Social Anxiety and Norway

I’ve got social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, depression and OCD. I don’t write about this as though I’m happy about it. Quite the opposite.


Being an American that is often seen as quiet and shy is not very well welcomed in this culture. I get snarky rude comments, ignorant questions, embarrassing moments, and flat out uncomfortable times. I feel I am supposed to be this outgoing loud person. I am not like that at all. People seem to not know how to handle someone like me. Strange how we celebrate differences in America but my personality differences are not accepted.

Norwegians are reserved, blossoming socially when surrounded by family or friends for whom they are close with only. When my husbands family was warned I don’t do social events easily, I imagine they were surprised. Social events are different there. They are very chill and embarrassing shyness is brushed off as not so embarrassing at all.

3837929-73af09fa_200_200I recall reading Moomin books and there are characters with particular things about their personality that made them different like needing everything clean or liking to be left alone. Norwegians as well as the rest of the North are taught to respect these things about someone’s personality- whether they are seen as peculiar or not.

Have you noticed this about Americans? Is my observation wrong?

5 thoughts on “Social Anxiety and Norway

  1. It’s the same in Australia. Outgoing and extroverted people are the most valued and most rewarded here. My husband and I don’t really fit in – people especially don’t seem to understand and appreciate my husband because he’s a typical stoic Finn. Does your husband have a similar problem in the US?


    1. Everyone says my husband is the nicest person they’ve ever met and do not believe he actually gets mad. They do say he is reserved, however. Kim has to purposely try to seem outgoing but to a point. He comes home and wants nothing to do with people. 😛


      1. Sounds familiar 😀 At least, the part about trying hard to be outgoing… my hubby is seen to be chilled but not necessarily ‘nice’ because he is so honest and doesn’t sugar-coat or say unnecessary stuff just to be polite. Lol.


      2. Sounds to me like he’s quite Finnish. Ha! Norwegians seem a bit more social compared to when I went to Finland. One man actually walked up to me, asking if I was American after hearing me speak English in Norway. We had a full conversation about politics. The guy wasn’t even drunk… haha!


      3. Haha, yep, that would be very rare in Finland without alcohol involved! It’s funny how Finland is the odd one out in many ways when it comes to the Nordic countries 😀 Can’t wait to visit and learn more… so far I have only been to Finland and Sweden.


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