Belief can be manipulated. Only knowledge is dangerous.
Everyone want you to do what they want. Learning how to not be manipulated is a vital skill to have and something that some people hate to see in their fellow human beings.
Who hates that you can’t be manipulated? Probably at the top of that list is an entire industry of advertising. Next comes the government, the media, your family, your girlfriend or boyfriend. Everyone has some kind of stakes in you and how you think. Obviously, advertising want you to buy their stuff. The government wants you to vote a certain way or be OK with what creepy thing they are involved in. You mom wants you to eat gross broccoli and your girlfriend want to encourage you to take her to Hawaii… or to pick up your socks for once.
Some of this stuff is probably a pretty good idea. The rest of it is often quite sinister. So how do you protect yourself from manipulation? How can you see through the barrage of persuasion and know what thoughts actually originate in your own little noggin? How can you not be manipulated by everyone?
Trust your gut
Here’s a video on the power of your own intuition that will show you how trusting in your own instincts is one of the best defenses from being manipulated or lied to.
How to avoid being manipulated
As you can see, much of manipulation has to do with your emotions. If your mom knows she can get you to do something by making you feel guilty, this will be a technique she will use on you often. If your neighbor knows you are really uncomfortable at saying no, then he will end up borrowing all of your stuff.
Check your emotions
If you only always do exactly what you want, then you are less susceptible to manipulation. You wanted to vote that way so their advertising meant nothing to you. Or maybe it felt good to be out in the sun and wash your lover’s car, so all of their begging you to do it wasn’t necessary.
Once you figure out what you wanted to do for your own reasons, then people will understand that you are your own person. The need to try to manipulate you has vanished. Being in control of your emotional responses to things is the most important step in how to not be manipulated.