It may be hard to believe, but not all countries in our world favor the extroverted way of going about life. There are quite a few introverted countries and cultures that value introversion and appreciate quiet individuals.
Imagine living in a country where people don’t expect you to verbally express your interest in the weather, spend your college nights partying, or worst- be enthusiastic in the workplace.
You get the idea, no need to spam you with social standards now.
I think any introvert fancies the idea of living in an introvert-friendly country where they can be themselves. Simple as that, right? Oh, but Life is not that simple. Nonetheless, a summer solo trip to one of these most introverted countries can be enough for an introvert to recharge their social battery.
5 Introverted Countries And Cultures That Value Introversion
So Japan is unique. On one hand, Japanese culture is really introverted. You can’t go around meddling in everyone’s business and not be frowned at.
Poeple there tend to be super focused and literally mind their own business. That means that they don’t really care about public curtsey or striking up a conversation with a stranger next to you at the bus stop or on the train. Trains in Tokyo can be packed with people, yet you hear nothing but sweet silence inside. Crazy.
An island country the size of California with a population of 125 million (2020) living in harmony can only be described as introverted.
On the other hand though, when you interact with Japanese people as individuals you’ll quickly notice that most of them are outgoing and not so much introverted.
People there can party and drink hard at night, yet they would wake up at 6 am and head to work like it’s nobody’s business. So basically you’re free to behave however you want as long as you’re respectful. In fact, your introverted tendencies can be much more appreciated in Japan than any western country.
The core feature in Finnish culture when socializing is negative politeness. This means that the Finns find it impolite to do unnecessary things just for the sake of being sociable.
An online Finn friend of mine explained that in Finland, being civilized means you have to give others their personal space, don’t strick up small talk, and keep to your inner circle.
It’s also common for people in Finland to have quiet conversations that are interrupted with pauses. It’s like awkward silence is not a thing in Finland.
Finns are also described by foreigners as shy (which is ofter related to introversion). There’s an old joke about how the Finns express affection to one another and it goes this way: “How can you tell if a Finn likes you? He’s staring at your shoes instead of his own”. This is cute.
They’re also very humble. Finnish society probably encourages this quality because of the Lutheran culture that promotes hard work and obedience.
The culture in Finland is no doubt one of introversion, and It’s definitely on my bucket list.
Sweden has a quiet atmosphere that would definitely align with our introverted lifestyle. Doing my research, I found it mentioned several times that the Swedish culture is very respectful of personal bubbles and that it’s the right place to live happily and successfully “without being the outgoing, partying football player type”.
Sweden is also a place where public expression of one’s own beliefs is not so much valued. Swedes are quite reserved, so not pushing your opinions on others and keeping to yourself is seen as a sign of humility there.
Just keep in mind that it can be a bit hard to make friends if you are looking for ones there while traveling. But it’s still a generalized POV. People of course are not all the same.
Lituania is actually the most introverted country in the world based on the popular 16 Personalities aggregate test results.
Lithuanians as individuals are often described by ex-pats as reserved but not unfriendly, rational, and introverted. You will definitely fit in if you’re a calm and quiet person.
People there regard quietness as a very appreciated quality only wise people possess, so you can see how an introvert may find Lituania as his heaven when you consider its green spacious lands, cold outside / cozy indoors atmosphere, and the nature of its people.
Oh, I love Switzerland! It has always been a wish of mine to visit this beautiful country in the winter, and my wish grew even stronger after reading Chanta’s article about how leaving the US for a job in Switzerland helped her ditch the extrovert facade and go back to her introverted nature.
In her article she described her workplace as” wonderful for someone like me: you never had to make small talk—no one in Swiss culture made small talk. And if you acted overly excited about almost anything work-wise or even not work-wise, the Swiss put you in your place. No one played ping-pong; there was no ping-pong. Productivity was rewarded—wasting time being a cheerleader was not.”
She talked also about Swiss poeple and I quote ” Swiss valued quiet—it was reflected in the country’s hiking obsession—over 60,000 kilometers of trails crisscrossed the tiny country and if you weren’t enjoying their solitude every Sunday, you were culturally amiss. Reserved and contemplative, the Swiss didn’t even smile at each other when passing by on the street—which, thanks to my initial fake extroversion, I had to learn the hard way. Loud enthusiasm had no place in Switzerland—unless you happened to be a church bell.”
The way I see it, Switzerland is the ultimate heaven for introverts.
Even for a social or an outgoing introvert, living in an extroverted country like the united states can be draining at some point in their life.
Introverts are pressed to be more, do more, talk more for them to be socially accepted in Western culture.
So it’s a relief to know that there are some countries and cultures that actually value introverted tendencies and normalize solitary activities. And even though the information I found on these countries is generalized, they still count in my introverted opinion as major factors to consider when looking for places to visit.
Hope this article was helpful, and as always; any feedback is very much appreciated!