From the bestselling author of The Art of Mingling, an essential how-to for navigating today’s conversational minefields.
We are living in a new social era: The Powder Keg Era. These days almost every subject leads straight to politics, and the conversation goes straight to hell. In a nation that is completely polarized, with most of us continually pummeled by social media and the 24/7 news cycle, our social lives are taking a hit.
It can happen anywhere: at a friend’s birthday bash, a wedding reception, the gym, your local cafe, or your family Thanksgiving dinner. Even a group Zoom with colleagues or office mates can be dangerous. Suddenly, what began as a perfectly innocent chat about chocolate cake or seasonal allergies takes a bad turn, and you find yourself in an ugly argument about genetically altered foods or the healthcare system. Every day the tensions among us seem to be rising; the ever-widening ideological chasm is hurting our ability to communicate. So, how can we learn how to converse with people who are on the “other side”—without anyone getting hurt?
With an insightful and down-to-earth sensibility, bestselling author Jeanne Martinet offers a practical and encouraging guide to navigating conversations in our current social climate. She illustrates easy-to-learn techniques and strategies to help you: keep your mind open, know your own triggers, pick the best topics, change course to avoid disaster, be an active listener, master the ability to yield without losing, employ humor and storytelling to ease tension, go undercover when necessary, be a brilliant subject changer, and find common ground. She also provides important tips on knowing when it’s time to take up the gauntlet and when it’s better to make a graceful escape.
We have to keep talking to each other at all costs. Social interaction is a positive force that we need in order to thrive, individually and as a society, especially in today’s fractured world. Learning to mingle with the “enemy” is about figuring out how to have conversations with people that may make us afraid or angry. It’s about recognizing the presumptions—even prejudices—we all have when coming into contact with certain people.
With the ultimate goal of teaching us how to connect with each other more fully, Mingling with the Enemy furnishes a road map for successfully traversing any and all hostile territories—without anyone getting blown up.