Why Do You Get Angry With People Who Are Closest To You?

November 8, 2017 OPINION/NEWS , OTHER

Morgan Basham photo



Siddhartha Rastogi



The World seems to be falling apart.


All around you see breaking relationships…with spouses, friendships… hard feelings and animosity between employer and employee, frowning and friction with neighbors, resentment with the system and the government, our so called caretakers.


As urbanization increases, indifference has taken the lead. Indifference is now used synonymously as non-interference, leading to longevity of relationships. At least that’s what one believes. Partially true, partially incorrect.


In this article I will try and highlight 2 important aspects.


Firstly, why do you get or rather FEEL angry with people who are around you most of the time and whom you are closest with?


Second is course correction – How to make peace with it and let go of that feeling without burning connections and, thereby, achieving your Supreme Goal?


Let’s start with the first point by using certain stories which may also reflect your life.


You enter home after a long day of work, tired with lack of sleep and fatigue from outside traffic, famished, looking for food, happiness, joy and rejuvenation. Your spouse opens the door with a broad smile and welcomes you in. S/he has come early from work and has prepared your favorite dish, arranged it beautifully for your taste buds to go to seventh heaven. You in your own disorientation ask him/her for food. S/he jokingly mentions that nothing is cooked and both can go out and eat. S/he does it to lighten the mood and is just playing a prank. You lose it and bring all your past negative memories in front and get into a major confrontation. S/he also brings all her antagonism to the forefront and fight breaks out. You abuse him/her and out of fit and rage s/he hits you and walks out. Your face turns red and you are shivering with anger, ready to kill….


You have been chosen by your employer as the man to lead the international initiatives for your firm. You are excited to work on this assignment which will take you and your career places. The initiative is new and the firm can’t spend tonnes of money on this one till business picks up. You are allowed to hire a new deputy to assist you with your work. You have lost sleep over this project and are determined to crack this opportunity. You have met 25 candidates for your deputy position, but one fine day your superior comes and tells you to get his/her nephew for the job who in his/her mind seems to be quite qualified and fit for the job. You try being rational and give logical arguments, but your superior states the obvious and moves back to his cabin. You are left fuming. You are now determined to give back at the very next opportunity.


Your best childhood buddy who has been with you through thick and thin calls you one day to meet at a coffee shop at very short notice. He narrates his saga how in the last 2 -3 months, he fell into the wrong company that led to mounting debt which he needs to repay. Without empathizing with him, you start your lecture and get judgmental about him, his past and future. With no money or aid in sight, he gets up and leaves. You get upset that he does not understand your perspective and believe that this harmonious friendship is over.


Why do such strong bonds and nearness just end with one blow?


As for all things, the answer lies in the past. The world has changed dramatically in the last 3 centuries but human memory dates back 40,000 years.


In the current world, we live in gated communities, with all safety security measures around us. You can find a friend, a spouse, an employer with the click of a button or by swiping the smart phone from left to right. You can remove a person, a best friend much more easily than ever before with practically no dependence on him or her.


But that’s the case of today. Your conscious mind knows the present and a few memories of your recent past. But your subconscious mind recalls the deep past, where you were totally dependent on your closest buddy, ally and other people.


When your ancestors went out hunting with their nearest ones, those closest people were the ones responsible to watch your ancestors’ back, warn of any potential dangers or threats emanating from the situation or environment. Humans who existed around each other were helpful. Else nature, animals and other forces posed threats to one’s existence. This led to the habituated response of fear and then anger. Non-adherence to kinsmanship would lead to sure death and hence anger emanated.


As humans grew in number, competition for survival and race to lead increased. Humans started using instant gratification, or money, to buy protection or forced people to take an oath of loyalty. But these measures could never replace trust and hence traitors were always penalized to death.


The fear of distrust which led to anger was so large that brothers killed each other ruthlessly for throne and power whether that person posed an actual threat or not. The perception of insecurity was enough for the humans to decimate close aides if trust was breached or even if that thought crossed his or her mind.

In history, we see examples of Samrat Ashoka, one of the greatest kings in Indian history, killing his 99 half-brothers to seek the throne. Mughals era stories tell us rulers killed their fathers, brothers and sons to secure the throne. Ivan IV of Russia, or Ivan the terrible, killed his own son. He also established a special force, the Oprichnik, that terrorized nobility and killed anyone who was perceived as a threat.


The above facts clearly state that the sole reason for anger is one’s insecurity and one’s perceived threat of survival.


The outcome of this threat or anger is three-fold and how this anger can be used to one’s benefit will be covered in my next note, “Anger, Motivation and Momentum”


Thus the Anagogic Banker says: Use presence of mind and keep your rage under control, else it will destroy your present and future.





Siddhartha Rastogi

Siddhartha Rastogi

Siddhartha was born to a learned middle class educated family in Semi Urban India. His father was an extremely honest man who because of his honesty had to pay the price in corporate world. Mother is a determined woman who ensured that children are being well taken care off. After a few years of birth, doctors called Siddhartha, a slow child having flat foot. He would fall more than he could walk. Determined mother ensured all therapies for her son to come out strong to fight the world. Siddhartha joined swimming when he was in 6th standard. Seeing other children of his class, he jumped in 10 feet deep pool and learnt swimming on his own, the very same day.

From that day there was no looking back. He topped his city in 12th and went to score highest in his B school exams. During his profession as banker, he became youngest branch manager of a MNC bank managing their biggest wealth branch in the country. There he found love of his life and got married. His love of his life emerged in the form of his daughter who completely changed him for good.

Siddhartha Rastogi is Director for a boutique Investment bank in India.

Siddhartha is a forward looking thinker & writer who has written a book on decision making. 8 Simple steps to effective decision making.

He writes on various social and current issues via his blog and can also be found on twitter.

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