Swedish Personality Traits and Character
Swedish personality is something ambiguous that it is impossible to understand without knowing these people closer or without hearing the opinions of foreigners living in Sweden.
For them, in contrast to their countries, it is possible to recognize the Swedish personality traits.
Having visited Stockholm, I wanted to plunge into the local culture and understand how the Swedes think and what their personality traits are. To get to know it better, I talked with Swedes and foreigners in Stockholm.
My impression of the Swedish personality traits
Negative traits of the Swedish personality
It’s hard to have a full picture of a whole nation after a short trip. I will however try to summarize what I noticed and heard from Ecuadorian, Belarusian, Moldovan, Taiwanese, and other people who lived there.
Not surprisingly for a Nordic country, the Swedish personality is relatively unfriendly and cold.
The Swedes often avoid contact and become more open to chatting in the bar only after several drinks. After working or studying, most people go home (as it gets dark early) and don’t socialize much, some go to the gym.
Most entertainment is on weekends, and Swedes often drink a lot of alcohol that they bought in advance (as it is not sold on weekends).
Some people told me that the Swedes also like to complain about their work, although it’s common to have 6-hour working days and the Swedish vacation leave is one of the longest in the world.
Let me know if you agree or not, I’m open to your opinions.
Learn about Swedish social and immigrant problems
Positive traits of the Swedish personality
Of course, Swedes also have many positive personality traits. Most people are very athletic and hardy, very punctual, and they have everything exactly set.
In the second hostel where I stayed, a Taiwanese guy told me about receiving a card from a Swedish bank. He was told that the card would arrive in 2 weeks (unthinkably long for most Asians), but they gave him the exact time it would be delivered. And it did!
Intercity transport here comes a little beforehand, and drives off exactly the minute it should, the stores close exactly at X:00.
Swedes are very concerned about the environment. Typically for many Europeans, Swedes earning their 5-10K euros a month, law-abidingly drive their safe Swedish cars (which carbon footprint they know better than the horsepower) with packages and bottles to return them in a supermarket.
Swedes are so fond of recycling that they even take garbage from Great Britain, Germany, and Italy, and recycle it (this is not a joke).
Similar to Germans and Dutch, Swedish people don’t like to boast about their wealth. I noticed that in many countries where there are no very poor people, and there is no point in showing off with your Porsche if a neighboring cleaner can afford it.
Unlike countries like Russia or some Arabic countries, where wealth inequality is very high, the rich LOVE to emphasize it. Swedes ride simple and reliable Swedish cars, which they can buy after a month or two of work.
But they always keep an eye on their good appearance, not trying to keep up with the latest squeak of fashion, but trying to dress stylishly.
In addition, Swedish design also reflects the Swedish personality. Stylish minimalism, nothing superfluous, but beautiful. Most of all, I saw this design not in shops with designed goods or the museum of modern art (also of architecture and design), but in a shopping center with the majestic name “Mall of Scandinavia”.
Its appearance corresponds to its name, it is the largest shopping center in Scandinavia. Although it is not particularly luxurious, there are quite ordinary brands there, about 60% of which are in most shopping centers in Poland. But you walk around it like in a museum, where every detail is interesting.
This is my opinion about the Swedish personality traits. I was in Stockholm, and the capital is not always the best indicator for the whole country, and in 3 days I could not fully understand the nature of the Swedes, but I formed an opinion of their personality. Read also about the social problems in Sweden and my tips for traveling on a budget.