It's a complex question I have, but I'll try to keep it short. A bit of background: I'm in in my late 20s, never been in a relationship before because I've always been withdrawn, ostracized and, frankly, disinterested. Now I've got it in my head to give the relationship thing a whirl within the next few years. Not for sex, if it matters, rather the emotional aspect. I have a laundry list of shortcomings, physical and social, that could hamper my effort, but on the flipside I'd be very accepting of such shortcomings in a partner. Now, the thing on my mind for this topic... I keep reading, again and again, that self-confidence is this all-important element of attraction, and it gnaws at me as much any of my body image issues. Why? Because I've always been subdued, low-key and cynical about myself. It just comes natural, and projecting anything else would be illusory, something I want to avoid at all costs because I believe that honesty is the best policy, except when it comes to avoiding hurting someone. Again, I wouldn't expect outward confidence from the other person, and I actually find it irritating, even when it's within what most people find a reasonable range. The moment someone starts boasting or even talking favorably about themselves, I like them a little less. Humility is one of the traits I appreciate most in a person, so I don't feel unjustified in projecting that sort of image. But I keep reading opinions like ''if you don't love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to love you?'' Dammit, it's more complex than that. I know it is for me, because I'm only insecure when it comes to other people. It's not 'I hate my body and voice' so much as 'My body and voice aren't going to appeal to anyone'. So, what do you think? How important is conspicuous self-confidence in building a relationship? What do you think of people who are humble and even self-deprecating as a core personality trait?