This is something that was recently an issue for me. I had a regular individual that I would do free readings for and no matter how hard I tried to work out some kind of boundaries he would not respect them. After a couple of months i blocked him from contacting me, but what did I learn about refusing readings that will be helpful in the future.
- Set boundaries from the beginning. If you show them that you are available 24/7 and read on any question they ask, they will come to expect that of you always and be quite upset if you suddenly start with holding.
- it helps knowing ahead of time what those boundaries are. If a client keeps asking questions individually one by one and you are trying to figure out on the spot how you feel about answering each question, that will take up energy and lead to frustration on both ends. It helps if right from the beginning you inform the client on exactly what you will and will not read on. this helps quickly determine if you two are a right fit, and it helps things run more smoothly
- The person I encounter, however, did not listen even after i told him my comfort zone. This is an important threshold that defines your relationship. Are you going to let them take power away from you and allow them to take you into territory you don’t feel comfortable as i did initially, or are you going to put your foot down and simply refuse to entertain the thought any further, as i should have done in this case.
- I have learned when you give free readings people don’t take time to formulate good questions and just ask anything that pops into their head. I have also learned that they don’t have a sense of when it’s enough and keep asking and asking with no concern to how you feel. If you don’t do this professionally and are just reading for strangers on the internet or family and friends I find it’s good that you ask for something in return to keep your energies from being sucked away from you. It doesn’t have to be payment, but feedback often recharges me and i feel an equal exchange has taken place. Feedback was one thing i rarely got from this individual so it was very draining always doing readings and never getting anything in return.
Now if you are doing this for a business you have to be somewhat flexible and what your client is asking for is just as important as what your values are. I hear a lot of readers complaining that they are sick of reading on certain types of questions. However, these questions are very important to the client and their feelings should not be pushed aside just because we had 3 other similar readings on that topic that day. There needs to be a balance between meeting your needs and the needs of the client. Some ways we as readers can achieve this balance is by:
- appreciating our clients situations. Love might not be important to us, but we have to be able to put ourselves in our clients shoes and realize that if they are asking about love that this is something that could potentially be causing them a lot of turmoil. If we just focus on our own needs we might become frustrated with their question. However if we appreciate their pain, doing the reading for them will be a lot easier, it will be a more spiritual/emotional experience, there will be more of a connection which is important to a meaningful reading, and i feel the cards will respond differently as well (more involved)
- if you do have things you are unwilling to read on, explain to the clients why. Simply saying no might seem harsh, you might get a bad review or a bad reputation and have fewer clients in the future. If you are able to make the client understand why you are unable to read on that particular question you are building a relationship that could potentially turn long-term, and you are helping the client understand your approach so that by together stating your needs you come to a mutual meeting on how you want to proceed with minimal damage on both sides
- Sometimes the exchange is simply uneven. If the client is asking for endless questions or is somehow overstepping boundaries and you feel drained as a result ask yourself how the give and take could become more even again. You can simply refuse to continue working with them. However in certain situations, rasing your price to accommodate the required energy on your end might be a good way to keep from burn out and keeping the exchange balanced.
- Work with the client to formulate the question to one that meets both your needs
- if we are in a negative place we might take it out on the client. This is why before and after readings self-care is crucial. Don’t do too many readings in a row if you can’t handle it, watch your nutrience and sleep. Just be mindful of anything that could affect your state and interfere with how you interact with clients and conduct your readings
Does this sound like we are giving too much power to the client. What if we strongly believe that answering certain types of love questions is wrong? What do we do then? I do feel that having a no tolerance approach to certain questions is ok, even if we might have to accept that this might mean fewer clients. For example there are two types of readings so far that i have decided i will not do. The person i mentioned above would often ask if someone was hurting and laugh when i said yes, there were even times when he asked how to hurt this person and i answered him regrettably. I will no longer do any readings that cause harm to anyone or for individuals that have malicious motives for getting the reading done. I am on the fence on doing readings that focus on the future simply because if they change their behaviour my reading will be void, I’d much rather explore ways on how to get to a desired outcome. Your list of what you will and will not read on will always be changing and you will always be adding and taking away depending on the experiences you face and your view and understanding of tarot. Write in the comments what some of your limits are when it comes to doing readings? If you are not sure where you stand on an issue ask yourself:
- What are the consequences on you and the client. How happy/upset will it make each of you if you do or don’t read the question. What is in the greatest good?
- the consequences it will have on you and your business. Is it worth it?
- Are you limiting yourself or your client from certain experiences that could be beneficial to either of you by refusing to read on certain questions
- What does it say about you as a reader? Are you OK with that.
- Why are you not reading on certain issue. Is it fear, morals, comfort? Does this change your stance.
- is my refusal to read on a certain topic due to biased reasons. It is good practice in tarot to approach clients in a non judgmental way and attempt to meet them where they are as much as we can.
Reaching a balance where both you and your client are happy can be harder than it seems and it might take some time to figure out the best way to achieve that. When doing a reading out of the goodness of your heart you might be able to put more restrictions, however, if you are aspiring to have a business, i’d consider becoming more flexible.