Classmate who smells awkward moment

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In summary: But the fact that you find his particular body odor unpleasant probably means he wouldn't be a good life partner for you.
  • #1
Femme_physics
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So lately I changed my sitting arrangement to front row to see the board closer and ended up sitting next to the same guy again and again. He's a nice guy and I like him and everything, he even asks me questions a lot with respect to the material we're studying and I'm happy to answer. There's one thing I can't stand though and it's bad smell. Today he smelled really, really, really bad. It actually happened once before but I was hoping it's a one-time occurrence. Turns out I was wrong. I couldn't take it today. I was literally writhing in my seat (he may have noticed)... So, at the break I just moved a seat. He asked me why'd I move, I told him I needed ventilation and pointed to the windows near me. He didn't believe it, and made this pull-down at eye gesture to prod me for honesty. I said "really!"

I did give him all the reasons to be suspicious. I just moved without saying a word, and actually earlier he also saw that I was passing a note to my best friend in class that sat to the other side of me and chuckling. Yes, the note did say "guy smells like ****! I'm moving out at the break." And no, he didn't see what the note said just that I was concealing something from him.

Now, I feel like I've handled this whole affair stupidly and childishly.

But if you were in my shoes what'd you do?

And, I think I'll let him know Friday why'd I move so there won't be a weird vibe between us...that's best right? God I feel like such an ***. :( Why don't all people just use deodorant!??!??
 
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  • #3
His freely broadcasting his body odor could mean one of two things:

1) Body odor is largely influenced by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. These are genetically determined and play an important role in immunity of the organism. The vomeronasal organ contains cells sensitive to MHC molecules in a genotype-specific way. Experiments on animals and volunteers have shown that potential sexual partners tend to be perceived more attractive if their MHC composition is substantially different. This behavior pattern promotes variability of the immune system of individuals in the population, thus making the population more robust against new diseases.

In other words, he's making it easy for you to tell if he's a compatible life partner. The fact that you find his particular body odor unpleasant probably means he wouldn't be a good life partner for you.


2) Body odor can smell pleasant and specific to the individual and can be used to identify people, though this is more often done by dogs and other animals than by humans.

In other words, he may have been raised by wolves.
 
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  • #4
BobG said:
His freely broadcasting his body odor could mean one of two things:

1) Body odor is largely influenced by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. These are genetically determined and play an important role in immunity of the organism. The vomeronasal organ contains cells sensitive to MHC molecules in a genotype-specific way. Experiments on animals and volunteers have shown that potential sexual partners tend to be perceived more attractive if their MHC composition is substantially different. This behavior pattern promotes variability of the immune system of individuals in the population, thus making the population more robust against new diseases.

In other words, he's making it easy for you to tell if he's a compatible life partner. The fact that you find his particular body odor unpleasant probably means he wouldn't be a good life partner for you.


2) Body odor can smell pleasant and specific to the individual and can be used to identify people, though this is more often done by dogs and other animals than by humans.

In other words, he may have been raised by wolves.

So putting those facts together, it becomes clear what the appropriate response should be. Femme_physics, next time he gets too close, make a wicked snarly growl, and then bite him. That should get the message to him.
 
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  • #5
BobG said:
His freely broadcasting his body odor could mean one of two things:

1) Body odor is largely influenced by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. These are genetically determined and play an important role in immunity of the organism. The vomeronasal organ contains cells sensitive to MHC molecules in a genotype-specific way. Experiments on animals and volunteers have shown that potential sexual partners tend to be perceived more attractive if their MHC composition is substantially different. This behavior pattern promotes variability of the immune system of individuals in the population, thus making the population more robust against new diseases.

In other words, he's making it easy for you to tell if he's a compatible life partner. The fact that you find his particular body odor unpleasant probably means he wouldn't be a good life partner for you.2) Body odor can smell pleasant and specific to the individual and can be used to identify people, though this is more often done by dogs and other animals than by humans.

In other words, he may have been raised by wolves.

3) He just stinks (and maybe doesn't realize it).
 
  • #6
lisab said:
So putting those facts together, it becomes clear what the appropriate response should be. Femme_physics, next time he gets too close, make a wicked snarly growl, and then bite him. That should get the message to him.

Only if she intends to wear the pants in the family.

http://www.wolfcenter.org/breeding-behaviors.html

As the season progresses, the alpha-female will then begin to solicit attention from the alpha-male, or other males. She does this by performing behaviors that appear to be playful. She will approach the alpha-male and paw at his back or head, place her head across his back, or just simply stand or walk next to him, usually touching.

In the beginning, the alpha-male usually returns a snap or growl in response to her advances.
 
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  • #7
It depends on how smart he is.

He should already have figured it out.
If he has, it probably doesn't matter all that much what you do, just be cool about it.

But if he hasn't figured it out, it's bad that you rejected him, when he doesn't know why.
It will make him feel insecure and that's a bad place to be.

If or when you tell him, I think it's important that you make clear you kind of like him, but that you just can't stand the smell.
I think you should avoid telling him that he should wash more, that is, avoid telling him what to do, just make clear what it is that you dislike. He can draw his own conclusions and take appropriate action, or not (depends on how much he likes you and wants to please you).
 
  • #8
Story time.

I worked with a computer science engineer back when minicomputers were the "state of the art" for small computers. They were programed by entering hexadecimal "date" into a hexadecimal "address" by using input sense switches.

The guy stank to high heaven, but he could take a list of base 10 code and convert it to Hex in his brain and input it faster than I can type here.

He works for NASA now.
 
  • #9
When I was in the Navy, we had a guy in our squadron who smelled bad. We gave him the nickname, "Pigpen".
 
  • #10
dlgoff said:
Story time.

I worked with a computer science engineer back when minicomputers were the "state of the art" for small computers. They were programed by entering hexadecimal "date" into a hexadecimal "address" by using input sense switches.

The guy stank to high heaven, but he could take a list of base 10 code and convert it to Hex in his brain and input it faster than I can type here.

He works for NASA now.

If not for the fact that the guy I am thinking about is not working for NASA and was born at the time microcomputers were state of the art for small computers, I would say we know the same person.
 
  • #11
smell computers? computers that detect smell
 
  • #12
elfboy said:
smell computers? computers that detect smell

Well, I feel I must ask what you're talking about?
 
  • #13
BobG said:
2) Body odor can smell pleasant and specific to the individual and can be used to identify people, though this is more often done by dogs and other animals than by humans.

In other words, he may have been raised by wolves.

I recall having memories of observing distant natural odors ... and then I moved into a city and most people had artificially scented odors.
 
  • #14
There's always the option of talking to him one on one real quick after class and telling him that he actually smells pretty bad sometimes. Maybe it will encourage him to wash himself and his clothes.
 
  • #15
I had a professor once who would bike to class and everyone complained that he smelled bad. Turns out, he had no sense of smell--go figure.

I for one would rather be told that I smell than notice a girl pass a note to her friend and giggle and wonder what was going on. Of course, there's always that chance he has some kind of disorder that makes it difficult to avoid body odor and he may already know...But then he should be used to being told he stinks.
 
  • #16
I find that in my location the people who smell atrocious are visually of Indian / Pakistani (area of the world) heritage. The odd individual may smell bad but no broad group of people has such a bad reputation (from my experiences) for poor (gaggingly bad) body odor.

I would avoid him (you're not his mother!) unless he seems worthwhile to talk to (which having atrocious body odor and not being self aware would indicate to me he is not) in which case I would tell him discreetly.
 
  • #17
I like Serena said:
It depends on how smart he is.

He should already have figured it out.
If he has, it probably doesn't matter all that much what you do, just be cool about it.

But if he hasn't figured it out, it's bad that you rejected him, when he doesn't know why.
It will make him feel insecure and that's a bad place to be.

If or when you tell him, I think it's important that you make clear you kind of like him, but that you just can't stand the smell.
I think you should avoid telling him that he should wash more, that is, avoid telling him what to do, just make clear what it is that you dislike. He can draw his own conclusions and take appropriate action, or not (depends on how much he likes you and wants to please you).

Perfect. That is exactly what I intend and thought of doing.
 
  • #18
BobG said:
The fact that you find his particular body odor unpleasant probably means he wouldn't be a good life partner for you.

I feel like this is a quote of the day.:smile::smile::smile:

(Although I personally find AXE really stinky), you need to show him this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7ODAx_CpdY"
 
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  • #19
I guess you could sugar-coat it a bit (basically a white lie) and say, "I have allergies, and for some reason I have a reaction when I'm near you."

Not sure if the first part of the statement is true, but it is true that you "have a reaction" when he's near.
 
  • #20
lisab said:
I guess you could sugar-coat it a bit (basically a white lie) and say, "I have allergies, and for some reason I have a reaction when I'm near you."

"Uh, yeah, you see I have this allergy and it always flares up around you..."
"Really? What are you allergic to?"
"Bad smells"
Not sure if the first part of the statement is true, but it is true that you "have a reaction" when he's near.

Possible downside: he believes it's the little amount of aftershave he uses and decideds to just completely give up... :rolleyes:
 
  • #21
I like Serena said:
It depends on how smart he is.

He should already have figured it out.
If he has, it probably doesn't matter all that much what you do, just be cool about it.

But if he hasn't figured it out, it's bad that you rejected him, when he doesn't know why.
It will make him feel insecure and that's a bad place to be.

If or when you tell him, I think it's important that you make clear you kind of like him, but that you just can't stand the smell.
I think you should avoid telling him that he should wash more, that is, avoid telling him what to do, just make clear what it is that you dislike. He can draw his own conclusions and take appropriate action, or not (depends on how much he likes you and wants to please you).

i disagree. it seems that some people can be plenty smart and plenty stubborn, too. especially if they're a bit on the socially disabled side. we've had them coming on the forum complaining about others complaining that they don't bathe.

and speaking of funk, i chose a seat poorly today. i kept getting a whiff of loaded diaper. only have a wild guess of which one it was.
 
  • #22
You could be honest with him, or avoid the discussion. Frankly the whole "hinting game" that girls play is really stupid.
 
  • #23
lisab said:
I guess you could sugar-coat it a bit (basically a white lie) and say, "I have allergies, and for some reason I have a reaction when I'm near you."

Not sure if the first part of the statement is true, but it is true that you "have a reaction" when he's near.

This is a typical response from women, lie to protect feelings. It's completely the wrong one for a man to deal with. It just sets someone up for a bigger blow later. Being honest and to the point is by far the best option when dealing with a man.

He may genuinely not know he smells, which will be embarassing but he'll make a conscious effort.
He may know and it's because he has a medical condition (such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trimethylaminuria) - which will also be embarrasing but at least there is an explination.

Or he may just be smelly and not care, so there is no harm in telling him.
 
  • #24
I told him today. Yes, I also told him that I like him but that I smelled a bad smell at tuesday's class that I thought was coming from him and that's why I moved. It was kinda awkward and embarrassing, he was unsure what to say, got a bit defensive and told me he's always putting on the deodorant. I wasn't really sure what to say back. "I'm not sure what it was, I just had to move." I said. Though, I'm sure it was him and he's in denial. He did say eventually "I appreciate your honesty."

Suffice to say, it was a really short and awkward conversation and I didn't sit next to him that day or spoke to him that day. Damn it. But, it had to happened I guess...


(Funny thing though, someone moved away from ME at the break! I immediately went up to him and went "what the hell? do I smell bad?" and then I sniffed my armpits lol. He was like "god forbid of course not! There's just too much chattering in that area"...)
 
  • #25
Femme_physics said:
He was like "god forbid of course not! There's just too much chattering in that area"...)

Yeah, because a woman comes up to you screaching "what the hell? do I smell bad?" and you're going to tell her the truth...
 
  • #26
jarednjames said:
Yeah, because a woman comes up to you screaching "what the hell? do I smell bad?" and you're going to tell her the truth...

I would. I'd probably do it just to be awkward, and becuse it would be interesting to see the reaction.
 
  • #27
xxChrisxx said:
I would. I'd probably do it just to be awkward, and becuse it would be interesting to see the reaction.

You'd lie to make someone feel uncomfortable and awkward, just to see their reaction?
 
  • #28
lisab said:
You'd lie to make someone feel uncomfortable and awkward, just to see their reaction?

Assuming it's a lie.

My post was meant to say "even if she was, with that reaction to you moving would you tell her the truth?".
 
  • #29
jarednjames said:
Assuming it's a lie.

My post was meant to say "even if she was, with that reaction to you moving would you tell her the truth?".

OK, I understand. But to say something (truth or not truth) when your motivation is to see someone squirm...well, that's not a kind thing. I'm not saying you'd do that btw :smile:.
 
  • #30
lisab said:
You'd lie to make someone feel uncomfortable and awkward, just to see their reaction?

Depends completely on the scenario.

Run up to me, and use the phrase "what the hell? do I smell bad?" out of the blue. My immediate response would be yes.

Ask in a non crazy way and I would be honest.
 
  • #31
Ask in a non crazy way and I would be honest.

LOL! It's just my personality.

But I actually do make sure to put deodorant, perfume and not wear something I wore without washing it. Plus, I'm a girl, so I naturally smell good anyway. :-p
 
  • #32
Femme_physics said:
I told him today. Yes, I also told him that I like him but that I smelled a bad smell at tuesday's class that I thought was coming from him and that's why I moved. It was kinda awkward and embarrassing, he was unsure what to say, got a bit defensive and told me he's always putting on the deodorant. I wasn't really sure what to say back. "I'm not sure what it was, I just had to move." I said. Though, I'm sure it was him and he's in denial. He did say eventually "I appreciate your honesty."

Suffice to say, it was a really short and awkward conversation and I didn't sit next to him that day or spoke to him that day. Damn it. But, it had to happened I guess...


(Funny thing though, someone moved away from ME at the break! I immediately went up to him and went "what the hell? do I smell bad?" and then I sniffed my armpits lol. He was like "god forbid of course not! There's just too much chattering in that area"...)

I think it's a good thing that you approached him about it.
Apparently he didn't know yet and he really should know.
Also, I believe it's important to not just tell him and walk away, but to give him a chance to digest it, and by taking the time to listen to him and talk about it, you also show you care, and that you don't reject him as a person.

Sounds like you did right! :cool:

[edit]Just keep the chattering down will you? :wink:[/edit]
 
  • #33
I like Serena said:
Sounds like you did right! :cool:

We won't know without smelling a guy next month.
 
  • #34
I like Serena said:
I think it's a good thing that you approached him about it.
Apparently he didn't know yet and he really should know.
Also, I believe it's important to not just tell him and walk away, but to give him a chance to digest it, and by taking the time to listen to him and talk about it, you also show you care, and that you don't reject him as a person.

Sounds like you did right! :cool:

[edit]Just keep the chattering down will you? :wink:[/edit]

Thanks Serena! :) I really appreciate your feedback.
 
  • #35
Borek said:
We won't know without smelling a guy next month.

@FP: will you let us know if he smells like roses next time?
 

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