Have you ever had a smelly friend? Someone who consistently emits a foul body odor? What–if anything–did you do?
I ran into this issue a few years ago. There was someone in my friend group who, frankly, smelled bad. I must admit that I didn’t ask anyone else if they noticed the smell, as I don’t like to talk about people behind their backs, but it was to the point where it was difficult to be in an enclosed space with them. I’m not sure if it was a lack of deodorant, not washing their clothes often enough, or something else, but it was bad.
The hardest part was the person truly didn’t know, bless their heart. They’re very considerate of others, and I think if they had known about the smell, they would have acted to fix it.
But just as they were unaware of the smell, I couldn’t figure out how to tell them about the smell. Can it possibly come across any other way than a judgment on their character? I didn’t want to bring that shame to my friend.
That said, if I put myself in their shoes–if I was the smelly friend–I would want them to tell me. Sure, it might sting a little, but at least I would know how my hygiene was impacting those around me. I’m still not sure exactly how I’d want them to tell me, though.
Have you ever encountered this situation? How did you navigate it?