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Do you “sugar coat” your readings?

March 27, 2011

RWS 2.0 Three of SwordsI often see readers tout the fact that they don’t “sugar coat” their readings, and I’m curious what they mean by that.  I’m assuming they don’t mean that they have no tact, although this seems a possible inference. What I think they mean is that they don’t avoid telling you bad news, but technically, that isn’t what sugar coating means. If you sugar coat a pill, you’re making it more palatable or easier to swallow; you aren’t replacing the pill with sugar.

Seriously, I really want to know what people intend by this phrase.  In case anyone thinks my comments on this term seem reproachful, I want to be clear that such is not my intention.  What I hope is that people who use this term will comment here with their thoughts on this topic, including what they mean by the term.






From → Ethics, Readings

  1. I can’t speak for others but for myself, I do have a tendency to .. not exactly blurt out the first thing that comes to mind, but pretty close. If I see something that indicates the querent needs to take responsibility for their own actions, I will say just that. Maybe I’m more blunt than I think I am? I don’t go into the reading with that intent, I try to find something helpful to tell the person, but if it looks bleak I’ll talk about it.

  2. Beth Palladino permalink

    I would never lie to a client or merely say what they want to hear. Yet, I believe that even bad news can be delivered in an affirmative manner. I don’t like the idea of seeming confrontational or possibly delivering bad news in what may seem an uncaring manner. I also don’t deliver ‘dire’ predictions. I believe that even in predictive readings where you have to tell the client something they may not want to hear, we need to be gentle and supportive. If you are too blunt or seem even confrontational, it’s hard to help people or even, at times, get them to hear what you are saying.

  3. Well James, I agree with Beth. I always tell what I see but In the most positive manner. I `ve seen many readers speak cruelly and even rudely to clients and boast of it, like “I’m not like these fluffy-bunny readers who say only good things” Both positions are wrong. I believe you can tell very hard truths in a positive way. If the client is feeling despondent and down after your reading, you clearly have done something wrong!!He/she needn’t be happy-happy, but at least he/she should feel calm and clear about what he/she can do.

    Plato said, “If you want clear water, don’t annoy the squid”

  4. I ‘m a Carolina girl, and we tend to “sugarcoat” just about everything. I don’t say that about my readings.. I too, believe in phrasing everything in the most positive and helpful way. People generally know the negative people and energies in their lives.. they want guidance in how they can turn things around.. and be more positive and have joy and peace in their lives.. direction. I trust the Cards, always, Just yesterday my Querent got the 10 of Swords and he knew exactly what it was about.. He also got the death card in his Recent past.. he’s going through a painful divorce.. and also has had back troubles and accupuncture. True, the 10 of Swords is never a “Happy” card.. but it does tell us we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again.. (that’s from a song).. and be better, and stronger. I will say, that I always try to be tactful and kind in my readings and in words I say to people.. some people are blunt and to the point.. I think it’s always better to be kind and polite..


  5. I love to hear other readers deliver a really positive, uplifting kind of reading to someone, so am glad to hear most people seem to give those. I guess I started being a little more straightforward when I found that people often didn’t really hear what I was saying. They’d spin whatever I told them to mean nothing was their fault, they had no control, someone else was doing evil to them and so there was nothing they could do about it. Too often people people hear what they want to hear, not what we’re saying.

  6. Thanks everyone for your input on this! I totally agree with these statements:
    “… even bad news can be delivered in an affirmative manner.”
    “… you can tell very hard truths in a positive way.”
    This illustrates a point I’m trying to understand. My concern is that maybe people who say they don’t sugar coat are giving themselves permission to deliver bad news without any care about how it’s delivered.
    Jennifer: That story is so funny because I sometimes jokingly call the Ten of Swords “the acupuncture card”. I love when the cards give us such literal messages; those are some of the fun moments in a reading.
    Digital Dame: re: “… people hear what they want to hear, not what we’re saying.” Yes. Sadly quite true, so I try to listen carefully to my clients’ responses to things I say. When they try to spin what I’ve said, I try to gently correct them. That’s not always possible, but if someone is that deep in denial, you just have to shrug it off. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

  7. Saseena, Tarot reader permalink

    I always assure the client that they have will-power and control over their own lives, no matter what I say, no matter what the cards say. I try to always remember that my reading can create a self-fulfilling prophecy; I want them to leave my table feeling uplifted and empowered.

  8. Well, ‘sugar coating’ is an ambiguous term. I will always be honest with my clients, however, I am judicious in HOW I deliver the information. I always try to deliver it in a way that I intuitively feel the client will be able to accept. Because the bottom line is, if the client can’t accept the delivery, the information itself is useless.

    It doesn’t mean I’m lying, but there are a lot of different ways to help people understand how they might be making life more difficult for themselves. In that, it’s not that I’m trying to give it in a positive way, but I give it to them in a way that gives them suggestions on what they might need to change in either their behaviour or their thinking, to create a better life or situation for themselves.

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