Norwegians and eye-contact

Source: "The Social Guidebook to Norway"

In many places around the world

When you enter a room

You will try to get eye contact with others 

acknowledging their presence

You may also use eye contact to flirt with the opposite sex

You smile 

People will acknowledge you back 

It does not mean that they want to speak with you

But they acknowledge that you are there


In Norway, looking at unknown people is just weird


Norwegians will wonder what you are after

And may easily feel uncomfortable

It is usually not a mean to flirt

Except if it is late at night in a bar

While looking at others is a way to acknowledge their presence in many places around the world

Norwegians will prefer to respect "other people's privacy"

And try not to look at others unless they have a reason to

While Norwegians are polite doing so

It may easily be interpreted as cold or rejecting by foreigners not used to Scandinavian politeness

Norwegians can often be seen in "Syden" entering coffee shops and restaurants without looking at anyone nor acknowledging the other guests in the room

This is surprising for many cultures


Learn more about your own Norwegian social culture and how it may be perceived in the new edition of  "The Social Guidebook to Norway 2"

More about our amazing Norwegian friends in Our Social Guidebooks to Norway 


By Julien S. Bourrelle

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