Can You Tell a Coworker That He Smells?

Can You Tell a Coworker That He Smells?

Question: I have a coworker who smells in the office. It isn't terrible but isn't really pleasant. I think it is because he works out in the morning and doesn't shower. I think he might not be aware of his odor.

Do you know how I could bring to light that 1) he smells and 2) do it in a way that will have him shower without upsetting him?

Answer: I've racked my brains on this one, really putting myself in your shoes. I too would feel the same olfactory alarm, and would also wonder how I might make him aware without causing offense.

And yet, no—there is no pleasant, non-upsetting way to tell someone that he smells. You may spend 8+ hours a day in the same room as this man, but you presumably are not one of his "nearest and dearest" confidants. Thus, it's neither your duty, nor your place, to inform him.

In the extremely unlikely event that he ever were to ask you whether he—or something in the general vicinity—smells, then by all means, express your opinion. Until then, keep your thoughts on this one to yourself. And be glad that he doesn't smell truly "terrible."

A scented candle or two can help you get through. These make any room smell like a dream. 

 

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