Mingling with the enemy A social survival guide for our politically divided era

Jeanne Martinet, 1958-

Book - 2020

"Many people need help navigating conversational minefields such as politics and religion--without getting blown up. Mingling with the Enemy is a vital guide for "surviving" contentious arguments, promoting civil discourse, and finding common ground in any social setting--from cocktail parties to PTA meetings. With this go-to guide, readers will learn how to successfully intermingle, listen, and diffuse heated arguments or disagreements while remaining respectful."--

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Subjects
Published
Oakland, CA : New Harbinger Publications, Inc [2020]
Language
English
Item Description
"Tips for navigating any conversation!" -- Cover.
Physical Description
x, 184 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 183-184).
ISBN
9781684035212
168403521X
Main Author
Jeanne Martinet, 1958- (author)
  • Preface: Fear and loathing at the dinner table
  • Introduction: Socializing in the powder keg era
  • Pre-mingle prep.
  • The dangers of "anti-social" media ;
  • Embracing small talk ;
  • Unset your mind ;
  • Spiritual CliffsNotes: get centered ;
  • Self-checklist: recognize your own triggers ;
  • Bad blood warning: stay clear of open wounds
  • Sate starts and innocuous initial forays.
  • Rule number one
  • -and Two and Three: never assume ;
  • Avoiding the third rail: the ABCs of some common volatile topics ;
  • Safe doesn't have to mean boring
  • Entering the DMZ: taking chances.
  • The rewards of respectful debate ;
  • Conversational recon: how to test for friends, foes, or fanatics ;
  • Telltale warning signs of impending conversational doom ;
  • Don't be a knee jerk: techniques for avoiding overreaction
  • The way of the empath.
  • Listen with all your might (then listen some more) ;
  • Ask real questions ;
  • Visualization: picturing the inner three-year-old ;
  • Love and flattery are your best friends; keep them close ;
  • Yielding without losing: applying Tai Chi principles in conversation
  • Creative survival strategies.
  • Storytelling as a smoothing-over technique ;
  • Conversational camouflaging: how going undercover is sometimes better than wearing your opinion on your sleeve ;
  • The power of silence ;
  • Humor: a mingler's greatest tool
  • Diversionary tactics.
  • Swimming to an island of common ground ;
  • Deflection: six subject-changing techniques;
  • The ejector seat: essential escape maneuvers ;
  • The party pause ;
  • Graceful retreat
  • Helping others: being a social diplomat.
  • Peacekeeping missions ;
  • The fine art of distraction ;
  • Beware of death by triangulation ;
  • Helping a partner ;
  • Lending a hosting hand
  • When mingling online.
  • How to don your virtual armor ;
  • Seven rules to post by ;
  • Counting to ten (hours) ;
  • Dealing with trolls
  • Channeling your inner Buddha: family get-togethers.
  • Pre-visit instructions ;
  • Love means never having to say you're sorry (that you voted for someone else) ;
  • Divide and conquer (or at least contain) ;
  • Baby steps: venturing out of the neutral zone
  • Handling special circumstances.
  • Advice for handling upsetting public altercations ;
  • Tangling with the tangential: doctors, doorman, and dry cleaners ;
  • A word about facing nonpolitical "enemies';
  • Picking battles: when it is worth a skirmish
  • Epilogue: The "Enemy" dispelled.
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Martinet (The Art of Mingling), a Huffington Post blogger, delivers an enjoyable primer on the art of conversation. Aiming to help readers strike up discussions with those of differing political views, she provides tips for guiding conversations in a neutral manner, as well as tactics to help readers confidently walk into any setting and avoid hostility. For those entering potentially contentious conversational terrain, she suggests using questions or leading statements to help ferret out a person's political leanings, points out warning signs of "conversational doom," and provides strategies for de-escalating triggering conversations. Martinet also includes tips on how to avoid attracting negative reactions when posting on social media, such as considering one's motives, remaining civil, and checking facts. Throughout, she acknowledges there is a time and place for hard conversations and that it takes two calm, open-minded people to have a productive debate. This handy guide couldn't be more timely. (Sept.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"Many people need help navigating conversational minefields such as politics and religion-without getting blown up. Mingling with the Enemy is a vital guide for "surviving" contentious arguments, promoting civil discourse, and finding common ground in any social setting-from cocktail parties to PTA meetings. With this go-to guide, readers will learn how to successfully intermingle, listen, and diffuse heated arguments or disagreements while remaining respectful"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The author of The Art of Mingling provides insightful, entertaining and down-to-earth techniques and strategies to help readers navigate conversational minefields in today’s increasingly polarized climate, including keeping an open mind and knowing your own triggers. Original.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

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.  

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Many people need help navigating conversational minefields such as politics and religion'without getting blown up. Mingling with the Enemy is a vital guide for 'surviving' contentious arguments, promoting civil discourse, and finding common ground in any social setting'from cocktail parties to PTA meetings. With this go-to guide, readers will learn how to successfully intermingle, listen, and diffuse heated arguments or disagreements while remaining respectful.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

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.  

Review by Publisher Summary 6

Many people need help navigating conversational minefields such as politics and religion—without getting blown up. Mingling with the Enemy is a vital guide for “surviving” contentious arguments, promoting civil discourse, and finding common ground in any social setting—from cocktail parties to PTA meetings. With this go-to guide, readers will learn how to successfully intermingle, listen, and diffuse heated arguments or disagreements while remaining respectful.