What to say to people who try to shake your tarot confidence

Every tarot reader, both newbie, and pro, at one time, may come across a person who wants to throw some shade.

This could be a well-meaning loved one who doesn’t believe in tarot, a disgruntled client, an envious peer or just a tarot hater.

So they make a snarky remark (often disguised as “advice”).  Their intention: make you feel like crap.

Suddenly, you’re doubting your tarot biz and wondering if that desk job at Hotel 8 isn’t such a bad gig after all.

You might be tempted to put the cards away and never touch them again.


If you are passionate about tarot, you cannot allow someone to rattle you like that. (Truth: if you do this for a living, you’re going to get this flack more than you’d like, my sensitive little friend.)

Dealing with confidence-shakin’ peeps requires a grounded mindset and a few ready-to-handle-them G-moves so that you can brush your shoulders off and keep on your tarot grind.

Here are kind (but sometimes snappy) comebacks to silence the doubting Thomases, haters, and dream deflators:

Friends, family + strangers:

Pffft…..who believes in that garbage?

There are a lot of non-believers out there. Trying to convince them that tarot works is going to be a waste of your time and energy. Keep it short – and avoid getting into it.

Your best answer: I do.

Then, stop the conversation.

(Also, read my tips for dealing with non-believers.)

People really pay you for that?

There are people who maybe don’t mind tarot but they don’t understand how you can make a living with it.  Remember this: people get paid for a lot of things we may not consider traditional jobs –  taming lions, pushing knobs in a factory, painting doll eyes, etc.  Your work is valuable, even if it is unconventional.

Your best answer: Why yes, and they pay me quite well.  And isn’t it interesting that people pay you for sitting at that desk all day, pushing papers around and answering phones?  Funny what people will pay for, right?

If someone asks what you do for a living, I don’t want to tell them that you’re doing this.  It’s embarrassing.

Not every mom wants their child to grow up and become some “fortune teller” (that was my mom!).  What can you do when your loved one is mortified about your work and trying to avoid the subject?  This:

Your best answer: So tell me how lying about the work I love is serving you and me.


You shouldn’t be charging money for your gift.  It’s not right. 

There is nothing worse than the holier-than-thou fellow readers who try to shame you with a self-righteous remark (attention: that’s their ego speaking).  Don’t be afraid to throw it right back at them:

Your best answer: Right on. Are you willing to pay my bills?  Feel free to become my patron and support my family and I’ll gladly stop taking pay.  Ready for that? Because we’ll be moving in immediately.  Seriously. This isn’t a gift, it’s a skill that took me many years to learn.  Should a “gifted” doctor work for free?  How about the mechanic who fixes your car?  I didn’t think so.

That’s not the “correct” way to read tarot.

Don’t you just love the tarot fundamentalists who think there is “just one way” to read tarot? No need to bother with a dialogue here – they are hell bent on being superior and showing you how “knowledgeable” they are and how lousy you are.  Trust me, you don’t want to get stuck in a conversation with a know-it-all tarot bore.

Your best answer: You have your way, I have my way, yadda yadda yadda… (Be sure to roll your eyes and walk away.)

Your tarot business is doing well?  Mine isn’t. <Heavy sigh.> Must be nice.

Professional envy can be a buzzkill.  Being around a jealous peer may make you feel like crawling back into your tarot shell and downplaying your success.  Don’t.  If you are doing well, be proud.

Your best answer: Yes, my business is doing great and it is nice. Thank you.

(If you inquire about what’s going wrong in their business, 9 out of 10 times, you’ll quickly discover that these types are not doing much in their business, which is why their business isn’t succeeding.)

For clients:

That reading really sucked. Nothing you said came true.

Reality check: not everyone will love your reading. You will be wrong. That is perfectly fine.  Apologize and refer, refer, refer. (I prefer to refer than to try and struggle through another reading with someone who doesn’t feel I’m living up to their expectations.)

Your best answer: I’m so sorry that you didn’t like the reading. I did my very best but sometimes, I’m not the right fit. Would you like me to refer you to a reader who may be better able to accommodate you?

I can read the cards too. (And then they proceed to “correct” your interpretations with theirs.)

There is nothing more annoying than someone who hires you and then tries to micromanage you – or tell you how they can do it better.  Who does that?  In tarot, it’s more common than you think. Stop that nonsense with this one line:

Your best answer:  Are you here to get a reading from me or to give one to yourself?

(Do you ever do that to a fellow reader? Stop that and read my post on Tarot Readers Who Get Readings From Other Tarot Readers).

The other reader in the other town over is way more accurate. And she charges less.  

This remark is a passive-aggressive ploy to get you to offer a discount.  And this person is letting you know right off the bat that they are going to be a difficult diva who wants you to “prove yourself”.  Stop this one right at the door with this:

Your best answer: It sounds like that reader is the right one for you. It may be best for you to continue to work with her.

As wise woman Eleanor Roosevelt says: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Don’t let someone else’s opinion wreck your tarot confidence.  Never give your power away like that.  Instead, stand tall, do your very best, and keep on shufflin’ no matter what, my friends.



© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2015

adorable image from stock photography

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