Interesting perspective from Psychology Today:
In fact, those of us who routinely use anger as a “cover-up” to keep our more vulnerable feelings at bay, generally become so adept at doing so that we have little to no awareness of the dynamic driving our behavior. As I’ve discussed in earlier posts on the subject, anger is the emotion of invulnerability. Even though the self-empowerment (read, “adrenaline rush”) it immediately offers is bogus, it can yet be extremely tempting to get “attached”—or even “addicted”—to it if we frequently experience another as threatening the way we need to see ourselves (e.g., as important, trustworthy, lovable, etc.). After all, this is how all psychological defenses work. Simply put, they allow us to escape upsetting, shameful, or anxiety-laden feelings we may not have developed the emotional resources—or ego strength—to successfully cope with. So, for example, say your partner (whether intentionally or not) expresses something that leads you to feel demeaned. Rather than, assertively, sharing your hurt feelings, and risk making yourself more vulnerable to them, you may react instead by finding something to attack them for. It could be as petty as their forgetting to put something away, or not having gotten back to you on scheduling an event, or a past mistake that compromised the family budget—in short, anything! In such instances, what you’re basically doing (though it’s most likely unconscious) is endeavoring to make them feel demeaned, to hurt their feelings—or rather, hurt them back. It’s an undeclared, largely unrecognized, game of tit for tat. And while you’re engaged in such retaliatory pursuits, guess what? Presto! You’re no longer feeling demeaned—at least not in the moment. . . . Which, sadly, reinforces this essentially childish behavior (as in, “You’re the one who’s bad!”).
Go to the source for more: Anger—How We Transfer Feelings of Guilt, Hurt, and Fear | Psychology Today