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VIRTUOSO PERSONALITY (ISTP, -A/-T)

I wanted to live the life, a different life. I didn’t want to go to the same place every day and see the
same people and do the same job. I wanted interesting challenges.
— Harrison Ford

Virtuosos love to explore with their hands and their eyes, touching and examining
the world around them with cool rationalism and spirited curiosity. People with
this personality type are natural Makers, moving from project to project, building
the useful and the superfluous for the fun of it, and learning from their
environment as they go. Often mechanics and engineers, Virtuosos find no
greater joy than in getting their hands dirty pulling things apart and putting them
back together, just a little bit better than they were before.
Virtuosos explore ideas through creating, troubleshooting, trial and error and
first-hand experience. They enjoy having other people take an interest in their
projects and sometimes don’t even mind them getting into their space. Of course,
that’s on the condition that those people don’t interfere with Virtuosos’ principles
and freedom, and they’ll need to be open to Virtuosos returning the interest in
kind.

Virtuosos enjoy lending a hand and sharing their experience, especially with the
people they care about, and it’s a shame they’re so uncommon, making up only
about five percent of the population. Virtuoso women are especially rare, and the
typical gender roles that society tends to expect can be a poor fit – they’ll often be
seen as tomboys from a young age.

Dare to Differ
While their mechanical tendencies can make them appear simple at a glance,
Virtuosos are actually quite enigmatic. Friendly but very private, calm but
suddenly spontaneous, extremely curious but unable to stay focused on formal
studies, Virtuoso personalities can be a challenge to predict, even by their friends
and loved ones. Virtuosos can seem very loyal and steady for a while, but they
tend to build up a store of impulsive energy that explodes without warning, taking
their interests in bold new directions.

Rather than some sort of vision quest though, Virtuosos are merely
exploring the viability of a new interest when they make these seismic
shifts.

Virtuosos’ decisions stem from a sense of practical realism, and at their heart is a
strong sense of direct fairness, a “do unto others” attitude, which really helps to
explain many of Virtuosos’ puzzling traits. Instead of being overly cautious though,
avoiding stepping on toes in order to avoid having their toes stepped on,
Virtuosos are likely to go too far, accepting likewise retaliation, good or bad, as fair
play.

The biggest issue Virtuosos are likely to face is that they often act too soon, taking
for granted their permissive nature and assuming that others are the same.
They’ll be the first to tell an insensitive joke, get overly involved in someone else’s
project, roughhouse and play around, or suddenly change their plans because
something more interesting came up.

Nothing Is as Boring as Everyone Agreeing With


You
Virtuosos will come to learn that many other personality types have much more
firmly drawn lines on rules and acceptable behavior than they do – they don’t
want to hear an insensitive joke, and certainly wouldn’t tell one back, and they
wouldn’t want to engage in horseplay, even with a willing party. If a situation is
already emotionally charged, violating these boundaries can backfire
tremendously.

Virtuosos have a particular difficulty in predicting emotions, but this is just a


natural extension of their fairness, given how difficult it is to gauge Virtuosos’
emotions and motivations. However, their tendency to explore their relationships
through their actions rather than through empathy can lead to some very
frustrating situations. People with the Virtuoso personality type struggle with
boundaries and guidelines, preferring the freedom to move about and color
outside the lines if they need to.

Finding an environment where they can work with good friends who understand
their style and unpredictability, combining their creativity, sense of humor and
hands-on approach to build practical solutions and things, will give Virtuosos
many happy years of building useful boxes – and admiring them from the outside.

Virtuosos You May Know

Clint Eastwood Milla Jovovich Olivi


VIRTUOSO STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

Virtuoso Strengths

Optimistic and Energetic – Virtuosos are usually up to their elbows in some


project or other. Cheerful and good-natured, people with the Virtuoso
personality type (especially Assertive ones) rarely get stressed out, preferring
to go with the flow.
Creative and Practical – Virtuosos are very imaginative when it comes to
practical things, mechanics, and crafts. Novel ideas come easily, and they love
using their hands to put them into action.
Spontaneous and Rational – Combining spontaneity with logic, Virtuosos!
can switch mindsets to fit new situations with little effort, making them
flexible and versatile individuals.
Know How to Prioritize – This flexibility comes with some unpredictability,
but Virtuoso personalities are able to store their spontaneity for a rainy day,
releasing their energy just when it’s needed most.
Great in a Crisis – With all this hands-on creativity and spontaneity, it’s no
wonder that Virtuosos are naturals in crisis situations. People with this
personality type usually enjoy a little physical risk, and they aren’t afraid to
get their hands dirty when the situation calls for it.
Relaxed – Through all this, Virtuosos are able to stay quite relaxed. They live
in the moment and go with the flow, refusing to worry too much about the
future.

Virtuoso Weaknesses

Stubborn – As easily as Virtuosos go with the flow, they can also ignore it
entirely, and usually move in another direction with little apology or
sensitivity. If someone tries to change Virtuosos’ habits, lifestyle or ideas
through criticism, they can become quite blunt in their irritation.
Insensitive – Virtuosos use logic, and even when they try to meet others
halfway with empathy and emotional sensitivity, it rarely seems to quite
come out right, if anything is even said at all.
Private and Reserved – Virtuoso personalities are notoriously difficult to get
to know. They are true introverts, keeping their personal matters to
themselves, and often just prefer silence to small talk.
Easily Bored – Virtuosos enjoy novelty, which makes them excellent
tinkerers, but much less reliable when it comes to focusing on things long-
term. Once something is understood, Virtuosos tend to simply move on to
something new and more interesting.
Dislike Commitment – Long-term commitments are particularly onerous for
Virtuosos. They prefer to take things day-by-day, and the feeling of being
locked into something for a long time is downright oppressive. This can be a
particular challenge in Virtuosos’ romantic relationships.
Risky Behavior – This stubbornness, difficulty with others’ emotions, focus
on the moment, and easy boredom can lead to unnecessary and unhelpful
boundary-pushing, just for fun. Virtuosos have been known to escalate
conflict and danger just to see where it goes, something that can have
disastrous consequences for everyone around if they lose control of the
situation.

3. ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS " (/ISTP-RELATIONSHIPS-DATING)

# 1. INTRODUCTION(/ISTP-PERSONALITY)

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VIRTUOSO RELATIONSHIPS
When it comes to romantic relationships with Virtuosos, it’s a bit like nailing Jell-O
to a tree. Dating Virtuoso personalities is a tango, complex and interesting, with
alternating coldness and detachment, and passion, spontaneity and enjoyment of
the moment. Nothing can be forced in Virtuoso relationships, but so long as they
are given the space they need to be themselves, they will gladly enjoy the
comforts of a steady partner for a lifetime.

If Songs Could Change Lives, We’d All Love Each


Other
!
Early in dating, people with the Virtuoso personality type can be especially flighty –
they live in the present, always looking for new activities and experiences. If a
potential partner doesn’t measure up, Virtuosos have no real problem walking
away. Virtuosos also need a great deal of personal space, both physically and
mentally, and any attempts to control them or forcibly schedule their activities
only accelerates their departure.

On the other hand, Virtuosos have no problem trying to change their partners’
habits, most likely with attempts to get them to loosen up a bit and relax and have
fun. Virtuoso personalities are hardly strict or traditional when it comes to dating,
and often try to introduce sex into their activities early on. Sensual individuals that
they are, Virtuosos make ready use of all of their senses, viewing intimacy as an
art, a performance, and a source of pleasure.

As their relationships progress, Virtuosos’ partners tend to find that intimacy is


about the closest they get to open emotional expression. It’s not that Virtuosos
don’t have feelings – they actually run quite deep and strong – just that they
conceal and protect them because they are unsure how to deal with them and
express them. Virtuosos have no trouble leaving something they think is mutually
understood unsaid.

This applies in a broader sense in Virtuosos’ relationships as well. Any attempts to


push understood arrangements, even the relationships themselves, into open
discussion in order to secure commitment, especially early on, are often met by
Virtuosos with something close to panic. Nothing is so acutely terrifying to
Virtuosos as knowing that there’s no way out. Every day is a new day, and
Virtuosos review their obligations from moment to moment.

If Virtuosos are to be lifelong partners, it must happen as a natural


progression of these day-to-day decisions, on their own time.

None of this should be taken too personally by Virtuosos’ partners – it’s just how
their minds work. People with this personality type live in the present, in a world
of physical activities that engage the senses, and they just need to know that they
have the freedom to be passionate about something one day and indifferent the
next, without being grilled on when they’re going to finish something, or why
they’ve “suddenly changed their minds”.

At the same time, being a little more expressive and a little more comfortable with
the idea of consistency and follow-through can go a long way in rounding out the
Virtuoso personality type. The best partners usually share Virtuosos’ Observant (S)
trait, that interest in what the world is here and now, with one or two opposing
traits to help them to explore a world that also involves other people and others’
expectations.

4. FRIENDSHIPS " (/ISTP-FRIENDS)

# 2. STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES(/ISTP-STRENGTHS-AND-WEAKNESSES)

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VIRTUOSO FRIENDS
When it comes to friendships, Virtuosos seem made for Bushnell’s Law of game
design: Easy to learn, difficult to master. With their well-rounded and interesting
array of hobbies, people with the Virtuoso personality type have no trouble at all
making acquaintances to share their activities with. It’s getting beneath the
surface to become Virtuosos’ true friends that is the real challenge, leaving them
with a lot of good will and friendly faces to call on, but only a few people who they
feel truly understand them.

Maybe... But Not Today


!
A lot of this comes down to Virtuosos simply not wanting to be bound to any
particular person or activity. Virtuoso personalities live in the present, enjoying
whatever life brings, and feel no real obligation to shift course on account of
others’ plans. If friends don’t want to do what Virtuosos are doing, then they are
free to go do their own thing, and they’ll hang out some other time. Sometimes
their shifts in attitude can catch their friends flat-footed, but Virtuosos’ motto
remains “everything can be changed”. Forcing them to constantly commit to
scheduled activities is probably the quickest way to end these friendships.

As long as everyone keeps things relaxed and flexible though, Virtuosos’


friendships can be rich and rewarding. People with this personality type are
talented when it comes to using their senses, and usually enjoy a little
competition. This makes Virtuosos’ hobbies, especially the more physical activities
like fishing and crafts, especially enjoyable with a little company, and they are
usually the basis for their friendships. Virtuosos’ interests are pretty diverse, so
they should have no trouble coming up with exciting things to do.

Virtuoso personalities are also thoughtful, rational people. Being fairly creative
individuals themselves, they often enjoy discussing new ideas – but in the end, the
point of sharing those ideas needs to be to take action. Dreaming is well and
good, but talk is cheap, and discussions on abstract or distant subjects like
Eurasian politics can only hold Virtuosos’ attention for so long before they decide
to shift their focus to something they can do.

This makes friendships with Intuitive (N) types, who have a much less physical
approach to life, challenging for Virtuosos to maintain. With their enjoyment of
firsthand experience, these personalities just feel more comfortable alongside
other personality types with the Observant (S) trait. So long as they share a hobby,
philosophical differences and contrasting world views really don’t matter too
much – it’s what people do that matters to Virtuosos.
I Never Set Out to Be Weird, and yet...
Virtuosos are unusually popular, almost in spite of themselves. Their open-
mindedness, interesting hobbies and relaxed attitude are attractive to a
remarkably broad range of personality types. With so many acquaintances,
Virtuosos are sure to strike up deeper friendships with at least a few.

5. PARENTHOOD " (/ISTP-PARENTS)

# 3. ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS(/ISTP-RELATIONSHIPS-DATING)

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VIRTUOSO PARENTS
When it comes to parenting, Virtuosos give their children more freedom and
opportunity to do whatever they want, within sensible limits of course, than any
other personality type. It’s a big world out there, meant to be explored and
experienced. Nothing is quite as perplexing to Virtuoso parents as their children
sitting inside and watching television all day. Relaxed, open-minded and flexible,
Virtuoso personalities expect their children to use their freedom wisely – that is, to
exploit it in the name of exploration and experience.

The World Is Your Oyster


!
Early in life, this attitude is tremendously beneficial for Virtuosos’ children. At this
age, every little thing is a miracle, to be explored with every sense. Blocks don’t
just have distinct colors and shapes, but smells and tastes too, and this sort of
sensory exploration is right up Virtuosos’ alley. As their children learn their motor
skills, people with the Virtuoso personality type are happy to stack those blocks
right along with them. As their children grow and develop more complex abilities,
Virtuosos find joy in showing them how to use real tools to build real things.

If Virtuosos’ growing children share their basic qualities of spontaneity and


passion for physical activities, they are happy to accompany them on just about
any activity, be it sports, hiking or hobby engineering. None of this is anything that
gets forced on their children though. Virtuosos see little need in imparting their
principles and interests on their children, instead just enjoying that their children
enjoy doing things.

Ensuring that Virtuosos’ children are responsible enough to not do


anything life-alteringly reckless in their teenage years, though, often
falls to luck or (with luck) a more security-oriented partner.

Where Virtuoso parents struggle most, as with their other relationships, is in


emotional bonding. Emotional control is something that children learn and adapt
to over years, and comparatively unemotional Virtuosos are often left at a loss for
what to do in the meantime. Virtuosos may just need to rely on a more able
partner. Otherwise, it takes a great deal of conscious effort on their part to be
able to provide the sort of emotional understanding and support their children
need.
VIRTUOSO CAREERS
The Virtuoso personality type is probably the hardest to pin down in many aspects
of life, but especially in their careers. Virtuosos thrive on diversity and
unpredictability, on wondering “what’s next?” every morning. This makes Virtuosos
one of the most mysterious personality types, but also one of the most versatile in
the professional world.

Virtuosos are born problem-solvers with an unwavering focus on practical


solutions (though perhaps not always solutions to practical problems). No other
type is quite as fascinated by how things work, how tools can be used, and how
facts can be put together to create immediate and satisfying results. This
combination of curiosity and hands-on vigor make people with the Virtuoso
personality type excellent mechanics, engineers, graphic designers, and forensic
scientists.

!
Abstract theory and purely academic work that will never see the light
of real use hold little interest for Virtuosos.

“Practical” is the word of the day. But it’s not the practicality of routine
administration that Virtuosos crave – they need variety and action, perhaps even a
little adrenaline in their work. Highly structured environments leave Virtuoso
personalities bored and tired. Jobs that focus on crisis response, such as
firefighters, paramedics, detectives, pilots and police officers seem made for
Virtuosos.

Perhaps most important to Virtuosos though, is the feeling that they aren’t stuck.
The freedom to wander, the freedom to declare their own schedules, their own
responsibilities, their own environments – nearly every other consideration pales
by comparison to the need to avoid inflexible commitments and stodgy
colleagues. While this can be a significant hurdle to overcome in traditional
employment, it is the chiefest allure of entrepreneurship.

Do Whatever Makes Your Heart Sing


Nearly any creative or constructive skill or interest can be offered on a freelance
basis or on a business-owner’s own terms, be it blogger, systems analyst, athlete
or driver. Virtuosos need to face down their weak long-term planning abilities and
preference for instant results in order to make this path work, but livelihoods can
be made selling bits and crafts in their free time. It’s also possible to find more
traditional work to satisfy these needs, and forest ranger is a sought-after line of
work for many Virtuosos.

Virtuosos have a natural skill with troubleshooting, a relaxed, self-confident


nature and a results-oriented focus. People with this personality type understand
that risk equals reward, and as long as they can use that understanding with
maturity, rather than just kicking the ant’s nest whenever they get bored, they are
highly desirable in any dynamic field or environment.

7. WORKPLACE HABITS " (/ISTPS-AT-WORK)

# 5. PARENTHOOD(/ISTP-PARENTS)

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VIRTUOSOS IN THE WORKPLACE
When it comes to the workplace, Virtuosos’ top requirement is often a sense of
unpredictability and excitement. This quality makes Virtuoso personalities’
personal relationships challenging enough, even among close friends and
immediate family – for those they’ve only come to know in a professional
environment, it can be downright frustrating.

Of course, this all comes down to knowing what makes them tick. With a little
space and a hands-on problem to solve, Virtuosos can be some of the most
productive people around. As with anyone, forcing people with the Virtuoso
personality type into a mold that doesn’t fit just doesn’t work. Recognizing their
unique perspective and gifts can lead to extraordinary results.

!
Virtuoso Subordinates
As subordinates, what Virtuosos crave most is a little wiggle room. Relaxed and
easy-going, people with the Virtuoso personality type are happy to stick around
with surprising loyalty, as long as their employers and managers don’t try to force
them to commit to anything that can’t be undone the next day. Strict rules,
guidelines and formal agreements make Virtuosos feel cramped and bored. If
their habits or methods come under criticism or are forced to change, Virtuosos
can also be surprisingly mulish.

Something that’s likely to make Virtuosos’ day is a random list of things that need
to be fixed or dealt with. Virtuoso personalities have a talent for conserving their
energy for just such an occasion, and can tackle such a laundry list with surprising
enthusiasm. Their tasks do need to be hands-on though – if the items all start with
“Come up with a strategy to...”, it’s probably better to find an Analyst type.

Virtuoso Colleagues
Virtuosos are often much more liked by their colleagues than they would expect.
Quiet and reserved, people with this personality type usually need a little physical
space, but at the same time enjoy peeking in on others’ work to see if there’s
anything interesting going on. Not naturally emotional or empathetic, Virtuosos
have a blunt way of communicating that can lead to misunderstandings or hurt
feelings.

Yet, Virtuosos combine this rationalism and reserve with a sense of spontaneity
that, among other things, creates a lighthearted sense of “do unto others”
fairness. Turnabout is always fair play, and the odd prank, and the retaliation, are
usually enjoyed by all. Virtuosos have a great sense of humor, if sometimes a little
risqué, and are not only resistant to workplace conflicts, but are great at defusing
them with a well-placed joke that puts it all into perspective.

Virtuoso Managers
Virtuoso managers treat their subordinates as they’d like to be treated: with
minimal talking and loose boundaries. Virtuosos aren’t big on chattiness or
emotional expression, and more sensitive types may see them as cold and distant
– effusive praise and back-slapping just isn’t in Virtuosos’ nature. In fact, there isn’t
likely to be a lot of feedback at all from Virtuoso managers, good or bad. But when
problems do arise, they are great listeners who devise practical, fair, and impartial
solutions.

8. CONCLUSION " (/ISTP-CONCLUSION)

# 6. CAREER PATHS(/ISTP-CAREERS)

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VIRTUOSO PERSONALITY – CONCLUSION
Few personality types are as bold and practical as Virtuosos. Known for their
technical mastery and willingness to improvise, Virtuosos are good at finding
unique solutions to seemingly impossible challenges. Virtuosos’ desire to explore
and learn new things is invaluable in many areas, including their own personal
growth.

Yet Virtuosos can be easily tripped up in areas where their focus on practical
matters is more of a liability than an asset. Whether it is finding (or keeping) a
partner, reaching dazzling heights on the career ladder, or learning to plan ahead,
!
Virtuosos need to put in a conscious effort to develop their weaker traits and
additional skills.

What you have read so far is just an introduction into the complex concept that is
the Virtuoso personality type. You may have muttered to yourself, “wow, this is so
accurate it’s a little creepy” or “finally, someone understands me!” You may have
even asked “how do they know more about me than the people I’m closest to?”

This is not a trick. You felt understood because you were. We’ve studied how
Virtuosos think and what they need to reach their full potential. And no, we did
not spy on you – many of the challenges you’ve faced and will face in the future
have been overcome by other Virtuosos. You simply need to learn how they
succeeded.

But in order to do that, you need to have a plan, a personal roadmap. The best car
in the world will not take you to the right place if you do not know where you want
to go. We have told you how Virtuosos tend to behave in certain circumstances
and what their key strengths and weaknesses are. Now we need to go much
deeper into your personality type and answer “why?”, “how?” and “what if?”

This knowledge is only the beginning of a lifelong journey. Are you ready to learn
why Virtuosos act in the way they do? What motivates and inspires you? What you
are afraid of and what you secretly dream about? How you can unlock your true,
exceptional potential?

Our premium profiles provide a roadmap towards a happier, more successful,


and more versatile YOU! They are not for everyone though – you need to be
willing and able to challenge yourself, to go beyond the obvious, to imagine and
follow your own path instead of just going with the flow. If you want to take the
reins into your own hands, we are here to help you.