How do you tell someone that they have bad BO?

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How do you tell someone that they have bad BO?

Post by jcorozza on Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:06 am

So there's this guy in my game group, someone I consider a friend, and someone who enjoys a lot of the same games I do. Which means we're often sitting next to each other to play them. In the last month or so, I've noticed that he's got some pretty serious BO going on. Enough so that I thought it was me and went to the bathroom to make sure. Will it kill me to sit next to him? No. But if I were potentially putting people off for something that's a pretty easy fix, I think I'd want someone to tell me. And if he were also a ladyperson, I think I'd feel more comfortable bringing it up in a casual way. But as it is, I can't think of anyway to say something that isn't either mean or awkward as hell. Any advice?
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Re: How do you tell someone that they have bad BO?

Post by Wondering on Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:07 am

I don't know that you can do it without being awkward.

I had a 20-something coworker who smelled bad who worked at the desk next to me. And it was worse in winter because he would come in and take off his winter coat and then the smell would immediately infest the entire small room. It was bad. I started asking for more work-from-home days.

We had kind of a jokey relationship, so after a couple months, finally, one day as I was leaving and he was the only one left in the joint office I said, "[Name], you gotta shower more." And he got a big Oh! face and his eyes got wide as I was walking out. And he didn't smell stinky afterward, and we never spoke of it again.

But yeah, it was painful and awkward.

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Re: How do you tell someone that they have bad BO?

Post by waxingjaney on Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:52 am

"Beachhead, we need to talk about your deodorant."
"What do you mean? I don't use deodorant."
"That's what we need to talk about."
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Re: How do you tell someone that they have bad BO?

Post by Guest on Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:17 am

While it would certainly be convenient for everyone if we had a significant degree of control over the way we smell, the reality is that this is harder to achieve for some.

I've had hyperhidrosis for as long as I can remember. It's not something that can be circumvented using conventional means nor is it an "easy fix". The best a person can do is to micro-manage their diet and lifestyle habits to accommodate their condition and even then, it might not be enough. Or you could scrounge up the money for an invasive surgical procedure that's either hit or miss in terms of good results.

Or maybe your friend just doesn't sweat excessively to begin with Shrug.

You're better off being straightforward with your friend. Open with verbally acknowledging the awkwardness of the conversation to be had while reassuring him that you're not trying to be intentionally offensive, and then move on from there.

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Re: How do you tell someone that they have bad BO?

Post by reboot on Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:48 am

If this is a new thing (you mentioned that he started smelling bad, not that he always did), he might changed up products, hygiene routines, or even started exercising and is wearing something he worked out in. It is going to be awkward, but I would say, "Hey _____, I know this is kind of awkward, but in the past couple of months I noticed that your body odor has gotten pretty bad. Are you doing something new?"
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Re: How do you tell someone that they have bad BO?

Post by jcorozza on Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:29 pm

Yeah, it's definitely more recent, which is why I figured it was more likely a change in product/routine, rather than a pervasive problem. It's also very much an armpit-y smell, rather than one from either not washing enough or some other problem.
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Re: How do you tell someone that they have bad BO?

Post by Izmuth on Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:36 pm

I recommend the band-aid method.

Just steaming ahead, confronting awkwardness head on.

"Dude, I feel bad and awkward about telling you this, but I'd want someone to tell me in your position. Your armpits smell. Personally I don't care, so I'll never mention it again if you don't want to, but I could also help you by pointing it out when it happens since humans are really bad at smelling their own smell. Your choice."

^^ But then less serious tone.
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Re: How do you tell someone that they have bad BO?

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