Personal space and silence

When I think Finnish people and Finnishness, the first things that come to my mind are personal space and high tolerance with silence. The Finnish way of communicating can seem rude and impolite because the majority of countries have more talkative speech cultures than Finland.


The Finns are private people who expect a high level of personal space. For example there is unwritten rule, if there is free seats available in bus, you can’t sit next to a stranger. It’s considered very weird behavior. Finnish people don’t feel comfortable to be close with strangers. The closer Finns are together, the closer is their relationship.


In fact, silence in Finland is a sign of listening, respect and/or comfort. Finns differ most from
other nationalities in their high tolerance of silence and willingness to remain silent in conversation. A Finn doesn’t grow nervous if there are breaks in the conversation; silence is regarded as a part of communication.


Pic: Me




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