I’m Just Saying is not just a word of warning about the emerging Frankenstein of intolerance, but it is also an earnest, tech-savvy, entrepreneurially minded, morally conscientious assay at fashioning a democratic, tolerant, self-aware, and self-critical citizenry—the very foundation of an enduring democracy.

Abbas Milani

Co-Director of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution

Order Now!

My writing has been featured in

Let’s talk about Discourse

In I’m Just Saying, I show that, although challenging conversations can be unpleasant, they can also help us grow. I use contemporary case studies and personal experience to teach you how to have constructive conversations by engaging in civil discourse—the idea that good-faith actors can reach consensus on any opinion-based disagreement. Along the way, I answer all the questions you’ve had about discourse, and teach my tricks to become a better conversation partner.

Have you ever been in a conversation that, after volleying back and forth, ended with the words, “I’m just saying . . .”? Usually, this signals frustration, that the discussion has reached a dead end, that you haven’t made your point - and may even leave you feeling that your relationship with the other person has changed for the worse.

Civil discourse, an essential part of democracy, is becoming rare in today's digital age. I’m Just Saying examines discourse's successes and the ways to rebuild it. Drawing from history, popular culture, and personal anecdotes, this book promotes effective civil discourse by providing practical advice and strategies for respect. Through my stories and advice, I’m Just Saying offers insight and tools for politeness in a divided world.

10 Tools This Book Will Teach you


How to use self-reflection to address your own biases


Ways to find common ground with any discussion partner


How to see when unclear intent can be worse than ill intent when practicing discourse


Lessons from Japanese philosophy to help with focus and patience


How to embrace conflict in collaborative discussions to grow


Tips for examining your own tone and adjusting for many speaking situations


How to grow trust and faith differently and when to depend on each


Exercises for being a more active, attentive listener


How to help others around you be more civil in their discourse


Clues for avoiding poor discourse and disengaging from trolls

Get Your Copy of I’m Just Saying

Talking to the Blank page

I never realized writing a book would be such a long dialogue.

Maybe that’s because it’s my first, and I was naive. This book was over three years in the making, an evolving conversation between myself and the page. And a blank page is a terrible conversation partner.

During that time, the book constantly evolved, just as a conversation does. As I workshopped each chapter with friends, got each new set of edits from my team, or worked my way through the stoics one more time, my emphasis changed. Some chapters ballooned, others dissolved and were boxed for other projects. In the end, my wonderful editorial team and I went with our final statements, and words were made permanent in ink and pixels.

The end result, I’m Just Saying,  is far more conversational than I ever expected. I became comfortable addressing common questions and describing my favorite strategies. That long conversation I had with the page made me better at discourse - precisely because practice makes perfect when it comes to improving our civil discourse skills!

And, in the end, that blank page was one of the best conversations I’ve had.

What people are Saying

“In our benighted days, when many of the crypto capitalists and digital billionaires are hatching dreams of creating colonies in space or adding new billions to their wealth without regard for the cost to society or the environment, Milan has set himself the Herculean but commendable task of saving and promoting the indispensable pillar of democracy.”

Abbas Milani

Co-Director of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution