Common Sense for Common Scents
By Frank Kermit
As the holiday season approaches, invitations begin to swarm in for get-togethers from family, friends and even office parties. It is a time of people coming together, and in some cases, the only time you may connect with certain people for the duration of a year (assuming there are no weddings or funerals in between).
It is a time of reflection, remembering people that are no longer with us, cherishing those that still are, and a time of closeness. Except for one tiny potential problem. Some of those people that wish to get close to you simply may not realize just how bad they stink.
Whether it is bad body odor, bad breath, over indulgence of perfume and cologne, or clothes that have a lifestyle smell embedded into the weaves of their garments; your odor is something to be very mindful of when going to gatherings, especially if you have intentions of getting close to people, or you will be seated next to others.
One of the key factors about being mindful of your nose-full, is that you won't smell yourself in time. Our scents are with us all the time, and we grow accustom to our emanations. Since we are used to our own smell, we tend to take for granted and forget that others will be affected by what we no longer pay close attention too. By the time you get a whiff of yourself, it is usually too late, as you are one of the last people who nose just how bad you were. (Get it? Get it? "knows" and "nose"? Get it?). If your odor was as bad as my last joke, it is time to take account of your smell stocks.
Sometimes I get clients coming to me asking me why they struggle so much to find a love connection. A handful of them claim that no matter how much they learn to seductively speak to someone, they are unable to find a partner that does not turn their nose up at them. "It is like everyone is just so snooty with me", says one client to me who tries to explain how he is greeted with snob-like behavior when approaching new people.
After sniffing about the evidence of the case, I detected that the client, a chain smoker, might have been giving the targets of his affection a snout-ful of what kissing him might be like. For that particular client, it was not just his breath, but also his clothes sent off smoke signals like radio waves as his lifestyle had wormed its way into the fibers of his being.
It was one of the saddest moments I had ever witnessed when I explained to him that it might be his odor. He was so used to it, that he was not even aware of the smell.
He learned a hard lesson: lack of proper aromas equals lack of a proficient Romeo.
Anyone that has years of experience riding public transit will tend to confirm the unpleasant memories of being squished like sardines next to people that reek.
You never forget your first whiff. Those that suffer from migraines and are scent-sensitive will also tell you just how important managing your smell can be before you trigger an unintended effect in the people you want to associate with. Here are some common sense suggestions for common scent situations to help you stay stench free this month.
1-Bathe: If the office party starts right after work, leave work early or arrive to the party late so that you have time to go home, shower and change the clothes you have been sweating in all day.
2-Carry a mini-toothbrush, mini-toothpaste and even mini-mouthwash whenever possible, and use them before and after your outing meals. Gum and mints help too.
3-Watch what you put in your mouth. When socializing, there are certain foods to just avoid consuming because of the ill effects on your breath. When it comes to relationships, dating and socializing, your foot is not the only thing you need to try to avoid putting in your mouth. (I will save the foot fetish jokes for a future article).
4-Do NOT overdo it with perfumes and cologne which also includes aftershave, and underarm deodorants. Too much of a good thing can be just as bad, and sometimes even worse than a bad one. If you cannot find a balance, aim for neutral no-scent.
5-If someone offers you a piece of gum, or a breath mint, even after you have refused it once, TAKE THE HINT AND TAKE THE MINT. They are being polite about trying to indicate to you that your breath is not ever so fresh.
If someone does take you aside and lets you know that your odor is not pleasant, and the person does so in an honest, straightforward, private manner, which helps protect your reputation and maintain face, then THANK THE PERSON.
That person is being your best friend, even if what you are being told is embarrassing for you to hear. That person is acting bravely to tell you what everyone else is thinking but too afraid to help protect you from yourself. If you react badly to that kind of honesty, you will only succeed in pushing away the very people that would bring real value in your life.
FRANK KERMIT MA
EXPERT RELATIONSHIP COACH
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