against the grain
Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- IPA: /əˈɡɛnst ðə ɡreɪn/
Prepositional phrase 
- (woodworking, of sanding or planing a piece of wood) Preventing a smooth, level surface from being formed by raising the nap of the wood or causing larger splinters to form ahead of the cutting tool below the cutting surface.
- (idiomatic) Contrary to what is expected; especially, of behavior different from what society expects.
- By going against the grain and going to work nude, you've made yourself a laughing stock.
- (idiomatic) Unwillingly, reluctantly; contrary to one's nature.
- It went much against the grain with him
Usage notes 
- The expression allows possessive pronouns and certain determiners to replace the and grain to be plural.
contrary to what is expected.