Often, a situation that is entirely negative does have some positive aspects, if we are willing to look for them. This is a situation that most of us have faced, however, we may not have known a proper term or phrase to describe it afterwards.
Which Words Can Describe When Something Good Comes From Something Bad?
For the purposes of this article, we will be going over ten different words and phrases – all of which will accurately describe a situation or moment when something good comes from something bad. The particular words and phrases that we will be looking at are as follows:
- Silver Lining
- On The Bright Side
- It’s An Ill Wind (That Blows Nobody Any Good)
- A Consolation
- A Blessing In Disguise
- The Darkest Hour Is Just Before The Dawn
- No Pain, No Gain
- Light At The End Of The Tunnel
- The Calm After The Storm
The preferred version that we will be highlighting is the “silver lining”. This is because the term “silver lining” best describes a situation where something good comes out of something bad. We consider a “silver lining” to be a positive aspect in an otherwise negative situation.
We can consider the “silver lining” to be a term that describes a hopeful prospect in an upsetting or difficult situation. Cambridge Dictionary defines the “silver lining” as an advantage that comes from a difficult or unpleasant situation. We use this term to emphasize the hopeful prospect or advantage.
Therefore, the “silver lining” is the good that can be found in a bad situation. The “silver lining” is often what people will cling to when they are going through a troubling moment, as this can keep them somewhat positive.
Here are a few examples to go over, that showcase the use of this term:
- When I look back on that car accident, the only silver lining was meeting you in the hospital afterwards.
- I know it’s hard, but you have to try to think of the silver lining in any negative situation. This can help you to keep a positive mindset.
- I’m looking for the silver lining in my present circumstances, but I can’t seem to find one.
Another excellent alternative that we can choose to use is “serendipitous”. Cambridge Dictionary defines “serendipitous” as happening or found by chance. Because of this, we will often consider a positive aspect that we stumble upon in a negative situation, to be “serendipitous”.
At the same time, we should think of something “serendipitous” to be an unexpected occurrence, that has brought us some happiness or peace of mind – especially when we needed it the most.
We will now go over the following examples that include this particular term:
- I was wrong to assume that bad things would continue to happen, as a serendipitous discovery was right around the corner.
- By a twist of fate, a short and serendipitous moment occurred, that brought us all a glimmer of hope.
- Meeting him after leaving my abusive relationship was a serendipitous moment – one that I’ll never forget.
On The Bright Side
We can consider the phrase “on the bright side” to depict the good portion of something that is most stressful or upsetting. This is because Cambridge Dictionary defines “on the bright side” as the advantages or good characteristics in a situation.
Therefore, when we use the phrase “on the bright side” we are directly referring to or choosing to focus on the positive aspects or outcome of a seemingly entirely negative situation.
Some examples that showcase the use of this statement are:
- However, on the bright side, you are still graduating with honours, despite not getting to have a ceremony due to the ongoing pandemic.
- On the bright side, our team has nowhere else to go but up. Therefore, we need to focus on what we can do to win our next game.
- You may have lost the race, but on the bright side, you beat your previous record times!
It’s An Ill Wind (That Blows Nobody Any Good)
Another great phrase that we can choose to utilize as an alternative is “it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good”. Cambridge Dictionary defines this particular phrase as being said to show that even a very bad situation must have some good results.
Because of this, this old British phrase is often used to express how a series of losses or misfortunes will generally benefit someone.
For additional clarity on the use of this phrase, here are a few examples to look over:
- They lost everything when their old shed burned down, however, they did get rid of a lot of junk – it was an ill wind indeed.
- John Heywood was the first known person to write “it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good”, however, it was written in Old English.
- Who says it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good, anyhow? What a ridiculous statement!
We will often think of “a consolation” as a prize or ribbon handed out to participants of a sport, that hasn’t ranked amongst the top three. However, Cambridge Dictionary is something that makes someone who is sad or disappointed feel better.
Because of this, we can consider “a consolation” a person or thing that provides comfort or joy to someone who has been through a lot or is presently upset.
Here are a few examples that we can go over:
- I had no clue what to say to her about the loss of her mother, so I just offered my best words of consolation.
- The Church became his main form of consolation in an otherwise short and troubling life.
- He found consolation in knowing that there were people who were much worse off than he was.
A Blessing In Disguise
Another phenomenal alternative phrase that we can choose to use to describe the good that comes from bad is “a blessing in disguise”. Cambridge Dictionary defines “a blessing in disguise” as something that seems bad or unlucky at first but causes something good to happen later.
Because of this, we often view “a blessing in disguise” as a seemingly misfortunate situation, that will unknowingly result in some good.
For additional information on how to use this specific phrase, we can look over the following examples:
- Being laid off turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it resulted in me seeking out and finding a much better job.
- My car broke down, but it was a blessing in disguise, as my insurance company covered the payments for a much better vehicle.
- Despite becoming a single parent at sixteen, she still viewed her son as a beautiful blessing in disguise.
The Darkest Hour Is Just Before The Dawn
The phrase “the darkest hour is just before the dawn”, is meant to emphasize that there is always some good to be found in a negative situation. Cambridge Dictionary defines this particular phrase as things often seem at their worst before they get better.
This phrase attempts to remind us that we should look for that small light or glimmer of hope, even in the most terrible situations.
Some examples of how we can use this phrase are:
- Try to remember, the darkest hour is just before the dawn – good things are coming your way.
- The darkest hour is just before the dawn and when the sun shines, it’ll shine out the clearer.
- She thought of an old phrase her grandma would use, the darkest hour is just before the dawn’ and she began to think of possible positive outcomes.
No Pain, No Gain
Another alternative that we can choose to use is “no pain, no gain”. When we say “no pain, no gain”, we are meaning to express that suffering or hardship is often necessary, in order to achieve a positive outcome that we so desire.
We will often say “no pain, no gain” in terms of a job or difficult task, as they can be overwhelming. However, we must endure and work hard, in order to achieve success or happiness.
Here are a few examples that show the use of this phrase:
- I know that working out is tiring, but no pain, no gain! You have to work hard to get noticeable results.
- Our management team always tells us no pain, no gain, before they have us do horrible tasks like cleaning the public washrooms.
- Get those knees up – no pain, no gain! I want to see you sweat!
Light At The End Of The Tunnel
The phrase “light at the end of the tunnel” is another great alternative. This is because Cambridge Dictionary defines this particular phrase as signs of improvement in a situation that has been bad for a long time, or signs that a long and difficult piece of work is almost finished.
Therefore, we should view “the light at the end of the tunnel” as the good that is coming to us, after a bad situation or moment.
We will now go over the following examples that highlight this particular phrase:
- I figured out that the light at the end of the tunnel was the fact that I passed my math exam, regardless of how difficult the unit was and how stressed it made me.
- He has been through an abundance of struggles; however, he was beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
- You will eventually start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I’m sure of it.
The Calm After The Storm
The final alternative that we will be looking over is “the calm after the storm”. The phrase “the calm before the storm” means to depict the period of time in which things begin to improve, after a difficult or stressful time in our lives.
Because of this, “the calm after the storm” is often considered a peaceful or hopeful moment, where we can finally relax. This is thought of as the good that finally comes from a bad situation.
Lastly, we will go over our last few examples that showcase this phrase in a sentence:
- Yesterday was hectic, but today I can finally feel the calm after the storm.
- She fell into hushed tones, finally feeling an alleviated amount of stress as if it was the calm after the storm.
- The calm after the storm came and my family was able to get some rest after a terrible weekend.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.