Instead of explaining this whole practice, I'll rather give an example. In a scene in my book, there is this character. This character is pompous and arrogant. I describe their gait shortly after their introduction, where using "pompous" would've been very informative (and concise). Instead, I describe their whole pompousness and arrogance through the collection of input they provide to the story.
Here is their introduction:
“It’s so sad seeing someone waste their lives in front of you. You’re just sitting there high out of your mind and looking blankly at a map, in the middle of class. Get a grip for fuck's sake,” a creaky voice buzzed into Alfie’s temple. He turned and saw Jenna. “Fuck off.” He turned back to his map and sighed. I’m not even high.
The bells rang and the school day was officially over. Most of the pupils were already on their way out as the riddling racket of the bells struck, whilst others were midway in the process of packing their books away. Alfie was, surprisingly, still at his desk, leaning on his chair with his arms behind his head. He was watching Jenna collectedly approach the teacher with whatever topic she was going to address. Alfie swore she walked up to the teacher's desk so often the outer lines of desks were shaped by her gait down the classroom.
Here is a collection of input on Jenna's personality, provided by both Jenna and Alfie. The individual pieces of input don't necessarily mean either arrogance or pompousness on their own, but it is all of them combined that hopefully shows the reader this. Walking collectedly doesn't need to mean you're pompous, but in the context, the reader is supposed to assume their outside "collectedness" is a product of that pompousness, as that makes sense with the context. Of course, it's not science, nothing is certain, it's all just to give the reader a feel of the character.
But doing it by showing the character feels a bit risky to me, sometimes. I am scared of too much ambiguity, leaving the character feeling empty, instead of invoking the reader with a feel of their personality. So, as I write, it think writing;
He was watching Jenna pompously approach...
This way, there is no ambiguity. My point comes across, undoubtedly and concisely. Because that's what it's about. Summarizing a part of her personality with one, concise word; pompous. But the problem her is that I'd be summarizing it. Telling, instead of showing. And that again leaves the characters feeling empty. At least, that's my understanding of it. So, which one is it? Should I use concise words to quickly get my points across, or should I take longer routes of giving the reader a feel of my points? Or is there some middle way?