Manipulation can be subtle. If someone retells you something often enough, and you’ve trusted them in the past, why not trust them now?
That’s why it’s important to filter through truth. Be intentional about healthy truth checks instead of the simple, naive claim that “but so and so says.” It doesn’t mean you have to trash a person’s character or believe everything he or she says is deceptive—and they might be deceiving themselves more so than anyone else—but the other end of the spectrum can be just as damaging: to believe and trust everything. It is often either because you are being manipulated or you want so badly to believe something that you are doing some of your own manipulation in your own mind.
Manipulation isn’t helpful, and it’s not healthy. Don’t be a part of it. It will take intention and attention. It will take wisdom and strength. It will take humility and courage.
God will guide every step of the way, even when it’s not comfortable. Focus not on standing your ground; stand God’s ground instead.