crack" sound and smoke started coming out of the front of his car. The dummy blew his engine.



#23 This Is My Neighborhood

My neighbor in front of my house had a boyfriend that would literally rip his shirt off and come outside every single time I was in my front yard. It could be 7 am or midnight but it wouldn't matter to him. I could be walking to my car and he'd come out flexing all around his yard. He would immediately go back inside when I went back inside. This went on for almost half a year until one day, I saw him hop into his mega-lifted truck and drive away, never to be seen again.


#24 A Proper Handshake

The overly firm handshake is always annoying. I'm not a freak show of strength, but I have a good enough grip that I can get them to back off.


#25 Look Out For That Tree!

Once when I was walking on a street, a guy was walking behind me and started to walk faster so he could pass me. I didn't care, but then he just stared at me straight in the eyes and walked into a tree.


#26 Not Who You Need To Impress

I once hired the captain of a SUNY football team as an intern. I was a bureau director at the time, and he was reporting to my assistant director.

I was not in the office on his first day. On his second day, he walked into a meeting I was having with my boss (equivalent to a VP, and also incidentally a woman), interrupted us, dropped a stack of random papers on her desk and asked me if I could make him some copies. Then he struck a Captain Morgan pose and smiled at her.

We had to rush to fire him because at the end of his second day, he announced to the unit that his dad got him a "much better" job at General Electric. I wasn't going to miss my chance to say out loud that he was fired.


#27 Your Arms Are Unworthy

I was dancing at the club, minding my own business when a dude started talking to me... I guess I was dancing too close to his girl or his sister or something, I don't know. I didn't even really notice her until he said something. He said to me, out of nowhere: "Your arms are so thin compared to mine." Like, implying my muscles aren't worthy. I just kind of laughed right in his face and kept dancing right there. He didn't say anything after that. It was weird and in hindsight, I probably should have gotten a bit more mad, but I just couldnt take him seriously at all.


#28 Aww, Feel Big And Strong Now?

Guys always try to crush my hand during a handshake. Generally, I'll just let my knuckles fold so it doesn't hurt. I don't have a heck of a lot of grip strength, so I don't try to do it back. When it happens (it's happened a couple times), I always just let my arm go limp so everyone around can see I'm not in a measuring competition. I'll then ask real nice and loud if it makes him feel big and strong to try to hurt my hand. It's worked 100% of the time, they always end up embarrassed and off-balance for the rest of the conversation.


#29 The Superior Pack

In college, I got into an elevator and was followed in by a younger guy I didn’t know. He eyed my backpack and said, “My backpack is way bigger than yours.”

Fair enough, he had a military jumbo pack. Could’ve easily gone on a hike with it. I smiled and agreed, but he kept talking about how much bigger his was and how he couldn’t fit anything into one like mine.


#30 My Ink Makes Me Better

I recently got my first tattoo. It's a small, minimalistic one. A guy at a party kept making fun of it because his arm was filled with big, detailed tattoos. He clearly felt I was somehow inferior due to my small tattoo.


#31 King Of The Conversation

In college, we were having a conversation about which animals we thought closely matched our personalities. One guy was a psych major, as in, one of those students who weaponize psychology by trying to psychoanalyze strangers and all that stuff. So he said he was probably a lion, while everyone else said they were like, hippos or manatees or some other ugly-looking fat animals. Seemed a bit transparent to me, but I think he really thought he was getting away with some subversive psych trick.


#30 No Above Or Beyond

When I was in the military during our PT tests, there was a "max" for everything, so once you hit the magical max number, there really is no reason for going on. I always had to do the PT test the same time as my supervisor who was more physically fit than me, so when it came time to test, he would always go beyond the max number unlike me, who would hit the number and just stop because there was no point.

After every test phase, he would get up and yell at me for not "giving it my all," but I would just look at him and ask him what the point was. He made me go to my commander and explain myself. I think he was hoping I would get in trouble, but luckily my commander understood there was no point in "going beyond" when you hit the max number.


#33 Playing Footsies

When I was on a trip to Iceland, my friends and I were out partying at the local establishments. I met a local guy outside. As we were talking, he kept trying to get close enough to me so he could put his foot on my foot. The first time he did it, I just thought it was accidental. Then I could see it was what he was trying to do. I ended up telling the dude to screw off and the situation de-escalated from there. Other local guys told me after that it's a thing they do there in Iceland to show dominance or start fights with tourists.


#34 Dark Or Light, Sweet Or Bitter

Some guy made fun of the way I take my coffee. I hate the toxic mentality where unless you drink it black, you're not a real man. Like, DUDE I'LL DRINK IT HOWEVER I DARN WELL LIKE!


#35 No-One Can Be Taller Than Him!

I had a guy yell at me at a bar when he overheard me saying I was 6' 2" to a friend. He claimed he was measured at the NFL combine at 6' 0". We were the same height. He just kept yelling "I'm 6-foot, I'm 6-foot, jerk" at me. I'm legit 6' 2" but this guy was just not having it. Like dude, why are you selling yourself two inches short? It was such an odd and unprompted interaction.


#36 Dominance Through Sarcasm

I’m 5’ 9” and 170 pounds. For some reason, guys taller or larger than me feel the need to call me “big guy” in a belittling way. I find it so odd, I’ve done anything to them and I am neither excessively small or large. I don't understand why they feel the need to try and take shots at my size.


#37 Pick Up What You Owe

A guy was buying something for $20 off of me in front of my friends and instead of handing me the money, he threw it on the floor and said, “There’s your money.” I looked at it and told him, “As far as I am concerned, you still owe me $20; you should pick up the money you dropped and use that to pay me.” My friends started giving him some heck and were very uncomfortable. He finally picked it up and handed it to me, but tried to squeeze my hand extremely hard. I have strong hands and just gave him the same strength of squeeze.


#38 You Best Thank Me, Boy

I worked at a pizza place when I was 14, everything except the cash register. A new manager started with us. Before the end of my shift where it was just him and me (a Sunday), I made myself a pizza and was about to go home. Now, the previous management didn't mind when I made a pizza for myself about once a week or so. But this guy got extremely mad over it.

"Hey, you."


"What's this?"

"A pizza."

"Who ordered this?"

"No one, it's for me."

"Did I SAY you could make a pizza for yourself?"

"Well no, but--"

"So why'd you make it?"

"The other managers for the last 6 months--"

"I don't care. You better ask me next time."


"You can keep the pizza this time."


"Say 'thank you' to me."

"Uhh... thanks."

The guy was like 40.


#39 This Toilet Is My Toilet

My first job was in an office where there was a chief, five managers, and about 12 contractors. One of the managers was clearly unhappy that the chief was a woman and that he had to share any power with the other managers.

The really weird stuff was in how he acted around the other men in the office. I personally noticed that if he came into the men's restroom after me, he would wait until I was done with the urinal, and then use the same one I did, even though there were two urinals and three stalls to choose from. At first, I thought he just had a favorite spot, but then it happened at the other urinal. Finally, one of the other contractors asked me, "Does Andy ever ask you which urinal you use?"

Me: "No..."

Coworker: "I was leaving the bathroom when Andy came in, and he asked me which urinal I used. I just pointed to it, because I didn't understand the question, and he went and used that one. It was weird."

Around that time, a second male coworker overheard and said, "You know what? I went on a business trip with Andy, and when he found out my room was several floors higher than his, he wouldn't let me out of the elevator until I had switched rooms with him. He said he couldn't have a subordinate in a better room than his."

That's when we all realized, he was literally marking his territory over ours by using the same urinal after we did.


#40 Constantly One-Upping

My best female friend’s boyfriend, who is 100% threatened by how close I am to her, will constantly try to one-up me in conversation whenever I talk to her. He keeps an eye on me the whole time that I’m with her and as soon as I make a joke or tell a story, he jumps right in with his own thing to try and top what I said. Like, every single time that I speak.

Oh, that and he’ll roll up his sleeves and sit with his elbows on the table in a not-so-subtle effort to compare his biceps to mine.


#41 Not The Boss Of Me

I worked in a furniture factory when I was 18. Bit of a rough place, mostly rough-around-the-edges type guys with bad attitudes. One day, I got paired up with some guy close to my age. He goes, "So you're my subordinate today, huh?" I laughed it off since that's how people spoke around there, so whatever. We start working and then he started telling me about how he was my boss for the day and how I gotta do whatever he says.

I laughed that off too. I thought, whatever, he's probably got some issues or something. Well, he got mad that I kept chuckling about his "being my boss" stuff. So he deliberately knocked a cup of water on the floor and told me to pick it up. I laughed out loud and said "Mo." He said he'd get me fired if I didn't. I told him to go for it. He never did obviously, he was just a worker bee like the rest of us.

We worked the rest of our shift in silence. We got paired up once more after that but he went to the lead hand and told him he wouldn't work with me. The lead hand called me in to talk about it. I told him what happened the last time and he said, "Yeah, you're not the first one he's tried to pull that on. All good. I'll put you somewhere else." Twenty years later and I still chuckle about that guy.


#42 Make It Awkward

Not letting go of a handshake. It’s happened a few times and always makes me want to treat it as a hostile action. The last time it happened, I just started caressing their hand with my finger and the guy jerked away. I winked at him after. From that moment on, whenever he'd pass me in the hallway, he'd immediately look down at his feet to avoid eye contact with me. It's funny how some alpha males become so fragile at any hint of male intimacy, even when it's given as a joke.


#43 The Better Boots

I’m not from “the south” per se but I constantly wear cowboy boots. Growing up, it was a normal thing; a large majority of people wore them. So I got my first pair at 11 years old, and after that I always wore them.

After I graduated, I joined the Air Force. After basic training and tech school, I got stationed in Japan. I brought one pair of decent-condition boots with me. Being in Japan, not many other people (especially locals) wear boots, so I usually make it a point to mention it when I see someone else wearing a pair when I’m wearing mine. You know. The camaraderie and stuff. During the week, I’m always in uniform, unless I’m home in my boxers. So I only wear the boots on the weekend.

This particular weekend, I went out with some guys. There were a lot of us; about 20 from my shop. Suddenly, while standing at outside the place talking with someone, one of the guys I don’t particularly get along with got my attention by saying something about my boots. I don’t really remember exactly what he said, but he was just talking garbage about my boots out of nowhere, smirking while giving his banter and looking at the other guys as if to be looking for some kind of acceptance or approval.

He was wearing boots as well and apparently, he just kept saying his boots were better than mine because of the brand or something. Since no one else wore boots, they really didn’t even respond to this and just looked at him funny. I never understood why he felt the need, but we all just came to understand that it was just his personality. It seems like he’s always got to be better than those around him.


#44 Uhh, I Hurt Myself

I started training MMA a couple of years ago and this friend of a friend approached me at a bar.

FoF: Hey, I heard you started training MMA?

Me: Yeah, its awesome.

FoF: Well I bet you didn't know... I also started training MMA (he didn't), so if you ever want to spar or something let me know.

Me: Heck yeah man, I'm always looking for people to work with.

FoF: Well actually I just tore my bicep in the gym on Monday so I really can't right now.

Me: No worries, we can always do it later on down the road.

FoF: You know that'll never happen, we never see each other.


#45 An Easy Win

I was driving back up to Boston from the south shore on surface roads. An imported vehicle, heavily modified, mostly concerning the exhaust and clearly hand-brushed paint job, pulled up to a red light next to me. I looked over to see what the excess noise was.

Apparently this was provocative, as the driver began to rev the engine a lot. It turned green, and he blasted off. About 50 feet later, he passed the parked police cruiser on the access road behind the car dealership.

I made it to the next light first, so I believe technically I won my first street race.


Want to learn something new every day?

Stories that matter — delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.