(Look) on the bright side

A bright ray of sunlight on a cloudy day
When faced with a difficult situation, try to look on the bright side.

If you are faced with a difficult or unfortunate situation, you can either focus on the negative aspects or you can be optimistic and look on the bright side. If you look on the bright side, you try to find positive or advantageous points about an otherwise negative scenario. We use this expression to refer to something that might offer hope or encouragement during a difficult time.

This expression is neutral in tone and can be used in both personal and professional settings. It is often used to cheer people up or add an air of positivity. If you are using this expression to comfort someone, you can say "look on the bright side," followed by your positive point. If you are reflecting on your own experience, you do not need to include the verb "look." You can say, "on the bright side," followed by your positive point. For example:

  • Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed when we arrived, but on the bright side, we decided to try the place next door and it turned out to be even better than our original selection!
  • I had to work from home this month, which has been difficult in terms of limited social interaction. On the bright side, I saved a couple hundred dollars on transportation costs.

A. Mark, I heard you broke your ankle running a marathon last month. How are you feeling?
B. That’s right. I got surgery and I have to use crutches for another few weeks before I can go running again.
A. That’s too bad. But, hey, look on the bright side – at least the doctors were able to fix it without any lasting damage.

Did you know? This expression is similar in meaning to the idiom "silver lining," which you can read about here. 


Carmen's picture

I love these one minute lessons. An excellent resource to switch to at the end of the lesson and a good taster for Business Idioms.