Social Question

Jeruba's avatar

"It's all downhill from here": good or bad?

Asked by Jeruba (50689points) May 4th, 2016

When you hear (or use) this expression, do you take it to mean

(a) “We’re through with the tough part, the climbing and struggling, and now we come to the easy part, where we can just relax and coast.”

or

(b) “Everything just gets worse from now on. The good part is in the past, and we’re facing a decline from which we won’t recover.”?

If you heard your doctor say this, or your financial advisor, or your spouse, would you be relieved or upset?

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13 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

Context, context, context. And perspective.
I’ve used that phrase to mean both things, so I would judge by context, tone of voice, and body language to decide whether to be delighted or distressed.

ucme's avatar

Well if you’re a keen skier…

Coloma's avatar

Yep, it can mean both things, for me right now, it means a steady decline in terms of age, & finances. lol

ragingloli's avatar

@Coloma
You are becoming younger?

rojo's avatar

I believe this phrase was uttered by both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz last night.

Cruiser's avatar

I just went through this with my mom a couple days ago and actually heard both from Dr’s and Hospice people and they all used both in a row but articulated the gist of “b” first followed by the gist of “a”. Dr’s have to walk a delicate line when conveying terminal prognosis’s and I appreciated the open honest appraisal of my mom’s situation. For 2 months now we had hope and even without the Dr’s words I myself knew the situation had now had all hope removed. Her death will be the easy part….it’s all the damn arrangements when she passes that is the awful part.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it’s usually used to mean everything is going to get worse. I use it mostly to mean things are getting worse. However, now that you’ve made me consider how I do use it, I’m pretty sure I use it both ways. I never really thought about it. Full context would be important to be sure someone interpreted my intent correctly.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I don’t recall ever hearing the phrase “It’s all downhill from here” used in a negative manner. “His/her (health, financial situation, etc.) is on a downward slope” would imply that there is little, if any, hope of recovery.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Since it sounds more optimistic than “It’s all uphill from here”, then I suggest the phrase is meant to be a positive statement.

ragingloli's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer
I have never heard it used in a positive manner.

ucme's avatar

Positive would be to say “plain sailing”
Anyone using the “downhill” term as a positive is being clumsy & misleading

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