Essential Awareness

In order to overcome or avoid an obstacle, you have to know it's there to begin with. Birds fly into window glass all the time because they don't see it. Our cars break down because we didn't notice an issue when it first started. We trip over things, slip on ice, and bump into things and people, and drive in potholes because we did not see them.
Awareness of the social dynamics around us is just as essential as awareness of physical objects in avoiding pitfalls. If we do not know the salesman at the door is really a thief, we may give him all kinds of clues so he knows when to come and rob us. We may even let him in the house, if he makes us feel comfortable with him. We probably won't even remember the interaction when we file the report after our home has been robbed.
Daily social interaction with those we already know is the same way. Our human confidence in our own ability to judge people often leads to serious mistakes that can cause us severe consequences, and consequences for our loved ones as well.
It is far too often that we trust a jackal over a lamb, just because the jackal hit all the right buttons on our "trust" meter, and the lamb did not even try to "make us" trust her, because she is not manipulative.
Our egos will jump to defense when our judgment is challenged, and this makes us defend the jackal, even when we have become aware of the manipulation. We aren't really defending the jackal; we are defending our selves. We do not want to be seen as someone who made a bad judgment, or a huge mistake.
Awareness is tough for most people, because our subconscious tries very hard to guide us to learning only what feels comfortable. We don't really want to know that a person we are attached to is really a liar, or a person who makes us feel good is really abusive to their family. We don't want to know that the repairman we trust is really a con, or that the person we have followed in spirituality is really just a regular person with all kinds of human "flaws".
But if we do not work on our awareness, we continue to live in a world made up of other people's manipulations and fantasies.