swim upstream

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swim upstream (third-person singular simple present swims upstream, present participle swimming upstream, simple past and past participle swam upstream)

  1. (idiomatic) To opt for a difficult course of action when a simpler or safer alternative is available; to make an unwise decision against sound advice.
    I told my daughter to get her hair dyed at a salon, but she had to swim upstream and do it herself. Now it's a mess.