Why Bad Breath Could Be Ruining Your Job Prospects

Why Bad Breath Could Be Ruining Your Job Prospects

Author: Tomas O Caomhanach

If you have ever failed to get a job or promotion you wanted, even though you had a great resume and had all the right qualifications and experience, it may be because the interviewer thought you were disgusting, and he felt physically sick just talking to you.

Yes, really! Does that shock you? No doubt you’re a very nice person, so it probably does but, if you have bad breath, it may well be true. The interviewer may not know it (in fact, he might even have thought you were very suitable for the position) but an ancient brain system, originally designed to identify rotten food, literally FORCED him to reject you! The moment it detected your bad breath, the decision not to hire you was made without him even realizing it.

You see, bad breath contains a number of extremely smelly chemical compounds, including hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs. It also contains methyl mercaptan and skatole, which smell like feces, as well as cadaverine, which smells like corpses, and putrescine, which smells like rotten meat!

All of these smells have something in common: they evoke disgust, an extreme emotion designed to protect us from things that are unclean, inedible, or infectious. When we feel disgust, our brain tenses muscles in our face called the levator labii. This produces the facial characteristics everybody recognizes as disgust (i.e. a scrunched nose and raised upper lip), which prevents foul odors or stray particles (from whatever caused the disgust) from entering the nose and mouth. Additionally, the brain creates an overwhelming urge to recoil or turn away from the source of disgust in an effort to further isolate the body from any possible contamination.

If you have bad breath, that reaction probably sounds familiar! That’s why people turn away… step back… or cover their nose and mouth when you’re near them. They can’t help it; it doesn’t matter if they think you’re the greatest person they ever met because, once their brain detects any of these smells, it recognizes them as a potential source of infection and literally FORCES their body to automatically recoil in disgust. In other words: Their brain recognizes your bad breath as a DANGEROUS THREAT to their health and well-being!

While the interviewer is looking through your resume and asking you questions, his brain is screaming at him that you are a source of possible harm and that he should get away from you as quickly as possible. Even if he’s not consciously aware of it, the feeling of unease it causes gets transferred onto you, and you can bet it’s going to greatly influence his decision. The end result is still the same though: somebody ELSE gets the job!

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