Saturday, 29 April 2017

Swedes Being Reserved

After you live here a while, you start noticing that Swedes seem quite reserved. 

At first it's hard to put your finger on, but then you begin to recognise the signs. Like how their everyday speech is peppered with a "little" this and a "little" that. It's always a "little"as if they distrust the use of intensifiers. As if they're demonstrating their restraint. They're sensibleness. Swedes rarely exaggerate. 

This makes Swedes seem boring to Brits and American people, who tend to exaggerate desperately in order to elicit some kind of response from Swedes and assert their own individuality. 

But strongly emphasising your individuality is a faux pas! It can be seen as showing you are better than someone else (a serious no-no in Sweden!). It can make you look flashy and imprudent. 

So as Americans and Brits happily machine-gun their audiences with gloriously inflated, half-baked theories displaying their dazzling flair and charisma, Swedes will visibly start backing away. As if they find such comments generally distasteful, but are willing to indulge you. 

After all, you're 'not from around here'. 

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