Characteristics of Finnish Men

Finnish men are pretty special; It’s clear that they would have to be, based on their history. In honor of Father’s Day, let’s take a look at what makes them so. Here are some of Finnish men’s most common characteristics.

Many stereotypes of Finns circulate the internet. “Rude, introverted and emotionless, they don’t like small talk, ‘I love you’ is not in their vocabulary”, and so on. These of course, are the hardly adequate descriptions of those who do not know us.  So, I’m here to set the record straight, at least about Finnish men in particular.

Because the truth is that they are pretty special; It’s clear that they would have to be, based on their history.  I don’t just say so because I am one, but I know many and have looked up to many more still.  In honor of Father’s Day, let’s take a look at what makes them so.  Here are some of Finnish men’s most common characteristics.


By definition, to be stoic means to show little emotion, and also to accept whatever is happening around oneself, or at least not panic about it.  As mentioned, one of the problems people have with Finns is that we aren’t always that expressive.  In fact, you might have to get us drunk before we will be.  But this doesn’t mean that we are robots – far from it.

The less expressive we are, the more certain you can be that something is weighing on our mind, actually.  We have taken on a burden, but if we showed emotion about it, it probably wouldn’t be very pleasant to watch.  It’s also probable that we are trying, in a level-headed and logical way, to work out a solution for whatever this problem is.  In the meantime, it can be tricky to distract us from our goal and get us to do something like crack a smile.

Featured Stoic Finn: Heikki Aittokoski


A Finnish man will often be the one to take on a job that others are afraid to do.  There isn’t necessarily a whole lot of sense behind it, at least in terms of self-preservation, so it takes a little boldness, especially when you are considered the underdog by a rather big margin.

“In Sept 1944, Finland surrendered to the Soviet Union. Thorne didn’t.”

Featured Bold Finn: Lauri “Larry Thorne” Törni


Stubborn means a bunch of different things, depending on the circumstances.  You can look at it as bad or good, and perhaps the truth is that it’s both.  With a Finnish man, you have to sometimes accept the bad with the good.

An example of where our stubbornness is usually an asset, is when we believe in an idea. We really will not give up until we see it through, or die trying.

Another is when we know that something needs to get done, and someone needs to be the one to do it.  A stubborn belief that we can be that person, can lead to extraordinary results.

Featured Stubborn Finn: Simo Häyhä


Alright, if we have one real flaw (everyone has to have one, right?) it’s that we don’t always know how to say “when”.  This might be related to the stubbornness, but I think it’s also just the fact that people who put up with a lot of crap need an outlet.  We may begin to over-rely on such outlets.  Finns aren’t exactly known as lightweights in the drinking department, they enjoy big meals, long saunas, working until exhaustion, and probably a lot of other stuff too.


Featured Excessive Finn: Timo Kaukonen


Contrary to some popular belief about our shyness, need for space and such, we’re not always necessarily that shy around people.  Put us in the right situation, and we may very well speak up when nobody else will.  We also don’t usually shy away from pointing out what we see as problematic.  This may come off as rudeness on the surface, but there is a very good reason for it more often than not, and we are used to dealing with people who can take a bit of heat so it’s hard to change it. A Finn appreciates functionality, and when it’s obvious that something is getting in the way of things being fully functional, or if there is some danger, then we must deal with it!

Of course, if the same is done to us we might not always handle it well right away, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t appreciate the opportunity to grow.

Featured Confrontational Finn: Michael “Starbuck” Majalahti


Finnish men do not like to lose.  Of course, few men probably do, but we often take special pride in winning especially because we represent such a small country, against much bigger opponents like Russia or the USA.  When there is something that a Finn is good at, and believes he can be the best at, expect him to up his game very soon if you manage to surpass him, and use clean but creative methods to do so.

Featured Competitive Finn: Teemu Selanne


Finnish men love to forge their own path and think in their own way.  This can be seen in a wide number of different fields, including technology.

We don’t necessarily care about whatever is going on in the world of trends, unless that serves to our advantage.  We are perfectly willing to try new and unproven things, without the crutch of statistical data to aid our decisions – simply based on an instinct for what’s “right” to do.

Featured Innovative Finn: Linus Torvalds

Dry Humored

We have to be a little dry humored, since we spend so much time sweating in the sauna. Actually, it’s our way of trying to lighten any situation.  It can be a little obtuse to some people, but to others it is endearing.  A Finnish man’s humor is based on wit usually rather than being crude or obvious.  We appreciate when people get our jokes, because that is a sign that they get us.

Featured Dry Humored Finn: Lauri Vuohensilta


How many big cities have you counted in Finland?  That’s right, aside from Helsinki, none of them can be counted as very large, with only Helsinki weighing in over 1m, and only five others in the entire country over 100,000.  What this means, in the land of a thousand lakes, is that there is a lot of nature to enjoy.  So it’s no wonder that many Finnish men do enjoy it!

And what about those of us born abroad?  It turns out that we’re not much different. Finnish men everywhere love activities related to, or near nature.

Featured Nature-Loving Finn: Sulo “The Bear Man” Karjalainen


Finns don’t often do things halfway.  They want things to work, and work well.  They want them to last.  They want to make an impression.  They want people to be happy with the quality of what they’ve received.  This, of all possible reasons, is why such a small nation as Finland is so well-known on the global stage today.  It wouldn’t come without hard work, because no one recognizes the efforts of a lazy person.

Even if it is not something traditionally recognized as hard physical labor, you can pretty much count on the fact that a Finn is working to the full extent of his abilities and available resources, in order to accomplish something special.


Featured Hard-Working Finn: My Dad.


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