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modern_muslimah
12-25-2011, 01:55 PM
Last night, my husband and I were discussing how one of our friends has lately smelled really bad. This is a dear friend who is a nice guy. He's been staying with us because he has been working on an art project at our place of worship. For some reason he isn't showering and he's smelling quite bad. I understand some people don't shower everyday but this has gone way past that point. Our living room has his smell because that is where he normally sleeps when he stays with us. I don't even want to sit in it right now. It's becoming quite bad. He went back home to visit his family for the holiday but honestly, I'm a little scared for when he come back. Neither my husband nor I know how to bring this up. Have any of you ever had to bring this with a friend or loved one? If so, how did you do it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Ziggy
12-25-2011, 01:59 PM
Is it something that always was an issue with him?

Because not taking care of yourself to that extent (assuming that he normally does) might be a symptom of depression or other mental issues.

P.S. I always thought you were a guy. :P

orbitz
12-25-2011, 02:30 PM
Have you already given him an Xmas gift? If not then when he returns to your house give him some bars of handmade soap and a lufa sponge. You can casually say something like, "We saw these incredible handmade soaps from store xxx. We've used them and think they're incredible. Why don't you try them out now and let us know what you think. We really want your opinion of them. As a matter of fact, go use our shower now to test them out. Here are the towels..." Perhaps that will give him the hint? ;)

If you guys are dear friends then I think your husband should be able to bring up the subject when he and the friend are alone together and, like Ziggy said, try to see if there's something going on in his life that is making him forget his personal hygiene.

Ziggy
12-25-2011, 02:58 PM
Yes, it's much better if your husband brings it up without you being present.

modern_muslimah
12-25-2011, 03:24 PM
Is it something that always was an issue with him?

Because not taking care of yourself to that extent (assuming that he normally does) might be a symptom of depression or other mental issues.

P.S. I always thought you were a guy. :P

He's never been the type to shower everyday but he usually at least washes up every couple of days. So BO hasn't been an issue in the past. I do wonder if something else is up.


Have you already given him an Xmas gift? If not then when he returns to your house give him some bars of handmade soap and a lufa sponge. You can casually say something like, "We saw these incredible handmade soaps from store xxx. We've used them and think they're incredible. Why don't you try them out now and let us know what you think. We really want your opinion of them. As a matter of fact, go use our shower now to test them out. Here are the towels..." Perhaps that will give him the hint? ;)

If you guys are dear friends then I think your husband should be able to bring up the subject when he and the friend are alone together and, like Ziggy said, try to see if there's something going on in his life that is making him forget his personal hygiene.

This is a good idea orbitz. We haven't given him a gift yet. He actually left in a bit of a rush yesterday to go back home. So the idea of soaps as a gift is a good one. My husband isn't quite sure how to bring up this issue with him but if it continues he may not have a choice but to talk to him directly about it.

Southpaw
12-25-2011, 03:49 PM
Oh, I don't think giving the dude soap is a very good idea. That's a very passive-agressive way to deal with the situation and it's humiliating. Maybe this guy is unique, but I don't know very many men who would even want soap as a gift so it would be taken exactly for what it is: a passive-aggressive jab at him. Let your husband have a dude to dude talk with him to take care of the situation, humiliating the guy by giving him soap isn't going to fix the problem and will likely make the situation worse, but a reasonable man to man chat likely will. You can't be involved in that conversation so you'll need to make yourself scarce when it happens. The guy probably doesn't even realize he smells as bad as he does.

ballettmaus
12-25-2011, 04:09 PM
My husband isn't quite sure how to bring up this issue with him but if it continues he may not have a choice but to talk to him directly about it.

How about going with what Ziggy mentioned; your husband could ask if everything is okay in your friend's life because he noticed some changes in his behavior etc.

Christina
12-25-2011, 04:41 PM
Sometimes a direct conversation is best. "Dude, what's up? You stink."

I agree with Southpaw, I wouldn't gift soaps to him, that is passive aggressive. Maybe he can't use the soap you have for some reason. Buy some Ivory (can't just about everyone use Ivory) and have your husband let him know there is new soap just for him. Some people don't like sharing a bar of soap.

birdgal
12-25-2011, 04:45 PM
I wonder, if he is depressed? Lack of hygiene can be a manifestation of depression, especially, if this is not his norm.

It would be tough to tell someone that they need to shower, but I think it could be done in a kind manner and come from the standpoint of concern and caring.

Ziggy
12-25-2011, 04:53 PM
How about going with what Ziggy mentioned; your husband could ask if everything is okay in your friend's life because he noticed some changes in his behavior etc.

If he used to shower every second day, definitely do that.

Lanie
12-25-2011, 05:07 PM
I've known people like this. It was always out of laziness or not liking to bathe/be clean/etcetera and being utterly unaware of it. Ick.

vesperholly
12-25-2011, 07:10 PM
Oh, I don't think giving the dude soap is a very good idea. That's a very passive-agressive way to deal with the situation and it's humiliating.

I agree completely. It may be thoroughly uncomfortable and awkward, but a direct, sit-down chat needs to happen. Maybe it'd be easier if you try to address the cause (why isn't he showering?) instead of the effect (he smells). Especially since you've noticed his habits have changed recently.

If he's gone to visit his family, perhaps one of them will say something.


I've known people like this. It was always out of laziness or not liking to bathe/be clean/etcetera and being utterly unaware of it. Ick.

Going from generally acceptable personal hygiene to extreme stinky is not normal, and it saddens me that you'd think he was lazy. How judgmental.

Ziggy
12-25-2011, 07:12 PM
I've known people like this. It was always out of laziness or not liking to bathe/be clean/etcetera and being utterly unaware of it. Ick.

I've known posters like this. It was always out of laziness and narrow-mindedness and being utterly unaware of it. Ick.

rudi
12-25-2011, 07:29 PM
Normally, I probably wouldn't; however, since he lives with you, and it affects your living space, I would probably just have your husband approach him directly without you present (so as not to embarrass him.) He may not even realize it.

orbitz
12-25-2011, 07:57 PM
Normally, I probably wouldn't;

If you consider him a good friend of yours then you're also doing him a favor by letting him know about his body odor issue since he has to deal with other people in the world also, assuming that he's not living as a hermit. The definition of friend implies that you guys should be able to freely discuss issues with one another. If you have to walk on eggshell around a "friend" then he's really not your friend.