Swedish Nightmare

You cannot escape

You have no reason to talk

The distance to fellow humans is uncomfortably close

You really hope that no one will come into the elevator

Damn an American comes in!

Asking you weird things

Why on Earth is this complete stranger wondering how you are doing

Don't worry, he doesn't

It is just part of his politeness norms

To ask how people are doing

You can just repeat the question instead of answering

In some place it is polite to look at others in the eyes

Say hi

Ask how you are doing

When entering the elevator

They even say goodbye when leaving

For Swedes this is a nightmare

Swedes can greet

Small talk


But they need to have a reason

a lot of space

And feel like they can escape at any moment


"The Swedes" and "Working with Swedes" present many of the unknown social rules in Sweden

By Julien S. Bourrelle

Book a lecture on www.juliensbourrelle.com 

Watch him on TED