Learn English – word or phrase that’s the opposite of “drinking the kool-aid”?

phrase-requestsword-choice

Is there a word or phrase that’s the opposite of “drinking the kool-aid”? That phrase means you’ve been “on the inside” for so long that you can only see the good things. I’m looking for a phrase that means you’ve been on the inside for so long that you can only see the bad things.

Best Answer

"Drinking the Kool-Aid" does not mean being on the inside so long you see only good things. It means demonstrating unquestioning obedience or loyalty to someone or something--it could mean seeing only the good things, but that's imprecise. The phrase derives from James Jones' followers at Jonestown, who committed suicide by drinking poisonous Kool-Aid at his command. The opposite of this might be skepticism:

any questioning attitude towards unempirical knowledge or opinions/beliefs stated as facts, or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere. (wikipedia)

Perhaps also, distrust, mistrust, doubt, opposition, disbelief, to reject an idea, to renounce an idea, to disown an idea

If you really want an insider's perspective that suggests an open-eyed view of the bad things one will encounter there, you might say that person is "in the belly of the beast."

Sometimes people refer to "seeing how the sausage is made," meaning that they are in a position to see the horrible things that go on in a particular place (such as a sausage factory that combines meat by-products that people would never eat in any other form).