Caregiving 101: Modern Etiquette for the 21st Century

Diversity Is The New Normal

American society has always been a collection of people from all backgrounds and walks of life. As society grows and evolves, so do the different social skills we need in order to navigate the ever changing landscape of the human condition. New ways of addressing one another, new ways of interacting with people who are different from us, and even new fashions are constantly emerging. These changes may be confusing at first and may leave us feeling rather out of sorts when trying to be politically correct. This part of the lesson will impart a few new skills to help you navigate modern social situations with ease.

Tips for Modern Social Etiquette

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Tell your volunteer coordinator if you have specific comfort zones

Everyone has their comfort zones. Without getting into the basis of those comfort zones, Soulful Cannabis wants to meet people where they are.

Part of meeting people where they require that you both be receptive to one another. If, for example, you would prefer to support the elderly over another group of folks then this is something that you should bring up to your volunteer coordinator. 

Treat your patient as a peer

The Platinum Rule says you should treat another person in the manner in which they would prefer to be treated.   You may need to ask the patient how they would like to be addressed. 

What the Platinum Rule is trying to tell us is to treat others as respected peers in a manner that they will recognize as respectful regardless of what you perceive to be the patient’s race, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, or financial means.

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Ask how they like to be addressed

It’s pretty common for folks meeting a Rodrigo, William, or Christina to ask if they prefer to be called Rod, Bill, or Chris. Always ask how the patient prefers to be addressed. This is a social nicety that you should open every conversation with. This opens up an opportunity to ask some newer questions you should add to your toolbox.

One key social skill that most folks should adopt is a more fluid use of pronouns. Recently, an increasing number of people are coming out as transgender, fluid, and non-binary. When you meet someone, and you aren’t sure as to what gender they identify as, it a common practice to ask for their preferred pronouns. This goes right along with asking how someone prefers to be addressed.

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