Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Therapy Thursday: Love Them Anyway

pocket therapist front cover small.jpgI have decided to dedicate a post on Thursday to therapy, and offer you the many tips I have learned on the couch. They will be a good reminder for me, as well, of something small I can concentrate on. Many of them are published in my book, “The Pocket Therapist: An Emotional Survival Kit.

And finally, “do it anyway” applied to relationships means that you need only concern yourself about your side of the friendship, marriage, or golf foursome.


In 1960, author Kent Keith came up with the ten principles that he calls the Paradoxical Commandments. The first one says, “People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.” This pertains to persons blessed with good brain biochemistry, and to those that aren’t.

So when your mother has just given up smoking and drinking in the same week, you must not cancel that trip you planned to go see her, even as you are mighty tempted to bail. Definitely arrange some “day trips” (or exit strategies) during your time with her. Possibly bring some armor, like a few unflattering photos of her you can threaten to upload onto Facebok. But you must lover her–withdrawal symptoms and all.


Click here to subscribe to Beyond Blue and click here to follow Therese on Twitter and click here to join Group Beyond Blue, a depression support group. Now stop clicking.

  • Mary B

    My 23 year old daughter has ADD and OCD. She also has problems with depression and anxiety. She has recently graduated from college, is working and going for her Master’s. She is taking several medications and is now looking for a therapist. I am proud of her but living with her (she is saving for an apartment) is difficult. I always have to remind myself that she is not choosing to be this way.

  • Heather Whistler

    This is a really nice reminder to treat people with compassion. I’m in a Twelve Step program for food addction, and I’m always friendly and kind to new people in the program — no matter how “illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered” they may be — because I know they’re sick and struggling.
    I learned to apply that same principle to people outside the program as well. If someone is being grouchy, or rude, or self-centered, I think to myself, “Wow, they must really be struggling with something,” and I’m as kind and friendly as I can be.
    If you want to read more about food addiction, please check out the following entry on my blog:

  • BellaTerra66

    I usually like your blog but not this one. We not only have to love others, we need to love others. But there is no way I’m going to try to have a relationship, on any level, with someone with whom I really can’t have a relationship. Which includes my mother. I certainly would not let her be without enough food or to be homeless. After all, she is my mother. But she is a total narcissist, and I not only don’t visit her (she lives out of state) but I talk to her as little as possible. Live is unconditional but relationships are not.

  • Natalie

    Let’s also consider a father who is overworked, and has been forced by the law to straighten up his act. He is loving, kind, and gentle person now who makes a great father. Let us forgive him for ungodly ways that were so present a month ago.

  • me

    I would like to encourage the writer of this blog to READ the information on with special references to steps 8 and 9 and to anything written about Adult Children of Alcoholics.
    Your post sounded directed at 1 individual and your advice did not look as though you had taken the time to educate yourself on addiction recovery. Furthermore, your advice can have an extremely negative result when one considers steps 8 and 9.
    These steps are for the person recovering from addiction to take ‘in their time of inner readiness’ NO one can say when one is ready or not, it is inside the individual as is the factors that preclude that or delay it.
    In the words of those in recovery: Take your own inventory–don’t take mine! Look at yourself first in these matters…don’t judge and point fingers.

  • F. T.

    I agree to love them anyway, however, I agree w/ bella. There are boundaries that I set when it comes to that. I’ve learned the hard way that self-preservation is my tool. It may be selfish, but a necessity for me. I hope all the best for them, but for my health (mental) stay away from them,especially if it upsets me.

  • me

    F. T., I agree with you. Natalie, Thank you so very much. Bella, Thank You also and I wish you all the best. Heather, Your sensitivity, compassion and understanding deserve emulation.
    I also hope my earlier comment is taken as encouragement from the writer to improve upon her skill. It was not a personal criticism nor a personal attack; I simply believe the writer has to potential in her to write with more skill and look forward to seeing that here.
    I read the Thought for the Day on Hazelden’s website prior to my first posting a comment and the correlation to the unspoken themes or issues to this blog post was surprising, interesting, added depth, and encouraged me to the more positive side as my day unfolds.

  • paula

    I don’t believe that this post is in any way related to any 12step program. Good for those who have one. I believe it is all perspective how you look at things,people,places. I believe Therese wanted to give people food for thought. Another way to look at the situations we encounter in life as we go along. I saw humor in this blog. Something that has become so very helpful when I hurt so bad I’m not sure about anything any longer. Yes boundries are important. I have quiet a few. But the main idea in most 12step programs is to let go of the anger and fear behind the resentments. What we are afraid we would loose or not get or get something we don’t want. I get better at it one day at a time since that is all I have today. Love and wish the best for you Therese.

  • Doris Hoover

    I have always been a very loving and unselfish person cause my parents raised me that way.Sometimes it is hard to just love people cause they may be selfish with their own actions.They need to understand that you as a person have feelings too.I can say though that some people whether it be family or friends do need a little more love than they give you.It”s probably because they don”t know how to really love and they can’t even deal with theirself.I say just throw it out there and maybe they will learn also,how to really love someone or anyone.The whole perception here is to just be a loving and kind person as much as possible.When you get tired,rest for awhile and than throw the love out there.

  • pam

    I really do understand about loving them anyway, but it comes a time when you have taken all you can and you need to just leave them alone and if they do change than you will be there but if not you will be better off and know that you did give it your all.

  • boundariesfrom the watchman

    when claiming boundaries or care zones for protection consider compassion and grace when doing so they need not be walls of isolation but simple zone of self preservation ,hence the new term “care zones”

  • boundariesfrom the watchman

    additional thot, I have seen care zones violated by more than one party in a relationship, rem they are care zones for all in relationship can we define a care zone?

  • anju

    Thank you for these words I feel so much better knowing that I am kind maybe a little to kind and that’s fine , and the comment about leaving those “self centered ” folks alone, i
    Agree, as it is not fair to keep putting our selves through emotional torture

  • Lina

    this is very serious. my situation is my own fault at this point. its impossible to get a person to show that you matter to them. a love to hate you and hate to luv you relationship. my solution is for me to love them from a distance. before theres no love for them at all.

  • louise

    I’ve learned the Some people are like Cactus you have to love them from a distance,for if you don’t your reminded that they can prick you. Or theres the painting one in order to take some paintings in you need to stand way back so you can take it all in and there are others that draw you in very close and your warmed by the details and the colors.

  • Melanie

    I first heard of these 10 principles when reading of Mother Teresa. It is said that she had this posted on her wall. They’ve become so famous & inspired so many, the author now has a website dedicated to the Paradoxical Commandments. Thanks for sharing them, Therese!

  • Catie

    This article is a disjointed mess and doesn’t say enough to make a point. Somebody, please proofread and edit! “But you must lover her” should be “love her.” And the lead paragraph sounds like it was a thought picked up mid-stream from elsewhere.

  • Heather

    Dear Therese,
    Thank you for letting God flow so freely through you to us, the readers who gain hope and insight from what you write. Your openness, honesty and work to discern how sacredness shines through brokenness is nothing short of heroic. On a personal note, your words often come to me at times when I really need then, truly “apples of silver in settings of gold.” May God shower every blessing upon your entire family.

  • liuhuyu

    input this URL:
    ( )
    you can find many cheap and high stuff
    (jor dan shoes)
    (NBA NFL NHL MLB jersey)
    ( lv handbag)
    (cha nel wallet)
    (D&G sunglasses)
    (ed har dy jacket)
    (UGG boot)
    ===== =====

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild ...

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate ...

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from ...

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a ...

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer ...

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.