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How shallow and insecure are Swedes?

Solidarity or not?

jose_s
post 9.Feb.2010, 09:41 PM
Post #16
Joined: 3.Jun.2007

after almost six years of living here i have found that it depends on how well you know the person and how well they know you. i have both quite and insecure friends and loud and outgoing ones as well. there tends to be more shallow people living in the bigger cities (all 3 of them) and the country folks are more laid back and to themselves. so im pretty sure someone you just met on Kungsgatan that happens to be timid moved to the big city from a small town. wether they are shallow, insecure, loud, or whatever it does not matter as long as it is who they really are... i'de rather someone just be honest than to fake smiles and compliments.
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EP
post 10.Feb.2010, 12:45 PM
Post #17
Location: Skåne
Joined: 5.Sep.2005

How insecure are Swedes? Very much so, but is it surprising? Look at Jante Law, it would make anyone feel insecure. And this attitude has permated Swedish (and Scandinavian society) for ages.

As to how shallow ... one needs to only look at the amount of hairdressers in any given town.

And although Swedes may think they're stylish, they're hardly original. All girls wear leggings and Canada Goose jackets and the guys dress like stiff manequins ...

Where is the originality??? Oh wait, not allowed, not according to Jante ... ;-)
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Rick Methven
post 10.Feb.2010, 02:17 PM
Post #18
Location: Linköping
Joined: 30.Nov.2005

QUOTE (EP @ 10.Feb.2010, 12:45 PM) *
Where is the originality??? Oh wait, not allowed, not according to Jante ... ;-)

I think that Jante is all but dead. The only remnant remaining with most Swedes is the use of 'du'
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MachineGunGirl
post 24.Feb.2010, 03:45 AM
Post #19
Location: Dalarna
Joined: 21.Dec.2009

QUOTE (Rick Methven @ 9.Feb.2010, 07:32 AM) *
Swedes are much less geographically mobile than other nationalities, they may move out of their hometown to study but a high percentage tend to settle down back where they whe ... (show full quote)

This is true... for us immigrants is very hard to get into a swedish circle of friends. I've been here for 4 years and only have 1 swedish girl friend unsure.gif and that's 'cause she's amazing! She've been traveling, lived with a girl from Costa Rica for a while and also had to move out of town to study and experienced the alienation from her own swedish friends when she came back!

I've met so many swedish "friends"... none of them would call, sms or visit during week days... I believe 'cause is not politically correct to drink from sunday-thursday... so without the personality pump (alcohol), they can't be social...

I also remember one of my bf's friend coming to visit him on a week day... I was singing as I do all the time and he asked my bf "why is she singing blink.gif she drunk?" LOL
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nic_tester
post 24.Feb.2010, 04:46 PM
Post #20
Joined: 17.Jan.2008

Hm, talking to strangers is not swedish but its still possible within the swedish framework. You just need a very sensitive ear to your intended victim, and give WIDE escape-routes so the person doesnt feel cornered.

What people say about circle of friends and bars, well, in my experience, 100% true. Its an extremely annoying and ugly part of our culture.
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DanielC
post 25.Feb.2010, 01:57 AM
Post #21
Joined: 19.Feb.2010

QUOTE (Rick Methven)
The idea that Swedes are insecure because they do not respond with big smiles to the brash in your face Anglo-Saxon approach is so much crap. Swedes are more private, and respect the privacy of others.

Indeed. Personally I like privacy, and I want others to respect my privacy. I hate it when anglo-saxons assume that their own personal culture is some kind of universal standard that everyone else should follow. Note: I am not Swede, but I'm not Anglo-Saxon either.

QUOTE
Swedes are much less geographically mobile than other nationalities, they may move out of their hometown to study but a high percentage tend to settle down back where they where they grew up.

I don't know if Swedes are less mobile than other continental Europeans, but I can tell you that continental Europeans in general are less mobile than people in North America. I know this because it has certain economic and political implications for the EU.

QUOTE
Use of makeup and clothes style is not particular to Sweden, look in any Town in any country and the same style can be seen. Another fall out from globalisation. national identity is breaking down. Kids of the internet age want to be stateless and homogeneous.

This is not due to the internet age. Fashions have been around for a very long time. There has always been a strong inclination in human nature toward conformity, especially within your generation.
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VikingHumpingWitch
post 25.Feb.2010, 07:41 AM
Post #22
Location: Gothenburg
Joined: 21.Dec.2005

All Swedes, 100% of them, are <-----> this shallow and <---------> this insecure.

Sorted.
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Micardo
post 25.Feb.2010, 08:54 AM
Post #23
Joined: 22.May.2006

Swedes are more reserved for sure. As a building trade worker used to the banter and insults of an english site, its a culture shock working on a Swedish site, they are so reserved, so boring to work with. no chat, no banter, "we do our job, we have breakfast 0900, lunch 1230 , talk about hockey or sit and look at each other and eat sandwiches without a lid and drink stewed coffee from our flask."
16.00 we all go home and come back 0700 next day. NO TEA to start the day even !!!!!!!!!!!!! BORING BORING. Take them out on Friday, feed them some alchohol, BANG, your best talkative friend.
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Awaydays
post 25.Feb.2010, 09:21 AM
Post #24
Joined: 2.Feb.2010

You fluent in Swedish? I´ve worked on building sites in Scania and you´ve definitely get some banter there. But most of the lads working there are unable to joke in English so if you don´t speak Swedish it´s easy to get the impression everyone´s strict and boring.
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MTTRN
post 25.Feb.2010, 11:12 AM
Post #25
Joined: 28.Jul.2009

I can totally understand why some people think Swedes are shallow and insecure. Brits for example are conditioned to talk about all kinds of pointless stuff they don`t even really care about from early age and banter is an essential part of their culture. Being unware of this conditioning they would simply brand others who refuse to participate in their rather meaningless conversations as insecure and shallow. They really do think it is the most normal thing to ask someone how they are,if they slept well,what plans for the weekend they have at least 10 times a day and that really is all they talk about and all they want to know about you. People in the UK prefer having the same conversation with someone every day rather than not talk at all (still baffled by this). Every moment of silence is nothing but pain,suffocating pain which only goes away when they start talking/breathing again.

I don`t know, maybe it just me and my perspective on shallowness "How are you x 20 times a day" and insecurity "Oh my god I just stopepd talking, what is he/she going to think about me,I`d better start again before they`ve decided I`m insecure"
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Beef
post 25.Feb.2010, 11:15 AM
Post #26
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 7.Feb.2006

QUOTE (DanielC @ 25.Feb.2010, 02:57 AM) *
Indeed. Personally I like privacy, and I want others to respect my privacy. I hate it when anglo-saxons assume that their own personal culture is some kind of universal standa ... (show full quote)

Just my comment, regarding the Anglo Saxon bit.. Brits are very very very very different to Americans in social behaviour!! I'm a Brit, we don't go round smiling at people, but while we're being general here, we tend to respond to smiles and acts of generosity with likewise gestures. That is seldom the case in Stockholm which I feel is a shame. And many Swedes themselves including my GF also think this and are often shocked and disappointed after living abroad or even being abroad on holiday to non "Anglo Saxon" countries..
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Rick Methven
post 25.Feb.2010, 11:38 AM
Post #27
Location: Linköping
Joined: 30.Nov.2005

A couple of days ago, I picked up my wife from work and was speaking to a colleague of hers who said that the windscreen wipers on her car where playing up and that she had booked it in for repair the next day and was going to wait for her husband to finish work and pick her up so that she could leave the car in the work car park. I offered he a lift home with us which she accepted. The next day we got 2 bunches of Tulips and a nice thank you note for taking her home which involved a detour of all of 50 meters.
There are shallow and insecure people who do not communicate ALL OVER THE WORLD you will find SOME in Sweden but first understand the language and engage with people before you comment. Too many Non-Swedes here engage their mouths before their brain
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Plowbridge
post 25.Feb.2010, 11:43 AM
Post #28
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 11.Sep.2008

laugh.gif Are you sure that your hands didn't wander all over the old girls knees in the jam jar? unsure.gif
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Rick Methven
post 25.Feb.2010, 11:53 AM
Post #29
Location: Linköping
Joined: 30.Nov.2005

Not my type and anyway she was in the back and the missus was watching me cool.gif
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Freja
post 25.Feb.2010, 11:55 AM
Post #30
Joined: 27.Jan.2010

QUOTE (MTTRN @ 25.Feb.2010, 10:12 AM) *
I can totally understand why some people think Swedes are shallow and insecure. Brits for example are conditioned to talk about all kinds of pointless stuff they don`t eve ... (show full quote)

Well said. And like your comments also Rick. Off course there are "shallow" and "insecure" people in Sweden, as anywhere. But branding a whole nationality, any nationality, being "shallow" and "insecure" indicates a HUGE lack of understanding of cultural biases and how they impact our behaviour and how we perceive other peoples' behaviour.

If one can't bother to learn the language, understand the culture or actively engage with the locals who the hell are you to passing judgements? Talk about being "shallow" and "insecure" resorting to your own cultural biases instead of reaching out and trying to understand what it means to be "reserved" or "outspoken" in other cultures. "Reserved" or "silent" back home in your backyard might mean someone is shy. In Sweden it certainly doesn't. People like their, and respect others, privacy here. Something we, and many others, strongly dislikes with Anglo-Saxon culture - this urge of allways being in someone's face - be it meaningless jokes or aggressive and meningless "customer service" with the only objective of increasing sales. But we understand it is a cultural bias.

If you think you can run around the streets of Stockholm/Malmo/Bangkok/Rome/Helsinki/Tokyo/Any city and behave as you do at home and expect everyone to adjust to your biases you need to go back and rethink your life choices. An expat life might not be for you. Perhaps you should stay in your inbred village where you can surround yourself with clones of yourself.

In reagrds to genereosity: Sweden has had hugely, some say overly so, generous approach to refugees - for decades. Long before it became PC on the world stage. The country also is a leader in foreign aid given its size and dish out three times the foreign aid per capita than for example the US and UK. Learn more here: http://www.cgdev.org/section/initiatives/_...cdi/data_graphs
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