How do you know if you’ve pissed off a Finnish person?
Finns are a straightforward people, hard to make friends with; but when you do, you have a friend for life! That is the truth.
But how can you figure out if you’ve pissed someone off?
Truth is – you may not know at all, expect for subtle changes in behaviour. A person may stop interacting with you at all, leaving you rather confused. You get left out of conversations, groups and happenings. You can ask directly, but you may not get any kind of response. It’s very confusing, especially if you’re dealing with folks who don’t share the same mother tongue as you do.
I’ve experienced this a lot recently. I’ve finally gotten brave enough and interact with a lot more Finns than I did in the past. I understand that I can’t make everyone happy, but for the love of… Get over the silence and give feedback – a non-native Finn cannot expect to integrate or change if you don’t tell them what they’re doing wrong!
One thing I want people to understand is that I do NOT understand everything that is going on around me in spite of people thinking that I do. There are plenty of nuances and bits of behaviour that I am trying to get my head around (i.e. there are subjects you shouldn’t comment on). The Mr. once told me that friends of his do not like my direct approach to things or my very outspoken manner on certain subjects. Fine, but that doesn’t make me a bad person.
I come from a different culture than Finnish people, please give me a break. I may have been here for a long time, but I am still trying to figure it it all out. This is and will be a lifelong project.
I understand that the things I say and do may not make Finnish people happy, but please don’t hold it against me, I am trying, really!! It seems that if someone has a problem with you, they’ll never get past that. And geez, that really sucks. I wish that if people had a problem with my actions they would just say so, it would really do a LOT to clear up these very awkward and uncomfortable situations we find ourselves in.
Maybe it’s just me… <shrugging> <scratches head – again>