Any time you are communicating with another person, you are actively trying to manipulate them in the process. This sounds terrible, but that’s only because you’ve only ever heard the word used a negative context before.
When you communicate you are doing it with a purpose, you’re trying to achieve something. For most people this is a primarily unconscious act, especially when the goal is something small such as asking a stranger what street you’re on. In this case you’re being direct and open about your goal, and the stranger is almost always willing to be manipulated into giving up this information. We call it being polite, but all politeness really is, is the willingness to be manipulated without restraint.
The first thing you need to truly understand, is that manipulating people is not wrong in of itself. But always use your powers for good, not evil.