In The Outsiders, Ponyboy is not naturally inclined to fight. This sets him apart from many of the other greasers in his crowd. Dally, for instances, has a tendency to be aggressive and sometimes even violent. He grew up seeing a lot of fights and knows how to protect himself, and he can be dangerous at times.
However, Ponyboy is different from his friends. He excels at school, is bright, and enjoys reading. He is sensitive. When he and Johnny are hiding in the church and he explains the Robert Frost poem to Johnny, the readers sees the sensitive side of both boys.
They share the sense of wistfulness about the poem and its message that “nothing gold can stay.” Nothing that is perfect and beautiful can stay that way forever.
There are a couple of scenes in the book where Ponyboy is attacked by the Socs. In one scene, he is by himself and his brothers find him. He is shaken up from the incident. In the other scene, he is with Johnny, who saves him when one of the Socs tries to drown him. It is clear from both these episodes that Ponyboy is not a natural fighter.
We also see that Ponyboy is different from the others and does not enjoy fighting by some of the things he says or that people say to him. For instance, Cherry asks Ponyboy why he hangs around with the other greasers, because he seems so different from them, particularly from the aggressive Dallas. Moreover, in describing Soda and Steve, Ponyboy says,
I can understand why Sodapop and Steve get into drag races and fights so much, though—both of them have too much energy, too much feeling, with no way to blow it off.