Working With Norwegians

Do Norwegians like compliments?

Norwegians are known for their reserved and understated demeanor, which can sometimes make it difficult to know how to interact with them socially. Compliments are a common way to make a positive impression, but it’s important to understand whether Norwegians appreciate them. Here is a guide to whether Norwegians like compliments.

Cultural Context

Norwegians have a culture of egalitarianism, which means that they place a high value on treating everyone as equal. This can sometimes be at odds with the American culture of individualism, where standing out and being praised for one’s accomplishments is highly valued. Norwegians tend to be modest and self-effacing, and they often shy away from drawing attention to themselves.


One reason why Norwegians might not enjoy compliments is that they value modesty. They may not want to appear arrogant or boastful by accepting compliments graciously. This is especially true for compliments about personal appearance, as Norwegians generally place less emphasis on physical appearance than many other cultures.


Another reason why Norwegians might not enjoy compliments is that they place a high value on sincerity. Norwegians value authenticity and honesty, and they may view compliments as insincere or overly flattering. If a compliment comes across as disingenuous or manipulative, it may not be well received.

Situational Factors

While Norwegians may not generally seek out compliments, there are some situations where compliments are appropriate and appreciated. For example, in a professional setting, compliments about someone’s work or accomplishments can be a way to show appreciation and recognition. Compliments about a host’s home or hospitality can also be appropriate and appreciated.

How to Compliment Norwegians

If you do decide to offer a compliment to a Norwegian, there are some things to keep in mind. Here are some tips for complimenting Norwegians:

  1. Be specific: Instead of offering a general compliment, be specific about what you are complimenting. This can help to make the compliment feel more sincere and genuine.
  2. Be understated: Norwegians generally prefer understated compliments that are not overly effusive or exaggerated.
  3. Avoid compliments about appearance: Compliments about personal appearance can be viewed as insincere or superficial.
  4. Use a moderate tone: Norwegians tend to have a moderate tone of voice and prefer conversations that are not too loud or enthusiastic. Keeping a moderate tone can help to make the compliment feel more natural and authentic.


While Norwegians may not actively seek out compliments, there are situations where compliments can be appropriate and appreciated. Understanding the cultural context and values of Norwegians can help to make compliments feel more natural and authentic. By being specific, understated, and sincere, you can offer compliments that will be well received by Norwegians.