How to tell a co-worker that they smell bad?

How to tell a co-worker that they smell bad?

by pinchingnostrils
(Peachtree City Ga)

We have a co-worker that smells really bad. What should we do?

Dec 06, 2010
How To Help "Pinching Nostrils"
by: Kevin (Modern Manners)

Dear Pinching Nostrils,

I feel for you. When you have a sensitive sniffer, it is difficult to bear any kind of unpleasant odor.

The truth is, I am not aware of a tactful way to tell someone that they stink. So, how do you deal with it?

Is it a common occurrence with this co-worker? It is possible that it was a one time deal and you won't have to deal with it in the future.

If it is a common thing, I would probably decide to endure it instead of offending them. If I only had to talk to them infrequently, I would not say anything and just endure the times that I did have to be around them.

If you must be around them all the time, you might want to observe who has the best relation with that person and see if they would feel comfortable talking about it. The news will be best received from someone that the co-worker is comfortable with.

This is a difficult situation and you should proceed with care. Depending on the relationships and work interaction, there could be more to lose in talking about it than if you were to lose your lunch from the stench.

Good luck!

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