Trust – Part 3 of 3

Trust – Part 3 of 3

Building Trust through Action

Trust is earned and built up over time. It comes from being straightforward, responsible, consistent and reliable. It’s keeping someone’s secrets when asked. It’s keeping certain things private even when not asked. It’s offering to help and following through on what you say you’re going to do. It’s being there for the long haul.

Building trust involves being present and supportive for people you care about – and allowing people that care about you to be present and supportive for you. Different people show care and concern in different ways. One person may show care through tough love while another person may do someone’s errands or chores.

For this activity, you will prepare to either ask for help or offer help. In both instances, it’s good to consider how this can be done. Mostly, it doesn’t matter if you’re a patient, a caregiver, or a family advocate. Patients can offer help while caregivers can ask for help. It is a multi-way exchange.

Ask for help Offer to help
Make a list of needs and separate into two separate categories: “Things other people can help me with” and “Thing I can do myself”. Negotiate how you can help the person in need. Match your abilities with their needs.
Identify a person that can help with each specific need. Only offer to do things you’re able to do. Set yourself up for success.
Decide on a clear, concise, and honest way to tell the person/people you need a favor. Define expectations up front. What task will you help with, how often, and for how long?
Determine what kind of commitment each need entails. For example, is it a long-term commitment that happens every Wednesday or is it a one-time grocery trip? Don’t promise more than you can fulfull.
Determine a good time to ask for the help. Follow through with what you’ve promised.
Determine a good way to ask for help – by email, in person, over the phone, or shared care calendar? Make sure your helping doesn’t become a burden for the person needing help. For example, if you can’t make a meal one week, find someone else to fill in for you, so that the task doesn’t fall back on the person in need.
Stay within expected boundaries. Don’t try to do too much or stray into too personal of an area. For example, if someone asks you to do light housekeeping, stick to dusting and vacuuming. Don’t take it upon yourself to organize their dresser drawers and closets.
See your commitment through even if it takes a long time.
But if the person asks you to stop, do so with grace and don’t take it too personally.

Communication About Cancer Series Info

This research project was funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (CA144235; Dr. Wayne Beach, San Diego State University, Principal Investigator). Co-investigators included Dr. David Dozier from San Diego State University, and Mary Buller, Dr. Valerie Myers, and Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel, Inc.

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