Ever since, as a college junior, Miyoko Taylor sat her parents down to work through their divorce with civility and understanding, she has been helping people harness their conflict and anger for good. “I had them make a truce and write out what each of them wanted,” she recalled.
Her parents recognized their daughter’s gift of conflict resolution, and soon Taylor, already majoring in social work at the Metropolitan State College of Denver, found her calling with The Conflict Center. Since 2010, she has taught almost every available TCC class, from those on conflict and anger resolution for adults to a variety of organization and youth workshops.
She especially loves leading TCC’s “Addressing Conflict and Anger Effectively” class. “It’s challenging for me,” she said. “Just because I’m facilitating by no means suggests that I need it any less.”
Taylor emphasized that whether classes are in-person or virtual, “we’re here to tell our stories and draw from one another,” she said, adding, “I love that the series offers really applicable skills.”
These are skills we all need, regardless of age, race, background, or even how loud we get when we’re angry. “We have a lot of lightbulb moments in class about how we ‘do anger,’” Taylor explained. “Sometimes we don’t take time to realize that if something really, truly makes us angry, it’s a good indicator of what we value. There’s an aha moment in that.”
Taylor aims to live out “handling anger and conflict effectively” daily as a roommate, flight attendant, and independent beauty consultant. “Teaching these classes have challenged me to hone in on what it is I truly am feeling, instead of just saying, ‘I’m angry,’” she said. “Anger is like a tree: There’s always a root, and oftentimes anger is so automatic that you need to step back and consider the root. Our classes have taught me to take personal responsibility for my own feelings.”
Time and time again, Taylor has been able to diffuse an escalated situation by using the strategies from her TCC classes. “It’s amazing how thoughts can affect our anger,” she said. Once she used a simple metaphor to bring awareness and understanding to a fellow flight attendant chewing out a passenger. A week or so later she overheard another flight attendant repeating that metaphor as a reminder of how our tone and word choices can escalate – or better, deescalate – conflict.
“I smiled when I heard them talking,” she said. “I love when people realize there are different ways to handle conflict and intentionally choose” the more peaceful path.
To sign up for a Conflict Center course or to learn more about how to channel anger as a tool for good, click here.