Are Swedes masochists?

A quick look at a definition of ‘Masochistic Personality Disorder’ tells us that it is ‘A pervasive pattern of self-defeating behavior. The person may often avoid or undermine pleasurable experiences, be drawn to situations or relationships in which they will suffer, and prevent others from helping them’.

There are a few characteristics:

– they choose situations that lead to disappointment, failure, or mistreatment even when better options are clearly available
– they respond with depression, guilt, or a behavior that produces pain
– they incite angry or rejecting responses from others and then feel hurt, defeated, or humiliated
– they reject opportunities for pleasure

I don’t know why, but my mind jumps to Saturday nights in February/March. The annual torture known as ‘Melodifestivalen’ is broadcast as Swedes attempt to select the song to represent them at Eurovision. People compulsively throw themselves into their sofas and watch the drivel that spews out in front of them. One piece of questionable music after another. They watch attentively, they vote.

And then they complain. They complain about the overriding bad quality. They complain about the winning songs. They complain about the host’s dress or hairdo. They complain that the best song didn’t get through. They complain about the dance routines. They complain on social media, during brunch and when they’re out on their Sunday walk.

But yet, the following week they’re there again watching the next episode of this 6-week long debacle.

So are Swedes masochists? Hell, yes!!


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