An emotion when one’s objectionable behaviour is seen as reflecting, more generally, a defective, objectionable self. Upon experience of this painful self-scrutiny, the individual experiences a sense of “shrinking” or of “being small” along with feelings of worthlessness and powerlessness. In shame, the self is both the agent and object of observation and disapproval, as shortcomings of the defective self are exposed before an internalized observing “other.” Shame motivates a desire to escae or hide – to sink into the floor and disappear.
Tangney, J. P., Miller, R. S., Flicker, L., & Barlow, D. H. (1996). Are shame, guilt, and embarrassment distinct emotions? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70(6), 1256-1269.