When is a "general" reading NOT a general reading? When a person actually has a question, but they want to see if the answer shows up in the cards on its own, without prompting.
I have had more versions of the following conversation than I can count. If you are new to reading for other people, give this exchange a good look and expect to see versions of it come up if you read for strangers on a regular basis.
Caller: I'd like a reading about relationships. I want to know what's in store for me.
Me: Do you want a general reading, or do you have a specific question in mind?
Caller: A general reading.
Note: I've learned to ask that question, because when people are paying by the minute, I don't want to waste time reading generally if they have a specific answer they are looking for. But, as I have learned, some people who want something specific still don't volunteer that fact when I offer them the opportunity.
Me: [pulls cards and starts interpreting]
Conspicuous by its absence, normally, is any hint of the person the caller actually wants to hear about. And when it's a "general relationship reading" for a person who actually wants something specific, you can bet that they have a person on their mind. Why is the secretly-targeted person not showing up? Unfortunately, the person they want to hear about frequently does NOT have my caller in mind. In such cases, he or she does not make an appearance in this "general" reading.
Also in such cases, cards indicating that my caller will be meeting someone new and beginning a new relationship, or news that they will be standing on their own or independent for a while (my positive spin on the concept of being not-in-a-relationship) will go unheard. Sadly, in this kind of call, no matter how good the news is, it often goes unheard. I could see cards telling me the caller is going to hit the Powerball jackpot and retire a zillionaire, and odds are they'll gloss right over it because it wasn't what they were hoping to hear.
Anyway, I give my interpretation of the general cards sitting in front of me. If it's a caller who's secretly harboring a specific question, 99.999% of the time, they're not getting their answer. 99.999% of the time, in my experience, that's because they have a person in their heart who has Moved On.
If this is the case, the caller usually provides followup questions that divulge what they REALLY wanted from the reading. "What do you see about a man named Wilbur? We broke up [timespan in weeks or months] ago. Does he still think of me? Does he love me? Will he come back to me?"
And NOW you can actually get down to business. But be prepared to find diplomatic ways to express yourself if the cards indicate that the answer to any or all of those questions is "No". Frequently, Wilbur's mind is on himself or someone else, rather than on my caller. Often, Wilbur's version of "love" involves a vastly different definition of the word than my caller has [which was probably a contributing factor in WHY he and my caller broke up X weeks or months ago]. And in those cases, the odds that Wilbur is coming back at all, or for any reason than his own gratification, are slim to none.
And this is one of the harder parts of doing readings for people. I so want to have good news for everybody. But sometimes I see cards that I know full well are saying the exact opposite of what my caller wants to hear, on a topic that's very near and dear to the caller's heart.
So I channel my inner Queen of Swords at that point, by offering an honest take on what's in front of me, with a reminder of some of the positives that most likely came up when we were still in the "this is a general reading" phase of the call. For example, "When you meet the new person that the first group of cards spoke of, you will find it easier to put Wilbur in the past and focus on the person who's in your present."
One of these weeks, I am going to COUNT the number of "general" readings I do that get converted into a specific question. Because I can guarantee that there will be multiple such calls in any given week. Sometimes there are multiple calls like this in a given DAY. Be prepared for this to crop up, if you are embarking on the path of reading for total strangers, because it WILL happen.