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Q: One of my best friends smells hella bad, almost all the time. Can I say something or help in some way that won’t be flat out mean?
A: First off, make sure you don’t just have an overactive sense of smell, and that they actually omit an offending odor before you spring into action. Next, figure out what is causing the smell. Halitosis, stanky feet, or just good ole B.O. are common culprits.
Before you decide how to address the issue, asses their personality and your relationship. If they are of the humorous variety, try making light of the situation with some friendly teasing. Using odorous toes as an example, the next time they are barefoot around you, make a gagging noise and demand to know what died in their shoes.
If the subject is more sensitive, pull them aside and offer some advice. Try relating to their plight with a “Hey, I used to have really bad breath until I started gargling with peroxide.” (Disgusting, but effective btw.) If you can make them feel like they aren’t super-smelly-freakazoids, they are less likely to feel threatened and actually listen.
Overall, it’s up to our friends to alert us to this type of thing. I would hope that my bffs would tell me if I had food in my teeth, or a bat in the cave, and would thank the person that kindly alerted me to the fact that I smelled like a walking arm pit.
Photo from: Charles Shulz, coloring-book-pages.com