Why do people lie?

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    Busy As A Bee

    And is there any seforim or booklets that are out there to help a kid who has a real problem with Emes?

    Preferably in English being that she doesnt have a firm grasp of Hebrew…



    what is your relationship to this girl? will she view the gift as a positive thing or take it as undue criticsm?

    Busy As A Bee

    As a positive thing. She idolizes me…


    Busy As A Bee-

    Why do people lie?

    1) To escape punishment.

    2) For personal gain.

    3) To protect someone else.

    4) To hurt someone else.

    5) Because they don’t value the truth enough.

    There may be times an untruth is allowed – to protect someone else’s feelings, for tznius reasons, for safety and so on.

    I assume this case doesn’t involve any of these reasons.

    This isn’t a magic cure-all for lying, but I’d emphasize how strongly you value the truth, how disappointed you are when told a lie, and how unfortunate it is to not be trusted because of a reputation as someone who is untruthful.

    We do the above, and also stress how the lie itself is almost always worse in our eyes than the original transgression.


    Lying is a habit. If you get away with it once, twice the third time it becomes easier and then easier still. Once you let that first lie slip past your tongue you are almost doomed. If someone you know is a habitual liar the best thing to do is show them the consequences of their lies and how much it can hurt others.

    Busy As A Bee

    ICOT I like what u said.

    The problem is when she told the truth the punishment was much worse then if she didnt so she kept lying.

    Any ideas or seforim that can help?


    Try this book: http://www.eichlers.com/Product/Books/Self_Help/Daily_Reading/Chofetz-Chaim:-Lessons-in-Truth-%5BHardcover%5D-_596-9.html

    If the girl is too young to read this type of books maybe you should read through the book and once in a while mention to her the lessons from it.


    I don’t get the question. People lie for hundreds of reasons. People lie because they can

    Dovid S.

    I can bring a bunch of sources about lying and put them into English and a child-friendly format. Would that help?

    Busy As A Bee


    She needs to learn why its a bad thing, and sort of exercises to stop her from doing it in the future..


    This person’s age matters a lot. It is a normal instinct for a child to deny raiding the cookie jar, wearing a crumb mustache. Can you find some examples of people who are trusted because they tell the truth, and point out how lying erodes trust and respect?


    There was a really good article in the Binah magazine a month or so back about a compulsive liar and how she overcame it.


    Is the issue a lack of Yiras HaShamayim? Someone who has a problem with stealing (for example, keeping silent when the grocery store clerk fails to charge you for an item), with swearing (after all, I was really angry, and the words just came out), or with lashon hara (I wasn’t the first to speak lashon hara at the Kiddush) has the same basic issue as someone with a problem with lying: they act as if there is no eye to see or ear to hear what goes on.

    It is hard to face the problem you have to struggle with day-to-day. It is much easier to see that something that is not a challenge for yourself can be a real problem for other people. This can then lead you to reflect that if you don’t have a problem with stealing because you know that the Abishter is watching, then you should apply the same insight to the thing you need to work on.

    Perhaps the girl will respond if she sees that she has the strength to resist challenges that others have.

    Busy As A Bee

    DovidM that’s a very interesting point that I never thought of before. Maybe I will help her work on her Yiras Shamayim.


    Anyone else?


    Busy As A Bee-

    There are several famous cases where a lie ended up being far worse than the misdeed it was meant to cover up:

    -Richard Nixon lost the presidency due to engaging a cover-up of someone else’s crime.

    -Bill Clinton was humiliated, impeached and disbarred for lying to cover inappropriate behavior.

    -Best-selling British author Jeffrey Archer was imprisoned for lying to cover inappropriate behavior.

    -Baseball superstars Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are facing prison for allegedly lying to Congress about their cheating.

    -Anthony Weiner’s lying about his inappropriate behavior certainly hasn’t helped his cause.

    These are just a few cases off the top of my head where lying made thing worse – in some of them much worse – than simply ‘fessing up to the original misdeed.

    The specifics of some of the original misdeed are inappropriate to discuss here, and if the girl is a child (as I suspect she is, based on what you said), you will probably have to gloss them over or use a euphemism – e.g. “He took something that wasn’t his”.

    I intended to write something in the form of a short children’s story and incorporate one of the above cases, but didn’t have the time – sorry.

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