Is It Okay to Tell Somebody They Stink?
Everybody has at least one of these people in their lives and doesn't know what to do about it.
Perhaps it is a co-worker or colleague, a friend, an acquaintance at church, or maybe even a member of your own extended family. You love the person to the max, but the bad odor that accompanies them wherever they go makes it most unpleasant to be around them.
For the sake of this discussion, let's assume there is no rare medical condition which makes it impossible for the person to adequately manage their body odor. I understand that some people may have allergies or sensitive skin that can make it challenging for them to not stink. This is about the people that don't have that particular problem.
So, the first task at hand is to determine the cause of the offending smell. Do they not shower or bathe regularly? Do they not use deodorant? Do they wear clothes and undergarments that have been worn but not washed for days or weeks? Do they know they have bad body odor?
Most people make it a practice to shower daily, apply deodorant, and slip on clean clothes, but, obviously, not everybody does or we wouldn't be having that discussion. The question is what is the proper protocol for dealing with these nostril offenders? Is it possible to perpetuate good personal hygiene among the offending few?
If someone has a serious problem with body odor should you tell them they stink, or should you just do your best to tolerate the smell when you are around them and allow them to go through the rest of their life alienating everyone they meet?
Let me ask you this question. If you were the one with the offensive body odor, would you want to be told? Seems impossible, but maybe you're not aware that you smell bad and that everyone you come in contact with is noticing it. After living with yourself for so long, it's easy to become nose-blind to your own odor. Maybe you haven't noticed that people tend to stand a long way from you when they talk to you.
I will go on record right now as saying I would definitely want someone to tell me that I am giving off an offensive odor. Yes, it would be embarrassing at the moment - for both people- but it could save me from a ton of future embarrassment. So, yes, tell me that I stink, but please be as kind and tactful as possible. If you truly care about me, you'll tell me.
What do you think? Do the poll below and I will share the results soon.