People do a lot of things that can be construed as manipulative magic. Non pagans do it without thinking about. Pagans are supposed to be smarter than that but aren’t. We know that if we do it, it will come back to us time three but it still goes on.
What is manipulative magic? It’s trying to force people consciously or unconsciously to do the thing you want them to do. It can be anything that sets up a situation where the person being manipulated as fewer choices to exercise their free will. Parents do it all the time and at that point it can be a good thing because we have to learn to make wise choices and limiting choice to two or three choices like chocolate or vanilla is probably not going to harm free will and it teaches the value of choosing wisely but once we are adults and even if we are married to a Libra restricting choice is a no-no.
How do you know if you are being manipulated? You know because you feel resentment and you at least inwardly rebel. If you don’t want to do manipulative things then learn to ask directly and don’t try to force the issue. An example? The 40th Anniversary ritual for the tradition we allegedly followed at our founding is coming up. They didn’t ask us directly so we decided at our planning meeting to say “no”. We have a website. We are all on Facebook. We all have readily available email addresses but the people involved with the ritual decided to go through someone not in the coven and who has never been a real part of the coven. We decided if they wanted us they could have come to us directly. That or it was a manipulation on the part of the person who extended the invitation which is her usual mode of behaviour. We weren’t asked directly so we aren’t going. Being manipulated into going would probably have had a bad result even though we are older than the group putting on the ritual. They must not have wanted us very badly.
Manipulative behaviour will always get you smacked somehow. It is always better to be direct.