What Makes You Fall for Others and Why Do Others Fall for You?

Dawn Bevier

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Who doesn’t want to be swept off their feet by an exciting seductive stranger? Or more importantly who doesn’t want to have the ability to create this euphoric delirium in others?

Being seduced or having the ultimate power to seduce others is intoxicating, often more so than even wealth or success. And in Robert Greene’s bestseller and controversial book The Art of Seduction, he outlines the reasons we are seduced by others and more importantly how we can develop the skills to seduce those around us.

And while critics call his techniques manipulative, the fact is that many of his statements prove true, even if they base their power on our more base instincts and desires. One of his central claims in the book is seen in the following statement:

“Seduction is a game of psychology, not beauty, and it is within the grasp of any person to become a master at the game. All that is required is that you look at the world.”

The first section of his book details the nine archetypal character types that we often find ourselves attracted to, but readers find themselves curious about the book for other reasons as well.

For example, we want to understand why we continue to keep falling for the same “type” over and over again. And even though we may not want to admit it, we want to know what power of seduction we may wield over others.

For instance, one of Green’s nine types is “The Charmer.” This archetype's power is their ability to make us feel loved and understood by listening to our woes and worries, accommodating our every desire, and creating an irresistible low pressure, no conflict environment. The actions of The Charmer seem completely platonic, and so we feel safe and secure, cushioned in a cocoon of love and unconditional acceptance.

As I was reading an article related to this particular seducer, a certain phrase struck my attention. It states of The Charmer that “they understand 3 fundamental laws of human nature: The law of narcissism, the law of defensiveness, and the law of grandiosity.”

And after further research on Greene’s ideas concerning seduction, these three “fundamental laws” seem to me to be the common thread that links his book’s central themes together.

These common laws reveal not only how to increase desire and romantic attraction, but they also say a lot about our fundamental desires and needs concerning our place in the world as a whole.

The Law of Narcissism

According to Psychology Today, one of the defining traits of the narcissist is “a hunger for appreciation or admiration, a desire to be the center of attention, and an expectation of special treatment reflecting perceived higher status.”

And whether we want to admit it to ourselves or not, we all have these desires within us. Humans are by nature insecure. And the popularity of social media and related sites heightens this human weakness. The “beautiful people” are all around us, and we want one of two things: to be one of those people or to have one of these people find us attractive.

For example, we spend thousands of dollars on items that will enhance our physical beauty, and we spend hours of sweat in the gym to get the perfect physique.

And even though we say we do these things because they make us feel more confident, we rarely admit our secondary motivation: to feel more like one of those alluring people that we ogle on Instagram or Twitter.

As a result, we also expend much of our energy trying to get the attention of two of Green’s archetypes. One of these he calls “The Star,” a person whose heightened celebrity or status makes us desperate to win his or her favor. Another archetype he labels “The Siren,” a person whose seductiveness and physical appearance attract simply by looks and lust alone.

We want to feel wanted by these “elite” because it strokes our egos and appeals to our ingrained narcissistic tendencies. To be closely connected to this type of person makes us feel beautiful or admired by association, whether the actuality of this effect is true or is a simple delusion of which we convince ourselves.

For instance, we take immense pride in going to the party and announcing our date is a doctor or lawyer or simply saying nothing, knowing that everyone can see the hottest guy or girl in the room is holding our hand.

The Law of Defensiveness

Not only are we insecure by nature, but most of us also live our lives wearing a mask of strength and stoicism so as not to be seen weak by society. We cry in private and we hold our inner fantasies tightly to our chests, not wanting to be deemed foolish or naive by our more down to earth friends, coworkers, and even family members.

We long for someone who not only allows us to feel safe enough to state these fanciful dreams or hidden dark desires but who embraces them and honors these secret aspects of our personalities.

One of these types that satisfies these longings is what Green terms “The Ideal Lover.” This is the seducer or seductress whose main focus is on us. On a date with this person, we realize we have his or her undivided attention. They ask us questions about ourselves and empathize with our troubles and concerns. They praise our good qualities and even encourage us to act on aspirations or longings that most would tell us are unrealistic or inappropriate.

When such acceptance and attentiveness is given, our inhibitions are lowered. When this archetype shows us that we are important and special, we begin to let down our guard and talk freely, knowing that our words will incite interest, compassion, or approval.

And who doesn’t like to be someone’s main focus or to feel important and understood?

No one, that’s who.

The Ideal Lover is our prince in shining armor or the loving and doting princess we hear about in fairy tales. And when their attention is on us, we feel like royalty as well.

Greene also has another type of person who exhibits similar traits and seduces us in a like manner. His name for these types of people is “Rakes.” He states in his book that “words are a woman’s weakness, and the Rake is a master of seductive language.”

Whereas the Ideal Lover and the Rake both listen intently to our innermost yearnings, the Rake will also usually live out his or her own wildest and most fanciful dreams and use his powers of enchantment to put us under his or her spell.

So who exactly are examples of these “Rakes” in our world? They are the brooding poets, the tattooed bad boys or girls, and the struggling artists.

These types “get us,” the real us that we only show to a select few. And because they are so uninhibited in word and deed, we are also stirred into a sort of delicious fear.

For instance because “Rakes” live their lives according to their own dreams and fancies, we worry that they will leave us the minute their free-spiritedness turns in another direction.

This is why Green gives the advice:

“Stir a woman’s [or man’s] repressed longings by adapting the Rake’s mixture of danger and pleasure.”

And thus an exciting quest ensues, one where we perpetually try to further entice this archetype in order to keep this poetic dreamer’s eyes only focused on us.

The Law of Grandiosity

We all crave the “big life.” It’s another one of those things that we pretend is not to our liking, stating instead that we want a sense of security and stability in our personal relationships. And while this is true, it doesn’t exclude the fact that we crave excitement in between these moments of peace and tranquility.

We want someone to make us feel alive, and to offer us the adventure and excitement that our mundane existence lacks.

What are some of the archetypes that seduce us by fulfilling these needs?

Greene defines one such character as “The Natural,” a person who is uninhibited and childlike, frequently throwing caution or social correctness to the wind.

This archetype may be the fun-loving woman who suggests you take her to a male strip club just for the novelty of it. This archetype may be the man who tells you to pack your bags and go on a vacation with him, and responds to your question of destination by saying “we’ll know when we get there.”

Another type that falls into this category is labeled by Greene as “The Dandy.” These are the rebels, eccentric and offbeat, who make us rethink all of the strict and limiting ways in which we have responded to the world. They offer us exciting new trains of thought to ponder and embrace taboo beliefs or behaviors that most people find freakish or inappropriate.

This may be the girl who lets you know she is a practicing Wiccan or the man who tells you he finds the idea of open relationships appealing. This may be the date who admits they have no television in their house because they find the classics much more enticing or the individual who hides a whole back tattoo and nipple piercing behind the skirt and glasses or tie and suit that is required work attire.

These persons are full of ideas and perspectives that we have never even considered, and this sparks excitement in us that we too could create more ecstasy if our lives if we shirked the traditional for a walk down the “road not taken.”

Another type that Green says offers this liberation from the drab realities of everyday life is the “Coquette.”

How does this type make life a grand adventure?

They instigate a chase. They offer the thrill of their interest and then soon after appear coolly disinterested.

The Coquette may send a provocative text and then not respond to your emails for three days, ambiguously stating that they got caught up in a work project or an unexpected friend dropped into town they had been dying to see.

We are ensnared by the Coquette’s changing reactions to us, suddenly making our lives more like the tempestuous romantic novels we read about.

The allure of this type is akin to society’s recent craze over escape rooms. The fun involves the challenge of solving the clues and putting the pieces of the puzzle together in order to achieve victory. It is exhilarating for us to try to be creative, alluring, and seductive enough to unlock the doors that will ensure The Coquette’s permanent interest.

Finally, there is a type Greene calls “The Charismatic.” This type of seducer or seductress has an energy and passion that most of us have lost in the drudgery of a life consisting solely of work and home. They are driven to achieve great things, and their infectious zest for life reawakens our own sleeping desires. In his or her presence, we suddenly believe that the impossible is possible.

For example, because of this type’s fiery passion, we may find ourselves inspired to do courageous things. We may decide, for example, to rekindle our theatrical talents by auditioning for a role in the community theatre troupe. Or we may start taking concrete steps towards opening the bookshop or bar that we have always wanted to be the focus of our livelihood.

As I mentioned before, most of us are insecure. We are afraid that we don’t have what it takes to make bold and powerful moves to create a happier life for ourselves, and we also fear the physical, emotional, or even financial repercussions of going with our hearts’ desires.

And here is the intoxicating call of The Charismatic, yelling “YOLO” or “carpe diem” in a world where we have come to believe that “one bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

The Bottom Line:

Author Gaiven Clairmont states that “saints and sinners may be separated by their actions, but they are united by their reaction to passion.”

Though we are often hesitant to admit it, we are all in our own way both saints and sinners, and the passions that unite us are the desire to be noticed, accepted, and liberated from the fears, inhibitions, and monotony that saturate our lives as humans.

And when someone can satisfy these desires or when we can satisfy those desires in another, there is a spell woven, a magic created. And just as with all magic, its powerful effects can be used for good or evil. So when dabbling in the alchemy of attraction or the sorcery of seduction, it is best to proceed with care.

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Sanford, NC
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