How to Tell Someone They Smell

Being around a smelly person makes for an uncomfortable environment and a challenging predicament. Obviously, you would like them to make an effort to smell better, but you would also like to avoid a nasty confrontation or say anything to personally offend them.

In this difficult situation, there remain tactful and considerate ways to get your stinky friends and coworkers to smell better.  By following the below suggestions you can be sure that you’ll be able to deliver your message and have them smelling fresher with minimal collateral damage.

Tactful Ways to Tell Someone They Smell

1 Is It Worth It?

Before moving forward with telling someone that they have body odor on a regular basis, you may want to consider weighing the pros and cons of telling them such a thing. If your delivery of this information does not go smoothly, you can stand to potentially damage the relationship. With this said, think about the amount of time you spend around these people and whether it might be a better solution to keep them on you good side by keeping your lips sealed. Ask yourself the following questions before proceeding:

1) Are they really so smelly that I cannot tolerate being around them?
2) How much time do I need to spend around them every day?
3) How is this information likely to be received?
4) What are the repercussions if informing them goes badly?

2 Boast About a Deodorizing Product

If you use a deodorizing product for your own needs, you can say how wonderful the product has worked for yourself and suggest that other people try it. This objective it to sell the smelly person on a particular deodorizing product regime that will ensure that they buy it and use it within the future. Although this is great in theory, it can be quite challenging to perform this task.  Offend, people who are set within unhygienic habits and no amount of any deodorant will prevent them stinking.

3 Keep the Delivery Light & Focus on Today

If you do decide that you have a good relationship with the smelly friend, family member or co-worker you may wish to consider telling them directly.  If you do decide to do this, outline the issue as a problem for that specific day.  No one ever wants to be known as the “smelly guy” (or girl), and receiving information that you smell today rather than everyday is much easier for someone to swallow.  After delivering the news, most people are likely to make sure that they maintain their hygiene for the foreseeable future.  After all, everyone is allowed to smell bad once in awhile, but noone wants to be known for smelling bad all of the time.

4 Keep Your Anonymity

If you decide that telling the smelly person directly is not an option, then using the following website can help you in delivering your message without revealing your identity.  The website “Stench Informer” will deliver your desired message without notifying the stinky person that you are the one behind it.  All that is required is the person’s email to let them know that their personal stink is an issue.  Note: This method may be easier for the sender, but it will often produce paranoia for the person receiving the email.  Take consideration of the smelly person and decide whether this really is the best way to let them know.

5 Discretion is Key

No matter what you decide, it is always best to keep things discrete. Talk amongst friends and co-workers can be funny, but it is likely to have damaging side-effects if such chatter is to get out of hand. Whether you decide to keep you anonymity or tell them directly, it is best for you to take the initiative and talk to them directly about the problem. No one wants to be an office place joke, so do your part to make sure they don’t become one.


Published by

Joe Fresh

Joe is an odor combatant, chemistry extraordinaire and all around good guy. He has an over-productive olfactory system with absolutely zero tolerance for unpleasant aromas.

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