The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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How To: Point out a friend’s flaws without destroying the friendship

Photo Illustration by Hannah Pedraza / Photo Editor

It’s not easy telling someone their breath stinks, especially if it’s a close friend. We all have that one friend or many that have a flaw that drives us crazy and the hardest part is breaking the news to them without hurting their feelings.

We think of a friend as someone who we can be ourselves with and not have to worry about being judged. But withstanding another day of of that unpleasant odor that protrudes out of their mouth can no longer go on.

Believe it or not there are actually polite, and multiple ways to tell a friend that their annoying or gross flaws are bothersome. These techniques may save a friendship and save all parties from embarrassment.

Bad Breath

The bad breath problem can be a touchy subject, but there are ways to go about addressing it.

1. Offering a friend a mint or a piece of gum can be the polite hint. But not everyone picks up on that hint, they may take it as a nice gesture, when in reality the offending odor that seeps out of their mouth is just down right offensive.

2. Casually talk about health issues. So if the mints and gum haven’t worked, show a little honesty and concern the next time around. Talk about how health studies haven proven bad breath can imply certain health issues, such as periodontal disease.

3. Rave about an excellent dentist. Suggest they make an appointment to see a dentist and offer to go with them for support. Tell them that not having a Wrigley’s Winterfresh breeze when they talk is not a good impression.

Body Odor

Bad breath isn’t the only foul smell that a person can produce, unpleasant body odor is something that should also be addressed immediately.

Lying to a smelly friend at social gatherings can get tiresome and old after a while. So having other alternatives to inform them of this problem can be very beneficial.

1. Plan a pampering day. Ladies, we can actually have fun with this one. Treat yourselves to a day at the spa and finish the day with a trip to Bath and Body Works. Introduce some popular scents that they may like and show them that their body is a temple and taking care of it is vital, stressing the point that hygiene is very important. This could actually help them keep the remaining friends they have.

2. Men use the ladies as a way to help you out. Suggest a brand of cologne they love to wear and how it’s a magnet for the ladies; that always works. What man doesn’t want women flocking over him?

If all else fails, a bar of soap and water never hurt anyone.

Bad fashion is another one that can be very piercing to the eye. Not everyone has an eye for fashion and some need a little help in that department.

Bad Fashion

1. Give a make-over. Giving a make-over seems to always uplift someone’s spirit; it makes them feel good about themselves. It may even gear them to change their fashion senses after they admire their new look.

It worked in the movie “Clueless”.

2. Go on a mini-shopping spree. Inform them fashion is for ever changing and it pertinent to keep up with the latest. Shopping is therapy for the soul. Make plans to buy new outfits every month or so to get their new wardrobe rolling.


Annoying habits such as nail biting, burping and/or talking loud during inappropriate settings, are a lot more subtle and easier to confront someone about.

Nail biting is among the easiest.

1. Buy them a travel size nail clipper. Get the smallest one so it can be attached to maybe a cell phone, like an accessory. It’s always in reach when they get the urge.

For the ladies: Make a nail appointment. It’s kind of hard trying to bite on acrylics. Wearing acrylics could be a bit irritating to them at first but hopefully it will help stop the bad habit.

For the men: Educate your pals. Nail biting is very unattractive and it looks bad on their fingers. Throw in a helpful hint, the ladies DO NOT dig it.

Talking loud in inappropriate places and/or belching can easily be cured by just simply telling him/ her both flaws are very unattractive and rude.

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