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
After summarizing what I saw, what I heard from an Ecuadorian, Belarusian, Moldovan, Taiwanese and other people, I can say that the Swedish personality is unfriendly and cold. The Swedes avoid almost any contact, they can start chatting in the bar only if they drink a lot. After work or study, almost everyone goes home and does not communicate with anyone. They entertain only on weekends, and often drink heavily the alcohol they bought in advance (as it is not sold on weekends). On working days they complain that they are so tired of their 6-hour working day of doing nothing, while all the hard work is done for them by immigrants, not only Africans and Arabs, but also numerous Slavs: Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians …
Positive traits of the Swedish personality
Of course, Swedes also have positive traits. They are very athletic and hardy, very punctual, and they have everything exactly set. A Taiwanese guy in the second hostel where I stayed, told me how he received a card from a Swedish bank. He was told that the card would come in 2 weeks (unthinkably long for Asians), but they said even the exact hour when it would be delivered. And, it indeed arrived. 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. As it is typical for many Europeans, Swedes who earn their 5-10 000 euros a month, law-abidingly come on the safe Swedish car, carbon footprint of which they know better than the quantity of horsepowers, take out some packages of jars and bottles and hand over 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).
They, like Germans and Swiss, don’t like to boast of their wealth. I have already noticed that this is common in countries where there are no very poor people and there is no point in showing your Porsche when a neighboring cleaner can afford it. Unlike countries like Russia or Saudi Arabia, where material inequality is very high, and the rich LOVE to emphasize it. Swedes ride simple and reliable Swedish cars, which they can buy after a month 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 design 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 the name, it is the largest shopping center in Scandinavia. Although it is not particularly luxurous, 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 opinion of their personality. Read also about the social problems in Sweden and my tips for traveling on a budget.