Why Swedes leave the last piece of fikabröd…

Everyone does it.  You’re enjoying a great fika with your friends or colleagues and you keep eyeing that last piece of fikabröd.  You look at your friends, and they’re all busy in conversation but really, they’re thinking the same thing as you.  They all want it, but no one wants to reach for it.

Guest writer Karin Leman (@le_karin) discusses why it is #TrulySwedish to leave the last piece of fikabröd, but more interestingly, why we should all stop doing it!

I’m a true Swedish girl, born and raised in Sweden. Almost my entire life has been spent in this country (except a few vacations to various countries and a six month stay in Spain were I was supposed to study Spanish) but despite this I still wonder a few things about us Swedes.

How come we have such a problem with success?  My experience is that as soon as someone is promoted at work, or worse, when someone becomes famous, we immediately start to find flaws.  We start to become suspicious about how he or she made the way up.  For example, at work, the rumor might be that he or she had an affair with the boss, or that he or she knows something secret and is using it as blackmail… I can go on and on!  I have heard people saying that they don’t want credit for something good they’ve done, at least not credit that’s made public. At work, it has almost become a rule not to work too hard just in case someone starts to recognize it and begins to spread rumors.

People are afraid of taking advantage of opportunities when they are presented. I have seen colleagues eyeballing the empty office thinking, “Wow, how nice it would be with that chair that no one uses.”  When someone finally dares to take it, the others don’t talk to the “thief” for a month.

I guess part of this is that we don’t want to be “better than anyone else” for any reason, and that is probably why we ALWAYS leave the last piece of fikabröd.

It drives me nuts! I can’t accept this, it’s time we start to congratulate each other instead of looking down on successful people!  I think we would be unstoppable if we changed our view about success!

Let’s start by fighting over the last piece of fikabröd, you better be fast if I’m around!

What do you think?  Is this #TrulySwedish behavior?  I’ve heard about the afraid of success thing, and the afraid of being better than someone else, but I never though of it this way.

I won’t fight Karin for the last piece of fikabröd, but that’s not because I’m afraid of success. I thrive in success — don’t forget, I’m American — but I need to watch my waistline… 🙂

One thought on “Why Swedes leave the last piece of fikabröd…

  1. Pingback: Characteristics of Swedish business culture | trulyswedish

Leave a Reply