This is a guide for tarot readers, oracle readers, healers and energetic workers of all kinds for dealing with difficult clients. I use the medium of Tarot for this guide as this is my main divination and healing tool. If you are a professional in any field you are going to deal with difficult clients.
I have had plenty.
I had the client who stone-faced said nothing the whole reading and then told me nothing was right at the end. The one who stood up and walked away mid reading. Another who wanted to argue with me about every card. I had the client who wanted to read their own cards (they are a whole different type of difficult). I also had the client who asked me the same question THREE times after I answered the question because they wanted a different answer. And that is just a few.
So what can you do about these difficult clients?
I like to look at everything from a holistic place because situations in our lives are multi-faceted. So we are going to look at what you can do before the reading when it happens, and what you can do after.
Before Your Reading
There are some things that you can do before a reading to help filter these people from ever sitting across from you.
Set your intentions
Set the intention that only the clients who are right for you will find and work with you. If we carry out our business and practice with the deep belief that we are going to be guided to the people who will benefit from your skill and love and will be a pleasure to work with then this lowers the risk of having troublesome clients.
Accept that at some point it is going to happen
Now that this is a reality. You can now move into the space of owning the reality that it is all in how you deal with it. It is like taxes and death. Even if you bathe yourself in protective crystals and affirm all of the time that you only have lovely clients you will come across a bad egg. It is a learning experience for sure. This can be one of the biggest reasons that people are a little scared to start out reading Tarot for others. It is a big thing to put your time and energy out into the world and be of service to others. Then add the risk that you will have negative feedback or not the most pleasant clients and that can leave people weary for sure.
Just know that even the most seasoned professionals have bad days, challenging clients, and feedback that is not stellar at times. Anyone who says otherwise is not telling you the whole truth. Don’t let that fear stop you from your soul’s purpose if this is your calling. Heck, if you ever need to vent or if you have had a bad day or need a pick me up, contact me, find me on Facebook or email me via my site. People have been there for me in the past and I would love to pay that forward.
You have every right not to accept every client that requests your services
If you get the creeps when someone asks for a reading or healing session, save yourself the trouble and say no. You can simply do this by saying that you are fully booked or that you are not accepting new clients at the moment.
Declining clients can feel counterintuitive because you want to help people and have clients but trust your instincts and act on them. I was taught to never take a client who was clearly distressed or in crisis. This is exceptional advice that I implement in my business.
Have a section on your site or before you begin that states the kind of reader or service you provide
This can help make sure you are attracting and working with the right reader. We are all different and clients want different readings. If you aren’t a medium, don’t try to be one. Be clear about what to expect from you and embrace that. Are you a diviner, healer, counselor? What kind of reader are you? (If you aren’t sure, you can find out here)
When it Happens
Remember you have a choice
You are not at the mercy of the person sitting on the other side of you. It doesn’t matter if your client has paid you or it’s a free reading. You have the right to change what is going on if it makes you feel uncomfortable, triggered, upset or if it is just not feeling right. Your business and practice, your choice.
Ask yourself, do I want this reading to continue or do I want to change this conversation? By all means you can sit there and sweat through it but realise that you chose to do that.
You are the one who is the professional.
Don’t stoop to their level. Don’t engage in their stuff. Remember this is them projecting on to you. One thing I will always repeat from one of my Tarot Mentors is ‘Observe, not absorb’
Practice keeping your composure if you know that you wear your heart on your face (meaning your face can’t help but express how you feel, I’m like that naturally.) Don’t let it rattle your cage too much, take some time out to gather your energies before you carry on, and if you really are too shaken up stop for the day.
Try Compassion before you speak
Before you respond take a moment to realise that the person across from you is still a person. They came to you because they had a real need for healing or a situation that was very real and raw for them. They came to you for a reason even if it was just to vent. Yes, it’s kinda shitty that they are working their stuff out by being difficult with you but they are still there because they wanted assistance. So take a deep breath and step into your compassion booties before you say anything.
You have every right to stop a reading
This is the best thing to do in my humble opinion. But stopping the reading you are cutting the energy off and allowing for some space. Here are some things that you can try.
‘I feel like this reading is not resonating with you. Would you like to wrap up this reading?’
‘I am sorry that this reading is not what you expected. Would you like to wrap up here?’
Notice the ‘I’ message and gentle language, saying something like: ‘why are you being such a bitch, I’m only trying to help, that is what the cards say, don’t blame me, take it up with your higher self!!!’ May feel good but you have pretty much laid the smackdown on your client it won’t be received well.
A note on expectations. Clients will come to you with expectations. Maybe they are not sure about what the Tarot can and can’t do or they had a reading a few months ago and it was X and they are getting Y (which is just as good) but not what they exported so they are annoyed.
‘I feel that this may not be the best time and space for you to be present and relaxed for this reading, shall we rebook for a better time? No charge’
It may even be that the client had no idea they were being that way. They could have been just running on autopilot. I have had clients say sorry, just had a really stressful morning. And then the reading continued with the air cleared. Offering to rebook a client at another time if they seem stressed or frazzled can be a lifesaver for both of you.
Cleanse your space and shake it off.
For more inspiration and information about closing out your readings check out my video and guide on what to do after a reading.
Have you had horror clients? What did you do? Let me know!