Against the grain
Meaning against one’s inclination or natural tendency and derives from working with wood, where it is always easier to work with the grain than against it. It also applies to carving meat, where one should carve against the grain rather than with it. Its figurative use of against one’s inclination dates from the late 16th/early 17th century. Shakespeare used it in Coriolanus (1607) Act III, Scene II. “Preoccupied with what you rather must do rather than what you should, made you against the grain.” It is not certain, however, whether Shakespeare was the first to use it in this sense, but he certainly helped to popularise it.