Five Cultural Mistakes to Avoid in Sweden

Moving to a new country can be quite daunting, especially if you don't know any locals. And if the new country you move to happens to be Sweden, the weather is not everything you need to look out for. The culture in Sweden is drastically different, and a lot of the norms and ways are hidden. In many countries, you will hear a lot about not pointing your finger at someone, or not touching someone's head or other such physical gestures. But cultural faux pas in Sweden can be pretty invisible. So here are some quick tips which can help you at work and in social situations:

1. Avoid exaggeration - Magnifying and stretching the truth is not appreciated. During a conversation, it is best to be humble and to not show off.

2. If a discussion for any reason turns into an argument, Swedes will probably just change the subject. Avoid raising your voice or expressing your anger by shouting. Doing so is seen as a lack of self-control and will be frowned upon.

3. In some cultures, people tend to gain trust by knowing more about the other person - family, political views and so on. But not in Sweden. Avoid getting too personal, at least not right in the beginning.

4. Racist and sexist jokes are not accepted here at all. Be careful! Be mindful of humour in general.

5. Swedes are proud of their culture. And this culture might be very different than yours. Avoid making fun of their way of life or culture. If you are curious about something, simply ask your colleagues and friends and have a healthy discussion


Are you new in Sweden and wondering how to build a network? Read our post on - Eight Steps to Build a Social Network like Swedes

To learn more about the Swedish work culture, check out our online courses: