The seduction of a Narcissist is not limited to only the physical type. Charm is like seduction. 'Seduction' could be something like a topic or school of thought for me; I might find acts of kindness spiritually seductive (I'm not describing a physical turn on, but it could 'lead there' over time for many of us).
Perhaps most people would find Existentialism discussions as scholarly, like any other philosophy, right? But if a person adds in emotional or practical spiritual values to the mix, it might be 'seductive.' So while I know VERY WELL the resulting cluster f--- that letting someone who is sociopathic or narcissistic into my life, I also believe that 'keeping my guard up' is just as problematic or even exhausting as having that person in my inner circle.
If someone's in my head and they ain't paying rent, it's time to serve an Eviction Notice. And if someone is still in my head, how can it help me grow? How can it serve me? Making time serve me rather than my serving time is crucial for paroling myself from a self-imposed prison. There is no more secure prison constructed than we one we build for ourselves but don’t know we are in. Discard the Culture of Blame and start taking personal responsibility. In the words of Goethe, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free”.
'Keeping my guard up' for self-protection is like doing the work of the narcissist when that person is no longer in the room or in my life physically. They might even be OUT of my life (thank God) for years, but if I'm still reacting to that person and I'm continually in my survival brain or limbic-mode, well, guess what, THAT AIN'T LIVING", and I need to "TAKE MY POWER BACK."
Focusing on taking care of myself was often a real problem for me. It felt selfish to put myself first, but we’ve all heard the Shakespeare quote, “This above all, to thine own self be true". I couldn't say, "NO!" very easily and would put other people's interest before my own. I had an over-inflated sense of responsibility for others, and I paid a big price for that. My mindset was fertile territory for being taken advantage of by a narcissist. Yet the beauty of my intention for the greater good was and is the proverbial 'baby' in the bathwater. Discarding my inner beauty because I'd been hurt was not the answer.
Generally, withdrawing from life after such pain has been inflicted upon a person is probably normal, so 'excuse me’ for those times that I retreated from life to heal.
BIG PICTURE: don't let pain bury your beautiful spirit!
Hearing, ‘Show me your friends, and I'll show you your future’ helped me a lot. Someone also told me, "You can sure pick 'em" and that my "Picker" was broken. But you know what? Even the people that hurt us can serve as Higher Messengers. Sorry if this sounds dogmatic or religious, but this quote also helped me: “In God’s Economy, nothing is wasted”.
Nothing in our lives ever happens like some form of arbitrary, cruel fate. Discarding the Victim Mentality is imperative to living a whole, unfragmented life. Learning is like a snake shedding its skin as it outgrows its old life, and in my case, it was like my old self died and gave birth to a Phoenix New Self. Old habits sloughed off slowly in some areas of my life, but I became aware of my own role in any given problem so I was at least able to see through my own bullshyte and work on it.
When I found out who I was and started BEING WHO I AM, life got better, and I quit attracting and picking people who would deliberately hurt me.