swim against the stream

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swim against the stream

To go against or disagree with a prevailing or popularly held opinion or perspective; to act or behave contrary to the majority of others. I really swam against the stream when I was in college with some radical opinions, but as I've grown older I have found myself falling more in line with other people's way of thinking. I don't understand why you always have to swim against the stream instead of making things a little easier on yourself!
See also: stream, swim
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

swim against the stream

or

go against the stream

If you swim against the stream or go against the stream, you do or say the opposite of what most other people are doing or saying. He was brave enough to be different and swim against the stream. If you live in a different culture, you can feel as if you are going against the stream.
See also: stream, swim
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

go, swim, etc. with/against the ˈstream/ˈtide

behave/not behave in the same way as most other people: He’s a fashion designer who’s always swum against the stream; his work is very original.Why do you always have to go against the tide?
See also: stream, tide
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

swim against the stream

To move counter to a prevailing trend.
See also: stream, swim
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Swimming against the stream of specialization and fragmentation to raise and address the question of why people do the things they do, psychologists contend that the why question about human behavior is nothing to be ashamed about.
[USPRwire, Wed Aug 12 2015] Contrary to the trend in traditional toys and games, video games is swimming against the stream in Brazil.
"Those [Israeli Arabs] who decide that their identity is Palestinian will be able to forfeit their Israeli citizenship and move and become citizens of the future Palestinian state," he wrote in the manifesto, entitled Swimming Against the Stream, published on his Facebook page and his party's website.
With the headline "Swimming Against the Stream", Lieberman stated: "Those [Palestinians in Israel] who decide that their identity is Palestinian will be able to concede their Israeli citizenship and move and become citizens of the future Palestinian state.
SWIMMING AGAINST the stream, Lucio Magri joined the Communist Party of Italy (PCI) in 1956 and rose quite rapidly through the ranks until the expulsion of his Il Manifesto group in 1970 sent him into the revolutionary left for more than a decade (an evidently painful interlude about which he says little more than that he allowed himself to be deluded by extremism).
"We're swimming against the stream," Arslanova said during a Frankfurt ceremony to mark the delivery of ABC's second stretch freighter.
"We are swimming against the stream enough to be able to afford to do that.
"It will be the greatest achievement of my career to win the Premier League now because we are swimming against the stream," he said.
"It will be the greatest achievement of my career to win the Premiership now because we are swimming against the stream at the moment," he said.
We are swimming against the stream, but I still believe this team can produce it.
If this is so, then the editors of this volume should not just get credit for putting together a splendid set of interviews; they should also be praised for swimming against the stream. As the sequel Masses of Formal Philosophy (Automatic Press 2006) indicates, the number of salmon might be on the rise.
Germain this month, he insisted he is not swimming against the stream within his Conservative Party of Canada caucus.
"We have been swimming against the stream for the whole year - no matter what we did it was always bad vibes."
"We have been swimming against the stream all year ( no matter what we did it was always negative vibes."