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How to tell a friend or co-worker they smell bad
Telling a Friend they stink isn't easy
Have you ever had a friend or co-worker that you can smell coming from a mile away? Their body odor smells worse than toxic waste and the flowers wilt when they walk by your cubicle? How do you politely tell them that they stink more than Bambie's adorable little skunk pal Flower? Just like Bambie's friend Thumper, you've been taught that "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin at all..." So does that mean you have to choke back your bile or run in the other direction when they try to approach you?
Try the subtle approach
Maybe you don't have the nerve to come right out and say it to your co-worker's face. Try telling them in a subtle way.
Keep air freshener spray at the ready, along with a gas mask or nose plugs. When the offending smell enters your cubicle, subtly slip the gas mask or nose plugs on. You can surround your work area with scented candles and tell everyone that your shrink told you to try aroma therapy when you are stressed out, instead of carrying your concealed weapon.Or try following about 3 feet behind them spraying your can of air freshener. They probably won't even notice! If you get trapped on an elevator with the olfactory offender, try holding your breath until you reach your floor. If they ask why you are turning bright red or passing out, tell them it is elevator etiquette not to hog all the "fresh air". Nothing suspicious about that...
Another subtle approach might be "showering them with gifts." Try giving them gifts like soap, deodorant or perfume. Cash bonuses are so impersonal, at least you'll come across as thoughtful! Or, tell them that in these hard times, it might be difficult for people to afford proper hygiene products. You are just practicing random acts of kindness. Who can argue with that?
Sometimes, subtly does not work. Some people just can't take a hint. If your hints don't seem to be working, it's time to find Frank. Ask him to tell the person that they stink!
If you are unfortunate enough to not have any friends or co-workers named Frank, then you might have to tell the person they smell yourself. Just come right out and tell them. Explain that you have an extremely sensitive gag reflex that goes off every time they approach you. If they don't want you to throw up on their very expensive shoes, they have to do something about that rancid odor emanating from their person. Remember you are doing them a kindness! Dry cleaning is expensive these days...
Anonymous but to the point
Okay, some of us just don't have it in us to say such nasty things, even when they are true. Don't think of yourself as spineless or wimpy, you are just too kind-hearted to look someone in the eyes and beg them to take a shower before everyone in the office catches swine flu. Just because you don't have the guts to say it to their face, doesn't mean you can't try a much more passive-aggressive method!
SEND A DEODORGRAM: Until they come up with an app, and no doubt there will eventually be an app for everything, there is another way. An enterprising company, G.B. Proudfoots Natural Body Care Products, creates a full line of natural deodorants called "For Pit's Sake". They are offering to send an anonymous gift with a pre printed message that will definitely get the point across! For around $10, you can send a "deodorgram", a gift-wrapped stick of deodorant with a not-so-subtle note attached.
You can select from 3 different messages:
- Message A: "You've always been such a cute little stinker, now you can just be cute and little! Please enjoy this hard working natural deodorant sent to you from a caring friend."
- Message B: "For Pits Sake! Throw out your current deodorant and give this one a try. You deserve a natural deodorant that works!"
- Message C: "There''s no need to sweat it, but if you do, try this natural deodorant that works!"
The best part is that it is completely anonymous! This is a passive-aggressive personality's dream solution. So, if you are Minnesota nice---it might be worth the investment!
Now, if only you could find someone to tell your co-worker that polyester pantsuits aren't really flattering for anyone...maybe there's an app for that?