How to spot an angry Finn?

Getting angry is more of a private life thing for us Finns. In work life, you rarely see a fuming Finn. In our upbringing and education, we are taught that emotions do not belong to the office.

I have worked with Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, British, Norwegians, French, Russians, Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians. It has been a great experience observing the behavior differences of all of these nationalities. As a summary, I would say that in work life, a Finn is calm as a cucumber but breathtakingly straight-forward for many. In private life however, most Finns show emotions and for sure, get mad.

Poker face

Finns, especially men, have a good poker face hiding their feelings. However, when we are truly crossed, every facial expression is showing it. If you can read our anger from our face, you really should know that we are enraged and that the situation is serious.

Silent treatment

This type of anger is common with Finnish ladies and especially used in relationships. You may wonder, as we do not talk that much in general, how you can tell that you are getting silent treatment from someone and not just regular Finnish zero-communicating which is not negative at all.

The trick is to check body language and other voices. Leaning towards other direction, avoiding all eye contact, sighing and shrugging shoulders are all strong signs of silent treatment.


A long and loud sentence of all possible swearing words comes out of a Finn’s mouth. Yep. We are angry.

Storming off

Storming off, slamming doors, throwing things or causing a scene is only done by kids and teenagers in Finland. These reactions are all seen as childish behavior. If an adult Finn would do any of these publicly, they would be ashamed for weeks.

I wish you fun people-watching!

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