How to Tell Your Roommate He Smells

how-to-tell-your-rommmate-she-smellsHow do you tell your roommate that he or she needs to shower more, without hurting their feelings or creating a conflict? Dr. Fayr Barkley has some good advice.

There are several things to consider before you approach your roommate with a bar of soap. Take into account the closeness of your relationship, cultural differences and emotional sensitivity. “Think in terms of how you would like to hear it from someone,” Dr. Barkley writes for “The words you would want to hear, the sincerity of the person, the benefits you would want to know about having good hygiene and some points on how to go about making the change.”

There may be other factors at play besides obliviousness. “I have known several people over the years, men and women, who actually use their body odor as a deterrent to making new friends or allowing people to get close to them. It is a way of putting up a wall to keep society away; a sort of boundary against letting the world in.” Barkley even suggests making a gift of some particularly nice shower products.

9 Responses to “How to Tell Your Roommate He Smells”

  1. jason t says:

    i would be too embarrassed .

  2. Bunny says:

    Good advice, hard to follow up on….

  3. Nancy e says:

    I had to tell a roommate once that people were talking about her cigarette odor. She had no idea….but she was glad to know. She didn’t quit smoking, but she cleaned up her act with better hair hygiene and dry cleaning stuff more often.

  4. PCB says:

    This is why institutional living is difficult–a military barracks would quickly deteriorate into an unacceptable living space except for daily inspections by
    drill sergeants and tack officers.

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