Does someone have to have the willingness to attack someone to not be soft? That assumption comes through in this thread, but moreso as generalized knowledge, I think. It seems to be based on an assumption that if a person is strong enough, they will attack when given the right motivation. It assumes that a non-attacking person does not have the strength to do it and that is their actual reason.
I once saw a number of people "attacking", but I can't say any of it looked particularly strong, or even hard. It looked like a bunch of frightened people trying to establish their place in a social pecking order with a great hope of moving up at least one notch. They said harsh things, were trying to look tough, but if I had to venture a guess I'd say it was an internally mushy situation.
I agree with this, particularly the bolded. I often think of strength as having the power, but knowing when, and when not, to utilize it. I often feel the internally stronger the person, the less apt they are to have to show (or take advantage) their influence upon others or the situation.
"It is not length of life, but depth of life." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson