Honesty is the best policy.
Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.
Luckily, often in such situations, there would be someone who stays neutral or is outgoing or a person who gels with all in the group. One of my uncles is a smart and expereinced person. He would just pat the back of the person and move him away from the main disscussion and paficy him and change the discussion to something else. His favourite line would 'what to do, I understand your concerns but that chap is not yet mature enough to understand it, let it go, I will expalin to him later'.
I think, it needs a calm person who's a little senior or energetic in the group to quickly de-escalate the anger and animosity among people known to us.I also feel, it would be good to keep off delicate issues or controversial issues at least when we are in a social gathering because, I've seen a couple of functions being marred by the unpleasant verbal duels happening in a corner of the hall or premises.
'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
Even this challenging situation would ease
I generally follow this approach and most of the times things get resolved and do not linger for a long time.
Knowledge is power.