The secret of the greatest manipulators ( salespersons ) - those who make others to do things despite their will and usually for the benefit of the manipulator - is to make others believe that they are not being manipulated and that they always make decisions out of free will. And thus whenever you fell happy and you are confident and certain that you are making decisions out of free will ( and this applies especially when you are with somebody who is trying to sell you something ), then this should be the alarm bell. Whenever you start to feel that the seller is almost like one of your best friends even though you have met him for the first time in your life, that should be another alarm bell. But the problem is that once all of this starts to happen and the manipulator starts to take the control over you, it will be not so easy for you to "hear" the ringing of the "bells".
Thus in reality it is rather difficult to recognise when somebody manipulates you. But of course that doesn't mean that there is nothing that you can do to stop it. There is one thing which the manipulators will never be able to bypass. You must be aware of every single breath that you make or otherwise if you loose the awareness of the breath and you get lost in the mind ( thoughts, feelings, emotions etc. ) you are opening the door and then there is a big chance that the manipulator will take control over you and sell you something that you don't really need but still you will feel and be sure that it is the thing that you need most.
Here is the example from my life. Years ago I had a friend who used to be or is even today one of the best masters of the manipulation game. At that time I didn't know much about it. I only understood it about 2 years later when I started to investigate it for myself ( for example I have watched the films with Derren Brown from UK who was exposing a lot of the trick of manipulation ). His manipulative skills were used not only in his work but also in personal life with friends and I have also fallen for it. I want to make clear that I am not judging him for what he was doing because in the end I was the one who has allowed it.
Now... in the beginning I was not aware of what is happening but one day I have realised that I became less and less aware of my breaths. And thus I have decided to push myself through this point and become more aware of my breathing. It was interesting to see that in the next couple of weeks I started to have more conflicting and confronting situations with my friend. And not long after I started to realise that it was happening because I stopped giving my power away to my friend and he started to lose control over me which was bringing frustrations within him. It was not long after when we were not friends anymore.
This is just another proof of the importance of being aware of every single breath that we make. And it is also important to realise that being manipulated by others is happening in everyday life and it is being done also by your best friends and closest family members. But still the most dangerous form of manipulation is not the manipulation done by others to you but self manipulation because it is even more subtle and finer and more difficult to recognize. But again the best medicine against the self manipulation is the awareness of breath and living the principle of what is best for all in every single moment and every single breath.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to manipulate others for my own benefits and profits.
I forgive myself that I have not allowed myself to realise that whenever I am not aware of my breath I am subject to being manipulated either by others or by myself.
P.S. The funniest thing about my friend - the "master of manipulation" - was that his confidence that he knows almost everything about manipulation was making him blind and he didn't see how he was manipulated by others. The same principles that he was using to manipulate others, were applied against heimand I have seen it on multiple occasions. And one of the reasons for it was that he ignored the importance of the awareness of breath.