The 5 Rules - How to make Norwegian Friends

Source: "The Social Guidebook to Norway"

Rule 1: Get involved first

In an organisation, a sport group, take part in dugnads, in your kids activities, etc.

Norwegians like to be inside social bubbles

These bubbles form naturally around frame activities

Frame activities are the basis of Norwegian socialization


First you get involve in one

You will create social contacts with other people doing the same activity as you do

And social bubbles will form around these activities

Now, how do you get out of these bubbles?

What if you find some of the people especially interesting

And you want to hang out only with them

How do you build friendships and interact with Norwegians outside frame activities?


Here comes rule 2

You need to have a practical reason to get out of the bubble

If you do not have a practical reason

Just make one up

“I just got this really cool fondue set I would like to test"

It will make Norwegians feel more comfortable to get out of their social bubble

And they can justify to themselves why they are doing it

"I am helping him test his fondue set"

You also need to justify why you are not inviting the other people

This is again best done with a practical reason

“My place is too small to invite everyone”

Refrain from giving an "emotional" reason such as

"You are interesting, i want to get to know you better"

Norwegians may feel uncomfortable with so much interest and expression of emotions

You need to keep your distance

Keep it equal

This is rule 4

Do not make Norwegians feel like they owe you something

For example

Do not cook a three-course dinner and spend hours preparing it while paying for all the food

Things should be equal and in equilibrium

The "hytta" article presents another funny example of that

You also need to make Norwegians feel like they can escape the friendship at any moment

This is rule 5

Keep it non-commiting

Leave space


In Summary

The 5 Rules - How to Make a Norwegian Friend

(1) Get involve first

(2) Have a reason to get out of the social bubble

(3) Have a reason not to invite all the others

(4) Keep it equal

(5)  Keep it non-committing

 Good luck

Enjoy Norway


You may need a guide

Also if you are Norwegian

It helps you understand how others may perceive your behaviors

Lucky you I wrote two


By Julien S. Bourrelle

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