The Shame Affect – from the Tomkins Institute website article:
Why are shame and pride such central motives? How can loss of face be more intolerable than loss of life? How can hanging the head in shame so mortify the spirit? In contrast to all other affects, shame is an experience of the self by the self. At that moment when the self feels shame, it is felt as a sickness within the self. Shame is the most reflexive of affects in that the distinction between the subject and object of shame is lost. Why is shame so close to the experienced self? It is because the self lives in the face.