Would you tell a friend that they smelt bad?

France
April 12, 2007 1:08pm CST
Its getting to that time of year when all the wooly jumpers are put away and people start going to work in thin shirts or tshirts again. I have no problem with people getting hot and sticky if they then have a nice wash, but occasionally I find myself working with people who frankly have very poor personal hygiene. If we were gardeners or doing manual labour that would be fine, but we work with the public in a customer care role, so the question is, how would you tell a friend or co-worker that they were getting a bit smelly without hurting their feelings?
4 people like this
12 responses
• Philippines
12 Apr 07
I would definetely tell my friend if he smells! I would want them to do the same for me. I't will be better if I would tell him myself other than some stranger.
@evlo173 (436)
• United States
13 Apr 07
Yes, I agree; Definitely pull your friend to the side and tell him/her privately that you have a bad odor on you, do something about it.
2 people like this
• United States
12 Apr 07
this is a hard one truely cause i have been in this spot before. in fact i have neighbors right now that think they need to come over all the time and they smell really bad. also i have been in management and had to tell people to take a bath. i even had a friend that had this issue. with each one i have taken different methods to tell them. my friend it was easy i just said hey girl the soaps you are using are not mixing with your body chem it smells ok alone but not on you. you might need to try something different i have that prob with ivory. i dont but it made it smoother. she took the hint and was like thanks i didnt relize. now for the ones next door i have tried to be nice about it by saying little things. i have even got them bath soaps and said here thought you might like these. i have even asked how often they change the litter box. finally the other day i told them stand over there out of the wind plz or go home. they just moved out of the wind area. sad huh. now when it was an employee it was really hard. i had employees comign to me saying things and before it got really bad i decided to have a meeting and just made it clear that from now on if you smell bad or wear alot of perfume you were going home. it worked cause i kept looking at them every chance i got. try dropping hints or like i did with my friend. or bring up you saw on tv where some people have a chem in there body make up that makes whatever they wear smell bad and then little by little go to them. good luck though
3 people like this
@villageanne (8579)
• United States
13 Apr 07
I used to work in a grocery store and on the first and third of the month, we always dreaded the customers. That time of month just seeemed to bring out the dirty people as we called them. They were not the men who stopped in on their way home from a hard days work. They were the peopole who just did not bath and that is the worst kind of odor. There is a difference in the smell of a person who has not bathed for a week than there is from a person who has worked all day. We never told them that they smelled bad but we kept the lysol handy. I would tell my husband or daughters but not anyone else.
2 people like this
@brokentia (10397)
• United States
12 Apr 07
I guess that would depend on how close you are to that person and how that person would react. Example, I had a co-worker that I would have been able to tell him by making him ask me a question. If he just came in from outside taking a break, I could just ask him, "Did you just come in from outside? It must be hot!" LOL He would then ask me if he stunk. LOL He was very concerned about offending others. Heck, I had this on person that would come to me and ask me if he smelled because he gets nervous in meeting and was nervous before a meeting. LOL Don't know why I became the smell monitor. But I guess I just have an open and accepting look about me. ha ha But for those that would not accept it well...no, I would not say anything. Just because you know it would not go well.
2 people like this
• Malaysia
13 Apr 07
I have a friend who smell bad too but I don't tell him that fearing it might hurt his feelings and our relationship!! I do not know whether that makes me a better friend or not.
1 person likes this
@emjay9 (249)
• Philippines
13 Apr 07
if your a true friend, you'll tell him/her so that they could change and improve. how would you feel if a stranger would be the one to tell you that? and besides we listen to our friends right? it's better to let them know but make sure that you'll say it in a nicest way possible. no matter how close you are, hearing that you stink is embarrassing. so tell it nicely, maybe in a joke or say it subtly but make sure they notice. who knows maybe you just smelled him'her in a wrong time. or maybe he/she just forget to put on a deodorant, worse take a bath. eeww
@rhinoboy (2129)
13 Apr 07
When I was at school, I worked as a housekeeping porter in a hotel at weekends (I would move supplies and linens to the maids). One woman who normally worked late, the one that would turn down your bed and leave a chocolate on your pillow etc. had a terrible hygeine problem. It went on for a while until a guest had commented on it. The housekeeping manager (who was feisty as a terrier and blunt as a spoon) told her to "go into an empty room and take a shower because, frankly, you stink" , presenting her with new underwear and tights (pantyhose?). I certainly didn't envy that manager her task, but things were a lot more pleasant next time I went into work!
1 person likes this
@stella1989 (2277)
• India
13 Apr 07
In my case if its MY friend who smells badly..I would just tell them firmly to help themselves or will gift them a perfume!! Thats it.. easy and simple!!Well if he/she is your friend he/she will never mind it after all we are helping thme only.!! So whats the big deal?
@Gemmygirl1 (2872)
• Australia
13 Apr 07
Well co-worker is a little different - if it were a friend you could be very subtle about it, wait until a holiday or birthday & make them a nice little gift basket which includes scented bath crystals, bath salts, bubble bath, deodorants, body wash, moisturiser & such - then they can use all the nice smelling stuff & will only see it as being like a nice 'relaxation' gift :) Well, that's what i'd do for a friend, as for a co-worker, maybe you could run it by your boss or something & see if he/she have any idea about how to deal with the situation. Sorry you have to put up with it, i cant imagine being in your position! Or, you could take a nice bottle of scented body wash & brag about how nice it is - if this co-worker or friend seems interested, tell him/her to take it with them, try it & see what they think - they wont know what your reason is for having it but it might do the trick! Good Luck! :)
@mlgb_24 (638)
13 Apr 07
i can't tell a co-worker if they smelt bad..but i can certainly tell a friend. i would tell them first that i am just being honest with them and that i don't want other people to be talking about them, or it hurts me to hear other people talk about them because they smelt bad - it's gossiping already...and then i would tell her what i think, of course in a private place...if she/he gets mad at me, that's fine..truth hurts..but at least my conscience is clear in sending out the message to my friend. i did it once before in high school, and she is still a close friend of mine until now.
1 person likes this
@vikaszee (20)
• India
13 Apr 07
Ideall y i should ahve but practically I would not , the reason being i myself smell bad, despite of so much dental tratments i ahv etaken , my doctos have told me that my gums have swallowed , How can i expect to advice somebody on how he or she smells in such a case .
@AdamMax (260)
• United States
13 Apr 07
You must tell them regardless of their feelings. It will be a lot worse when everyone avoids them, or puts clothes pins on their noses.