What is influence? The power to have an effect on people. What is manipulation? The same as influence only with a dash of dishonesty or underhandedness. How can you tell the difference?
It starts with how do you feel after you walk away or think about it for a little bit. Some things are timed honored thus value in acting now, some things are important because it speaks to who you are.
However, if you find that there is no real time sensitivity or that it is to someone else’s gain over your needs, then it is manipulation. It is up to you to decide what you truly want and what the self-value is to you.
If you have been wanting to an item, or an outlet to take care of yourself you have to determine what your expectations and outcomes are. Perhaps you have wanted a new coat and have been watching a certain item. If you talk to a sales person and they tell you the item is on sale or will be on sale you find yourself grateful and will most likely return to that store or request that salesperson again. However if you mention this same thing to another salesperson and they tell you it may be gone if you wait for a sale so you should “grab” it today! Should you chose to “grab” it today, once you get home how do you feel? If the desire to not miss this item is greater than the feeling of being unable to purchase it later is greater you may not feel manipulated but influenced.
Say the item goes on sale in a few days, there are plenty in stock and you find out there was a “challenge” between the sales staff that day for high sales. Then you most likely will feel manipulated as it is now apparent that there was a dash of dishonesty with you.
If you are making a decision that is based on someone else’s desires and there is no win-win that is manipulation.
Ultimately when you make a decision that is based on your needs, wants and expectations and the individual is offering guidance that puts you first, that is influence.
One more small step to an ultimate result!