Thursday, January 6, 2011

Compulsive liars

Today is Rosh Chodesh Shebat , 5771

The Torah forbids to lie.

The Torah distinguishes between different levels of lying. In Shemot 23, 7 the Pasuk says: midebar sheker tirchak "keep yourself away from telling lies". Which our rabbis interpreted as the prohibition to tell something about the past or about one's future intentions, changing deliberately the details of it.

Lies are also classified according to the damage they cause. Although it is forbidden to lie even when no harm is caused, the more harm the lie causes to someone else, the more serious the lie is considered.

Our rabbis explain that the first victim of lies is very often the liar.
When someone gets use to lie, he builds for himself an alternative reality. A dimension he devises for himself to accommodate his wishes, fears, complexes. He will give more importance to his perception of the facts than to the facts themselves.

Sometimes -the Rabbis (and the psychologists) explain- a person might get addicted to lies. And in needs of changing reality or escaping reality in order to survive or enjoy life. This person is called 'a compulsive liar'. Someone who lies out of habit.

"Lying is their normal and reflexive way of responding to questions. Compulsive liars bend the truth about everything, large and small. For a compulsive liar, telling the truth is very awkward and uncomfortable while lying feels right. Compulsive lying is usually thought to develop in early childhood, due to being placed in an environment where lying was necessary". The compulsive liar many times suffers from a very low self esteem and might need therapy and counseling.

How to Stop Compulsive lying?

Rabbi Yosef Bitton. YMJC | 130 Steamboat Rd. | Great Neck | NY | 11024