Conversations with People Who Hate Me

12 Things I Learned from Talking to Internet Strangers

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Pub Date 04 May 2022 | Archive Date 18 May 2022

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Description

“Dylan Marron is like a modern Mister Rogers for the digital age.” —Jason Sudeikis

From the host of the award-winning, critically acclaimed podcast Conversations with People Who Hate Me comes a thought-provoking, witty, and inspirational exploration of difficult conversations and how to navigate them.

Dylan Marron’s work has racked up millions of views and worldwide support. From his acclaimed Every Single Word video series highlighting the lack of diversity in Hollywood to his web series Sitting in Bathrooms with Trans People, Marron has explored some of today’s biggest social issues.

Yet, according to some strangers on the internet, Marron is a “moron,” a “beta male,” and a “talentless hack.” Rather than running from this online vitriol, Marron began a social experiment in which he invited his detractors to chat with him on the phone—and those conversations revealed surprising and thought-provoking insights.

Now, Marron retraces his journey through a project that connects adversarial strangers in a time of unprecedented division. After years of production and dozens of phone calls, he shares what he’s learned about having difficult conversations and how having them can help close the ever-growing distance between us.

Charmingly candid and refreshingly hopeful, Conversations with People Who Hate Me will be a guide to anyone partaking in difficult conversations and a permission slip for those who dare to believe that connection can be possible even in these dark times.
“Dylan Marron is like a modern Mister Rogers for the digital age.” —Jason Sudeikis

From the host of the award-winning, critically acclaimed podcast Conversations with People Who Hate Me comes a...

Advance Praise

“Hate is not the only type of seed. A question can be a seed, too,” writes Marron in this enlightening debut based on his popular podcast of the same name. When, in 2016, he was inspired to create a podcast based on hate messages he’d received from strangers on Facebook in response to videos he was creating for a progressive digital news network, Marron discovered his “detractors” weren’t as one-dimensional as he’d thought. With the presidential primaries underway and social media acting as the “new public square” for the culture war, he’d become accustomed to being attacked online. But, as he recalls, when he began interviewing his antagonists, things shifted: “By seeing those I disagreed with as my ‘opponents,’ I was... pushing them away from the very topics I wanted to discuss with them.” He learned that Josh, a high schooler who harassed him online, had been bullied in school; another interview with a man who had a history of homophobia became an opportunity to discuss the nuances of sexuality. With compassion, Marron reveals how these discussions led to surprising moments of empathy, and sometimes even reconciliation between both sides. But he’s also careful to clarify that while “it is brave to have difficult conversations... it’s brave to... know your limits.” In a time rife with divisiveness, this opens up an intriguing dialogue about finding ways to connect. (Mar.)

Publishers Weekly

"With his signature wit and sincerity, Dylan Marron steps into the role of cultural anthropologist for a fair and nuanced examination of phenomena seemingly devoid of nuance: trolls, haters, cancellation. Far more than just a personal narrative, Marron opens the aperture to shed light on the ways our culture rewards the dismissive and the divisive. Where others may find only despair, Marron offers us hope and a path towards finding connection and meaning in spite of and through our differences. This is a call to bring us from out behind our screens—beyond hot takes and takedowns—and back to our shared, messy humanity. Reading this will inspire you practice the lost art of conversation, to open your ears and listen not just to what is being said, but the deeper meaning behind it."

Nora McInerny

"I want to DM this book to the masses (were that not missing the point)! A welcome, cozy haven from the relentless performance of the digital sphere, Dylan Marron impeccably captures the subtle, incomparable heart of human connection that is a good conversation. And just like one, Conversations with People Who Hate Me will leave you feeling warm, hopeful, and less alone."

Aparna Nancherla

"Dylan Marron is as dynamic on the page as he has ever been recorded on video, audio, or live and in person. His ability to see through the facade of human performance and into the heart is enviable, and his skill in transferring the connective tissue of that moment into prose is altogether rare. There is no other book like this because no one else could have written this book with the clarity and compassion of Marron."

Ashley C. Ford

"This book gives you the kind of thoughtful insight you'd crave from a very good friend. Dylan's writing is warm, patient, intelligent, and provocative. Recommended reading for anyone who spends time on the internet."

Jo Firestone

"With this detailed account of his life and work in the public eye, Dylan is showcasing his unique ability to interpret digital and human interactions. He parses out their differences before stunning you with the ways they’ve become the same. Read this with as much thought and care as he did writing it."

Bowen Yang

"Part memoir, part guidebook, Conversations with People Who Hate Me reads as if a dear friend is opening their heart to you, knowing you'll heed their hard-earned advice. Dylan masterfully balances unflinching honesty and wit with introspection and grace we could all stand to learn from."

Franchesca Ramsey

"Dylan Marron holds the beating, human heart of the internet in his own heart. This is an essential and necessary book of brilliance, insight, and compassion."

Jonny Sun


“Hate is not the only type of seed. A question can be a seed, too,” writes Marron in this enlightening debut based on his popular podcast of the same name. When, in 2016, he was inspired to create a...


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