Mingling with the Enemy
A Social Survival Guide for Our Divided Era
Published by: New Harbinger Publications
Imprint: New Harbinger Publications
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.
“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.”~Publishers Weekly
“In this age of discord and disconnection, so many of us struggle to engage with others on even the most basic level. In Mingling with the Enemy, Jeanne Martinet wisely advises readers on how to navigate even the trickiest social landmines with skill, grace, and humor. The strategies and advice in this book are timely, relevant, and actionable; this is the adulting manual I want to give to everyone I know!”~Carla Naumburg, PhD
—Carla Naumburg, PhD, author of How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids
“In Mingling with the Enemy, Jeanne Martinet offers a powerful antidote to rising incivility, intolerance, and outright hate. This insightful book is lucid, compelling, and above all, timely.”~Maggie Jackson
—Maggie Jackson, author of Distracted
“Mingling with the Enemy is a timely and useful book. Martinet does a wonderful job of exposing the social costs of our polarized era, and she offers a number of sensible tips for helping us, if not overcome our differences, at least learn to understand them better. Civil conversation of course is not a cure-all, but, as Martinet shows, it is a necessary step toward a more productive political discourse—and a step away from the brink.”~Ulrich Boser
—Ulrich Boser, author of The Leap
“Jeanne Martinet offers a much-needed guide to surviving today’s growing ‘partisan phobia.’ Using examples from everyday social situations, Martinet outlines clever and practical tools to help navigate, and even disarm, politically divisive topics. Her fun, conversational style makes this an enjoyable and accessible read for anyone who is tired of fighting, and instead wants to connect more meaningfully across the aisle.”~Anatasia S. Kim, PhD,
—Anatasia S. Kim, PhD, associate professor of clinical psychology at The Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA; and author of It’s Time to Talk (and Listen)