It takes a long time to sink in, and I found as I’ve gotten older, people who provide a defence often warn you about what they are going to do. If they are making a statement to you defending their honour, it usually means that they are going to break it. Shakespeare gave us the heads up a few centuries ago in Hamlet, when Hamlet said “I think she protestith to much”. This was regarding one of the characters making excuses for something that hadn’t yet been done.

The first, and the most traditional, is “trust me”. I heard a school teacher once say to all the girls in the class, whenever a boy says “trust me” “don’t”. Maybe that teacher was a little out of step, most people these days don’t want to be trusted in the circumstances they were talking about.

In business, I still hear it all the time “trust me” they say to me. “I always pay my bills”. You can always “trust me” “when it comes to truth”. Heard them? Usually it’s a warning that trust isn’t coming.

Well, if anyone tells you they are honest and have high integrity, be warned!!! If somebody is protesting their “honesty and integrity” before they have done anything wrong, you need to ask yourself why! Many people have “honesty and integrity” but they usually don’t tell the world about it. Usually, somebody who’s telling you this wants you to believe it for the purposes of deception.

The third danger sign is when they start pleading their faith! “I am a …………”. They are almost stating it because they want you to believe that they can be trusted, worked with, relied on etc. because of their faith. Historically, whenever I listened to this as an opening marketing statement in a business relationship, I have always been mislead and deceived. Unfortunately, you cannot sue for ignorance.

If a person has the need to say it, beware! Beware of the defence when there is no need to make one!

This article was written by Bailey Compton, Principal Solicitor & Director at Leverage Group.

To get in touch with Bailey, please email enquiries@leveragegroup.com.au or call 1300 438 538