Beta Male Revolution
Brandy and Billy Eldridge are one of those invaluable couples who bring more than their fair share to our community. They both have such a heart for helping others and they continue to find new ways to do just that. As if Billy’s counseling practice, Brandy’s job as Executive Director of CASA, and parenting three young children doesn’t keep them busy enough, now they’ve taken on a new project and started producing a weekly podcast called Beta Male Revolution.
As the world, for so long, has tried to cram every man into a very direct, take-charge, out in front, more assertive role, the alpha male label has sometimes been viewed as synonymous with true masculinity. As a self-proclaimed beta male, Billy describes a belief in his early years that “anything beta meant it wasn’t masculine, and perhaps even meant it was anti-masculine.” Despite growing up in a churchgoing, two parent home, in what he describes as a “middle class, privileged, stable environment, with no reason to be afraid,” he still spent most of those years “feeling uncomfortable in his own skin.” Hiding that anxiety felt important because he didn’t feel like those feelings were acceptable. He describes “playing a role for years,” where, in order to hide sensitivity, he felt the need to “put on armor to pretend to have more bravado.” That armor eventually manifested in the form of drugs and alcohol. Starting at about the age of ten, it was what he felt he needed, to numb his sensitivity, and it allowed him to become someone “he was supposed to be.” People seemed to like the altered version of him which only encouraged him to maintain the facade for the next 25 years.
It’s a liberated man who pushes back against old social ideas that don’t work for some.” —Billy Eldridge, beta male
Brandy, on the other hand, who says she is one hundred percent alpha, has always had an adventurous spirit. She started life in San Francisco with her single mother, who Brandy describes as “a fighter.” In her formative years, moving from place to place was common for her family. Eventually though, they ended up in Texarkana where they became settled. Brandy points to several educators in her life that played a big role in motivating and encouraging her in her education and in gifts and talents she didn’t even recognize in herself. Though her dream was to sing on Broadway and she went to college on a voice scholarship, she chose a teaching career instead. She got an English degree and became a teacher in an inner-city school in Kansas City and found a passion for working with kids who needed a little extra love and attention. After two years in the classroom, she decided that while she was still young and had no responsibilities to hold her back, she would take a break from teaching for a year and explore her way through Europe. She packed up and went completely alone, with few reservations. When she returned to the US, she went back to teaching and back to school to earn a Masters Degree. She was living life to the fullest.
Billy and Brandy met and became friends in 1996, introduced through mutual friends at the University of Arkansas. They hung out as college kids and remained friends for the next ten years. Brandy, who got engaged to Billy’s roommate, was even the maid of honor at Billy’s wedding when he married his high school sweetheart. They spent the next few years living very different lives, Brandy allowing what she calls her “hippy spirit” to thrive and Billy married and struggling with a hidden alcohol and drug addiction. Eventually, because of some health issues, Brandy moved back home to be close to family. At the same time, Billy was going through a divorce. Being back in the same town, they began to reconnect. When they finally started dating, it didn’t take long to realize they were going to be together. They were married six weeks later.
After the first few years of marriage, they had a daughter and were expecting their second child. It was then that Billy finally confided in Brandy that he needed help to overcome an addiction that, to this point, had remained hidden from her. Billy checked in to rehab and completed a ninety-day program. This process began to shine a light on areas in their lives, individually and as a couple, that they were determined to change. Billy realized that it was time to live an authentic life and make peace with the beta male that he truly was. Of course, this meant adjustments for Brandy as well. They had to learn how to relate to each other in new ways as she was becoming familiar with a version of Billy that was newly sober, more openly sensitive, and committed to authenticity.
As they maneuvered through the twists and turns of this new relationship, Brandy encouraged Billy to share his story with other men who maybe struggling with the same type of identity crisis. After years of encouragement, The Beta Male Revolution Podcast was born. In episode one of Beta Male Revolution, Billy describes the shift in his view of what being a beta truly means. “It’s a liberated man who pushes back against old social ideas that don’t work for some.” Because of this shift, he and Brandy decided they wanted to help re-frame the narrative about what true masculinity means. Through this podcast, they “hope to start crucial conversations, unfold their own story, and explore men’s issues.” With honesty and vulnerability, they discuss the circumstances that have brought them to this place in their journey that Billy describes as, “very liberating to say the least.”
Throughout this podcast, they plan to share conversations that the world is craving. “It isn’t anti-anything,” he explains, “we can all benefit from having open conversations with both alpha and beta.” While alpha males may be the standout leaders of the pack, “there is so much betas can bring to the table.” Overlooking all they offer would be a real tragedy. It’s important that everyone recognizes, in themselves and in others, all the gifts, talents, and contributions that are available when space is made for everyone. Billy and Brandy’s greatest hope is that all those who hear their message, “gain freedom, and learn to live a beta life.”
The beta man is a liberated man. He takes traditional ideas and social conventions, and flips them right on their head. He embraces emotional intelligence and peacemaking, and works toward a more self-actualized life. He cares about people and works to foster healthy community among others.
PODCAST GUEST—JACKIE COBAN, PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT & ENNEAGRAM COACH
Jackie is a triple-certified coach in Life Coaching, Enneagram Coaching, and Neurolinguistic Programming. She is the founder of Table For 9 Coaching and the host of the Table for 9 podcast. She is a quick-witted, passionate, fire-cracker woman whose personal philosophy is that it IS possible to see people win in life, love, and work.
“What’s your sign?” is so over. The new question is… “What’s Your Number?”
WHAT IS AN ENNEAGRAM?
The Enneagram is a powerful tool for personal and collective transformation. Stemming from the Greek words ennea (nine) and grammos (a written symbol), the nine-pointed Enneagram symbol represents nine distinct strategies for relating to the self, others and the world. Each Enneagram type has a different pattern of thinking, feeling and acting that arises from a deeper inner motivation or worldview. Learning about these patterns fosters greater understanding through a universal language that transcends gender, religion, nationality and culture.
The origins of the Enneagram are speculative with some scholars indicating its origin more than 6,000 years ago in ancient Egypt or more than 4,000 years ago in what is now Korea. Many Catholic and Protestant scholars claim it was developed by the early church’s desert inhabitants, and the Sufis of Central Asia also lay claims to its origins. In the 1950s and ’60s the Bolivian wisdom teacher, Oscar Ichazo, introduced the Enneagram of Personality, which is commonly referred to today.
The Nine Personality Types
- The Reformer
- The Helper
- The Achiever
- The Individualist
- The Investigator
- The Loyalist
- The Enthusiast
- The Challenger
- The Peacemaker