in spite of (oneself)

(redirected from in spite of themselves)

in spite of (oneself)

1. Despite one's own foibles, mistakes, or flaws. Somehow the Eagles managed to pull off a victory in spite of themselves. I knocked over my drink and called her the wrong name at one point, but all in all, I think the date went well in spite of myself.
2. Despite or against one's desire or intention. I was scared senseless when I realized there was a burglar in the house, but I laughed in spite of myself when he slipped on a banana peel on the kitchen floor.
See also: of, spite

in spite of someone or something

without regard to someone or something; even though another course had been prescribed; ignoring a warning. In spite of her orders to stay, I left. In spite of the bad weather, I had fun on vacation.
See also: of, spite

in spite of

Regardless of, in defiance of, as in They kept on in spite of their fears. [c. 1400]
See also: of, spite

(do something) in ˈspite of yourself

(do something) even though you do not want or expect to: He was a bit depressed so I tried to cheer him up with a joke. He smiled in spite of himself.
See also: of, spite

in spite of

Not stopped by; regardless of: They kept going in spite of their fears.
See also: of, spite
References in periodicals archive ?
Author Beth Kendrick has created characters with complexity and sarcasm who trudge through the heaviness of loving in spite of themselves.
What Barbara Christian has called Walker's "contrariness," and her creation of characters who act in spite of themselves, involves a doubling of each of the terms; and such a doubling opens up "differences w ithin identities" (Fuss 103), within what for identity politics would be the two mutually exclusive terms of an opposition.
More significant, however, is that Walker's contrariness provides delicate attention to the spatio-temporal dimension within "identities," which is what makes change possible and allows her characters to act in spite of themselves, in spite of their best and worst intentions.
Barbara Christian's insight that Walker's characters often act in spite of themselves is critical.