Self-criticism may disguise anger about unmet expectations for ourselves and our lives.
Hyper-competitiveness and a focus on the winning, with contempt for losers, often reflects a defense against underlying feelings of shame and inferiority.
Basic shame is the awareness, often unconscious, that we are emotionally damaged. This article discusses how the excruciating experience of being broken or damaged leads to certain defensive and avoidant behaviors to escape from it.
Neediness is at the core of the human experience. How much can you tolerate?