The toughest of all the greasers in the Susan Hinton teen novel, The Outsiders, Dallas Winston believes it is best to stay "hard," and he believes if Johnny had been tougher and harder, then he would "never have run into that church." To Dally, helping people causes trouble, and he tells Pony that if "you get tough like me... you don't get hurt. You look out for yourself and nothin' can touch you..."
When Pony and Two-Bit visit Dally in the hospital, they found him "mean" and "ornery," and they knew he would be okay. Dally admits that "I'm never nice," and Pony recalls that he "didn't give a Yankee dime about anyone but himself." Dally shows a soft spot for Johnny, but he rarely exhibits anything but his toughness to the rest of the world. Staying hard is his way of avoiding getting hurt.
In the book The Outsiders Dally, Dallas Winston, refuses to let people in emotionally. He blocks people out by his anger. Dallas has been angry for a long time. Dallas likes to fight. When he gets upset he directs it towards others. He blows off his anger by picking a fight.
"the fight for self-preservation had hardened him beyond caring,"
Dallas is like loose cannon. Darry doesn't even want to set Dallas off. Dallas grew up in New York and experienced violence in his youth through tougher street gangs. He went to reform school at the age of ten.