How to tell someone their breath stinks!

If your friend has halitosis, read on!

It could be your friend, a family member, or even your husband or wife, but many of us have wondered how to tell someone they have halitosis?

There has to be a good way to do that.

I would estimate that at some time in their lives everyone has suffered from bad breath, so it is a believable situation that we may encounter someone who suffers from halitosis. Where things get uncomfortable however is when that same person continually suffers from bad breath, and may do so in silence. It can be one of the most difficult things to tell a person! It is also frustrating as we know the situation could be fixed by simply letting the person know - but how can we do this while at the same time not embarrassing the individual and making the sufferer feel comfortable? 

They way I have approached this in the past is by telling the person to their face (if it is a close friend or relative) quietly. I have developed a technique for this and am happy to share it with everybody here. I have found the secret of tellings someone they have halitosis is to make it appear as though this is a one time situation. If we make it appear as though the bad breath sufferer has bad breath ONLY on this one day, then the person may not be embarrassed at all - we can make it appear to them that it is only today that their breath is foul, and once the person is alerted to this, they will hopefully make a more significant attempt in the future to come to work or social situations with their breath problem fixed. I have found on a few occasions that once told about this, people are reluctant to arrive with foul breath again. It is something they take a note of and look to never repeat.

Something as simple as pulling them aside for a chat and mentioning: "hey, what did you eat today? I'll see if I can find you a piece of gum." If they apologize be sure to add "hey, don't worry, I stink sometimes too".

What if the person is not a friend of yours? Should you tell them? indeed, should you even care if they have bad breath? I suppose that if you work with them, then yes, you may care. It may give off a poor impression of the company if you are in a service business, or it may even affect the smell of the room that you are working with... In these situations it can be best to leave this difficult conversation up to the boss. After all, he gets paid to make the tough decisions!