Person A said, “She was flexible and understanding. She knew her priorities but was willing to adapt. She's the caring type, who listens, evaluates and is willing to work things out.”
Person B said, “She seems a weak character who makes reactive decisions instead of being assertive.”
They were, in fact, describing the same character. I think this shows (a) how people can interpret characteristics in different ways and (b) how personal preferences may come into play when people assess your characters.
It also shows that what one person considers as strengths, another person may consider as weaknesses.
Is the character displaying weakness when she is willing to listen, evaluate, and work things out? If that is true, then assertiveness would surely mean she say says what she thinks and feels, and isn’t willing to compromise.
On the whole, I prefer my heroine to have an inner strength that comes into play when she has decisions to make. I want her to think about those decisions and yes, react to the other person’s feelings, rather than thinking only about herself.
However, this begs the question: Are reactive decisions a sign of weakness – and, by the same token, is assertiveness a sign of strength?
I welcome your views!