*On What's Missing

by: Scott Taylor

What's Missing?

No matter one's age, culture, experience, fame, poverty or belief system, all people struggle with their relationships. So where did we get our relationship model; the model we instinctively use for better or worse to fill whats missing. The model that sometimes works perfect and sometimes leads to humiliation or rage. The answer is from our parent's relationship model, which came from our grandparent's relationship model, which came from our great-grandparent's relationship model, etc..

Most peoples first reaction to this insight is to say something like, "I am nothing like my parents. They were old fashioned (fundamentalists, achololics, work-achololics, uneducated) and I'm nothing like them." This is a self desription of their present point of reference, the result . .  not the source of the their relationship model. 

The relationship model we are looking deeper for was formed in early childhood between birth and four years of age. Further back than most people have memories. We can call this early relationship model “ hardwiring." It is what happened to each of us. It is made up of what we believe to be normal when underinternal or external stress.

Our relationship model we use as adults is our parent's relationship model hardwired into us.  We had no voice, no ability to block or reorganize what we received from our parents.  Normal happened to us. We became our parents model. It was forced on us. Weather well intentioned or ill intentioned it is what happened to us and from their parents, what happened to them.

What's Missing in our lives is an understanding of why, how and what happened to us early on. And let's be clear up front. This is not about making our parents the focus of blame for our unfortunate lives and relationships. Good parent or bad parent - everyone gave the best model for relationship they had - the one they were given - to their children. No one held back a better model; no one! They gave you the one they received for better or worse.

So why do parents not realize this and teach their children a more successful model for relationship? Because we cannot erase our hardwiring. We cannot through therapy, through punishment or spiritual awareness change our hardwiring. However, we can understand it, we can learn better options and choose better options when in conversations.

Secondly, and a more direct concern, is that deep in our minds, our unconscious, lies a hurt and damaged aspect that controls all relationship decisions in daily life. To personify it we have a hidden child, around 3 to 4 years of age, running our life. 

We will go into this in more detail later, but you see this aspect anytime you or another acts like a child under stress or confusion.  The boss who rages, the husband or wife who is angry over spilled milk or the President caught lying.

The Function of Behavior in Conversation

Life draws meaning from and is sustained through relationships. Relationships allow for self and others to be seen, understood, accepted, chosen and valued. Through conversations and through behavior we deduce who is safe to be with. But, people are not their behavior!  Behavior is the result of what we think works, what we think will get us what we want and tells us who people are. This is a false belief. Behavior is not reliable as an indicator of who people are.

As suggested above we learn to behave. We were taught what behaviors are acceptable and those that are not. Parents teach children their normal. Normal behavior and beliefs according to what they were taught. And we would be right to acknowledge that this gives us a wonderful diversity across the world.  Diversity is a must if humans are going to grow, change and adapt to future circumstances.

So I am not saying all people need to learn to behave in the same way.  Far from it.  I am talking about the effectiveness of communications.  Communicating with spouces, children, bosses, employees and everyone else that we come across each day. I am directly looking at that conversation that doesn't work. That idea you are trying to get across that flops.  The apology that fails because you are not believed.  The rage that results in being blamed or misunderstood. We will focus on what to do when our wiring fails us.

When I state that people are not their behavior, I mean behavior is not a good indicator of a persons intentions. Behavior and intentions are two distinct states.  Intentions are only understood if behavior can be seen for what it is - a way to attempt communication. Behavior is the result of what we were taught. Our intention is what we meant to express through behavior but fell short.

The Two Intentions

Now a bit on what I mean by intention. There are two types of intention. Conditional intentions which we see in "good" intentions. "I want to treat all people with respect, however I often say or think the wrong thing." "I want to be truthful, obey the law, be fair, give good advice, eat well and exercise." These are conditional because we fluctuate and find it hard to be consistent. 

Unconditional intentions are something different. These are universal intentions that are always true and apply to everyone. Everyone who has ever lived, those present now and all those to come in the future. After years of working with executives around the world for more than thirty years, I have come up with five words that express consistent desire of all people. They are:

To be Seen

To be Understood

To be Accepted

To be Chosen

To be Valued

Being seen, understood, accepted, chosen and valued by others is at the core of what humans want out of relationship. And we often receive parts of these unconditional intentions from loved ones or friends. Yet, rarely consistently. More rarely when a conversation fixates on trying to change behavior.

The Language of Intention

Through the years I developed a language that fills the gap between being RIGHT and being HAPPY. We may be factually be right about some topic, but if a fight breaks out, feeling hurt, or the job does not get accomplished, then being RIGHT is a less than productive behavior.  

On the other hand is a language that allow both parties to feel pulled into the conversation rather than being pushed out. A language that draws people to you rather than repelled by you. That would be a behavior that would be right and happy.  That would be Intentional Language.

Intentional Language makes use of these factors:

  • Clear understanding of the hardwiring received from parents.
  • Clear understanding of the conscious and unconscious mind.
  • Clear understanding of Conditional and Unconditional intentions
  • Clear understanding of how people use projection to protect themselves


Conversations are about sharing meaning. 

  • What undermines conversation is when we consciously try to manipulate other's behavior and opinions. This often has an opposite effect.
  • Secondly, unconsciously, we are forever trying to reestablish, reconstruct and recreate a connection to our original childhood experience in which we were hardwired.

What's missing in relationship is to finally learn to speak from a model that truly achieves being seen, understood, accepted, chosen and valued.


  • What are you willing to overlook or sacrifice to obtain another's attention, agreement, acceptance, acknowledgment or appreciation?
  • When you are not able to obtain another's attention, how do you feel?
  • When you are not asked questions about yourself or your requests, how do you feel?

Life's Value Comes From Relationships

Relationship is established with others during conversation. Conversation has its roots in behavior and intentions. Misinterpreting and reacting to people's behavior is considered a normal part of relationship; a result of the way we have been programmed since birth. The most significant impediment that confounds all relationships is humankind's embedded concept of the "function of behavior," or, said another way; the customary role behavior plays in communications.

What's missing is a map of how behavior was created & programmed during the early years of childhood; creating an Emotional-Neural-Chemical Hard Wiring (E-N-CHW) model. We will call it Hardwiring. The Hardwired model is the guardian of our self-esteem, pride and accomplishment. 

Hardwiring can also command people to behave illogically under stress, often resulting in harm to self and others. This illogical behavior (Negative Hardwiring (NHW)) is always contrary to a child's or to an adult's core intentions. Whenever stress is present the Hardwiring can be observed in all adolescent & adult relationships and has a powerful impact on the outcome of those relationships.

What's misunderstood is that we think and feel that behavior is who people are. We were taught that how a person acts out and behaves tells us who they are, what they mean and what they want us to know about them. Even when there is convincing evidence to the contrary, humans default mode is to react to behavior as if it is the other's intention and real self. 

We will not be freed of emotional constraints, reactionary behavior until we understand the Hardwired model. To understand it requires that each person find all behavior, acted out by others, in themselves first before speaking.  Alot to ask I know, however there is no other way.

Why We Act Out

I propose that all verbal and non-verbal forms of behavior are default attempts to obtain other people's attention - with the intention of being seen, understood, accepted, chosen and valued.

There is a universal set of core intentions beneath all behavior. The real core intention of the person is lost in our reaction to their behavior. We each have a conditioned, hardwired survival need to not be seen as that behavior, the projection of the undesired behavior must

I am proposing that all people are conditioned to see in others what they do & do not want to see in themselves. And the mechanism behind this conditioning must be hardwiring. A preconditioning that protects us from being exposed.


  • When I'm referring to behavior both verbal & nor-verbal behavior is implied. 
  • Core Intentions are unconditional. They are based on the desire be seen, understood, accepted, chosen and valued. These are different from conditional intentions such as building a better society, quitting smoking, getting home on time, increasing market share, what is truth, etc.
  • Conditioning & Hardwiring always refer to the way an individual was raised by a caregiver resulting in what is normal for a specific family or group - right or wrong/good or bad according to the caregiver's conditioning & hardwiring. These must be discovered and understood before any change can take place beyond the original hardwiring of the individual. 
  • Knowing your hardwiring is a major issue sidestepped by the teachings of the world's great minds regarding the function of behavior. These teachings may describe the behavior needed to be happy (positive thinking) or the behaviors needed for individuals to know themselves (higher power), but they will not help getting along in relationships.

What's missing in these teachings is that they do not include the teacher's personal life experiences with relationships. What did the teacher do when their communication did not work? Why they feel separation from their own family? What led to their divorce(s), arguments with colleagues, racial bias, gender bias, and educational & economic biases. Furthermore, when they don't avoid others altogether, they miss label the core function of behavior. Behaviors sole purpose is to get other peoples attention, not to be representative of who the person is.

In delivering and applying this wisdom, sages, both historical and modern, circumvent the real issue that pelages the human race. Mainly, why do people in relationship with each other often resort to hurting, abusing, judging and killing people they love? When good people, who profess wisdom, do act in ways that harm others it is put off as an unavoidable part of their "human nature." Because the wisdom of psychology, biology, philosophy, religion or science has failed, our collective eyes roll heavenward, deep breaths are taken in and the resulting sighs of resignation to the nature of humankind can be heard reverberating through the centuries.

Abuse exists in EVERY relationship regardless of race, culture, profession, lifestyle or current economic conditions. Humans in stressful situations hurt others when they don't intend to. We project what is missing in ourselves onto those who make us nervous, who seem to be able to look past our personalities, past our natural defenses. Everyone has experienced their relationship/communication model run out of options and our reaction has been defensive.

The great teachings enfold us with platitudes, values and even possible vocations as helpers. The intrinsic nature of humanity is to amplify the good and attenuate the less good. So why do good people hurt others. The questions that remain seem like unsolvable puzzles and are the deeper questions that remain after good intentioned rhetoric are: 

  • Why is the flesh weak when the spirit is willing?
  • Why do we habitually act in a way that is abusive to others & us? 3. Where does negative behavior come from? Why is it there?
  • Circumvent - "to find a way of avoiding restrictions imposed by a rule or law without actually breaking it."
  • Can negative behaviors be changed or corrected?

There is always a description of "something out there," outside ourselves to be understood, manipulated,changed, and learned - rather than the scary notion of "I may be the source of war, conflict and abuse of others.

Copyright © 2016 Scott Taylor Consulting  All Rights Reserved.

© Scott Taylor 2016