It can be difficult to know what normal is in an abnormal world. The nature of this work kind of says that boundaries may not be high on the list of priorities and yet they are vital if you want to stay healthy. Many readers won't have limits on how often they will read for someone and neither will they be too fussy about who they're reading for. It's impossible to judge a client's character until some time has passed and this can present problems if they turn out to be difficult, but don't forget it's you who is supposed to be the professional. Structure your work time like it's any other job, and don't feel bad about saying no if you're tired or drained. If you try too hard to accommodate your clients they could abuse your niceness later on down the road. Have a time limit worked out before the reading starts and offer the option to extend for extra cash if they need more minutes but make sure to remind them when their time is up and don't pressure them to keep going. It's also worth having an overall limit on the time you're prepared to spend on any single sitting. Let your clients know in advance if you have this in place and they won't take it too personally. I can't stress enough that establishing boundaries on your time is extremely important. It's essential for your clients to understand that you're not an unlimited supply of whatever it is that you're offering. You don't have to be militant; a casual mention is often enough.
Let them know what you do and how you do it but don't feel obligated to give anyone anything until after they've parted with their money. The clever ones will often have a website which shows the client what to expect. This saves an awful lot of hassle, and it means you don't have to repeat yourself or waste time with those who like to fish for freebies.
Reasons for the visit or call can vary, and it's usually best if you know beforehand. If they're heavily sceptical, personally I'd refuse the work. I'm all for having an open mind, but there's nothing open about the mind of a hardcore sceptic. They are a waste of time and energy and if you try to do the work you're likely to end up drained and feeling pretty shit about yourself. Some clients will have unreasonable expectations of your abilities, and that can also be hard to deal with. They're the ones who are usually looking for someone to blame and will often reject any level of personal responsibility in any given situation. These types of people can be worked with to a degree, but you need to be firm about what you can and can't do. Many will claim to want a general reading but secretly harbour a very specific question they want you to answer. It might take them a few minutes (or even a few sessions) before they trust you enough to ask.
Allow trust to grow, don't expect it to be handed to you. They've allowed you to plant the seed but it ain't gonna grow into a full-blown oak tree overnight. If it's a new client and they're saying no to everything, you can always ask them if they want to terminate the reading immediately. More often than not they'll say they want to continue but because you've put the ball back into their court they tend to relax a little. I've done readings where the client has said no to everything and five minutes before I'm due to finish they've turned around and told me their story and it fit exactly with what I said in the beginning. And yes, it's frustrating.
Occasionally you might not be able to tune into a long-standing client, and this can be for any number of reasons. It's possible that one of you is just having a bad day. If they know you well enough, they'll usually be happy enough to try again on another occasion. Even if you know it's not your problem; it's good manners and more professional to take responsibility or at least blame it on the cosmos.
When you have a client and you know they're vulnerable it can be the hardest thing in the world to be straight with them. It's not up to you to decide what they can and can't hear, just get on and give the reading to the best of your ability but be sensitive and stay away from fatalistic predictions unless you know them very well. If the reading looks vague, then tell them it looks vague but don't dress it up if there is nothing to hang your predictions on. The fact is some people do have incredibly boring lives, and you may well see nothing because nothing interesting will be happening and likewise if it looks chaotic just tell them.
The Clients & Characteristics that can be hard to ignore:
THE VAMPIRES - These are the ones who come for a feed. Quite often they will be strongly intuitive yet be too lazy to work with it or do the necessary study to become a professional. They'll mention they've had a hunch/message/feeling regarding the situation they want the reading on and can be reluctant to hear anything other than what they already had in mind. They'll frequently complain that they are not getting the love they want from the person they want or that so and so is not evolved enough to understand them. The Vampires pretend to be givers yet somehow manage to drain anyone around them. It's always about their emotions, their money, their time and their life. They want pseudo-spiritual reasons as to why she/he won't leave the current partner (such as they are soul mates, and he/she just hasn't realised yet, or they are still working through old karma). These are valid reasons for some people, but the difference is The Vampire believes they're above karma and that their way is the right way. If they don't get what they want they usually say you're shit and that you're obviously a fake. They can get aggressive but they usually just increase their manipulation to get you to say what they want to hear. They don't take a hint unless it carries the weight of a two-ton truck, so you're unlikely to get very far being subtle. Oddly enough they can be slow to spot deceit and infidelity because they're too concerned with themselves.
THE MARTYRS - The ones who are always worn out and refuse to take a stand against the huge numbers of family members and work colleagues that are walking all over them. They frequently complain that no one takes their needs seriously yet find it impossible to understand that until they themselves take their own needs seriously then no one else will either. They're usually under enormous pressure and take responsibility very seriously. They can be genuinely nice people with massive hearts, but they do need repeatedly telling that it is not selfish to put yourself first occasionally. They need powering up, and they need to vent - let them. It might not feel like you're doing what you're supposed to do but sometimes you get paid to listen and hold hands emotionally.
THE ENLIGHTENED - These are normally other energy practitioners that claim to be completely healed. They see everyone else's wounds but their own, and they'll profess they have no baggage. Getting them to accept the reading you want to give is like trying to eat concrete - you'll never get your teeth into it and if by some miracle you do you're going to cause yourself some serious damage. You do have choices here;
You can continue the reading painfully
You can keep your teeth and lie through them
You can be honest and tell them that you think they're full of shit; that there is no such thing as completely healed, and unless they were brought up in complete isolation there is no possibility on the face of planet earth that they have no baggage. Tell them if they want the reading they can pay double because you're having to compromise your integrity by reading for them. I'm not joking here, but I do expect you to be laughing ;)
You can claim that your own divine guidance has informed you that you're not evolved enough to give them a reading - they'll buy this one hook line and sinker....no questions asked.
THE OFF-LOADERS - These are some of the nicest to deal with. You will be used as a sort of psychic sounding board, and I've found they're quite realistic and honest about their circumstances. The chances are they are private people who need a friendly voice and some honest psychic answers. They will have no great expectations about what you can do yet find value in what you can give them. When they say they need a reading what they mean is it feels like they are going to explode if they don't talk to someone. Their circumstances will range from quite challenging to completely overwhelming, but they're always genuine regardless of the reasons they have come for the reading.
THE CURIOUS IN-BETWEENERS - They have a reading now and again usually out of curiosity. They know enough to know that there is more to life than meets the eye but are quite happy with life and have no need for support or guidance. They typically want to know when so-and-so will marry or if anything new will happen this year. These types of client are nearly always pleasant and interested in what you have to say.
THE PRAISE AND BLAMERS - This is by far the most dangerous group to read for. The Praiser will tell you that you're the most amazingly gifted person on the planet and they'll see each and every positive quality you've got. They talk sweetly and sing your praises to anyone who will listen. They'll just love everything that you do and say. You might even believe them and feel good about yourself. You might even feel appreciated. Then one day.....out of nowhere....., you'll say something completely innocent, and it'll be something they disagree with. Under such circumstances, a normal person would need a mere moment to collect themselves, but The Praiser will take on the monstrous form of The Blamer. You'll be thrown from the pedestal with your entrails flailing behind, and they'll curse your very existence. In fact, if they could tie you to a fucking horse and watch you get dragged over the hills into the land that time forgot to be eaten by a dinosaur they'd do it! So, beware! The Praise and Blamers are seen in unusually large numbers within the spiritual community. Staying grounded is the most effective defence against The Praise and Blamer....just stay off the goddamn pedestal!
And finally...Often people need time to assimilate the information you've given, and they'll need to go away for a while to process what's been said. I find this to be a healthy response to a reading. There's no doubt that we can trigger some powerful insights during our time with a client, but the deeper work is a slower process. Patience has to be developed, and we have to respect boundaries. The biggest problem you'll likely encounter during a reading is getting them to go! If you forgot to establish limits beforehand and you're crap at the boundary game, you'll have to lie and say you have another reading to do. Don't be a doormat; it's your life they're wasting free of charge. Have your time limit decided beforehand and enforce it without prejudice.