I've actually worked my way from the other end. I'll have been vegan for 4 years in May. When I first when vegan, I was very blunt, very argumentative, and extremely angry(in thought). The ONLY thing I was able to do, was to get a vegetarian friend to go vegan(being nice...), though I no longer look at this as my doing. I share information I've learned. What people choose to do with that information is up to them. If they go vegan, it's their doing.
Anyhow! Over the first 2 years of my veganism, I pushed away most of my friends. I pushed away my family with whom I was staying with at the time, and the arguing got to a point where I decided to move away. It's not healthy for us to be like that
We're going to end up making ourselves sick, then imagine what people would be saying. At this point in time, I find being a good example, speaking to people in a relaxed, non judgmental tone is best. I even go as far as to add humour to it. If we push people away, we can do nothing... Political and blunt approaches both get the information out there, but people seem to react worse(more defensive) to the blunt approach. Though I never sugar coat anything, I always get better reactions while being friendly. It also makes me feel better towards who I'm speaking with. Makes me more understanding and doesn't leave me feeling angry with the world and society
I work in the meat department at a grocery store. I've had people come up and ask me about my vegansim, and I answer any questions they have. My mission is not to make them vegan by the end of the conversation. I've had several people come up to me and ask me about my diet, where I get protein, calcium, etc. Then we talk about the weather or cars :p What I've found really interesting is that these people walk away without buying meat... I even had one bring back his discounted packages of bacon and tell me he didn't need them. Did they come to the grocery store to speak with me? Of course not. They came to buy groceries, but after speaking to me they decide not to buy meat on that trip.
I'm a volunteer firefighter. I spend a lot of time outside(in the summer) and make sure everyone knows how I love to be active. Even that, without words, answers a lot of questions. Obviously fit enough to be on the fire department, obviously fit enough to work all day and hike all evening, and when people see us at the beach, they can see that my partner and I are in shape. That's veganism!