Is there a word for a person that does things because people said they would be bad at it? Ex: The man was told he would be the worst husband in the world so he set out to be the best. I was told spite but there is no ill intention.
As in "Mary, Mary, quite contrary". This might be relevant.
- opposed in nature, position, etc: contrary ideas.
- perverse; obstinate
- (Nautical Terms) (esp of wind) adverse; unfavourable
- (Botany) (of plant parts) situated at right angles to each other
- (Logic) logic (of a pair of propositions) related so that they cannot both be true at once, although they may both be false together.
If someone was doing their best to prove me wrong, I’d say they were being contrary.
I’d also use perverse or obstinate as adjectives, too.
Unfortunately I can’t see a way round the negative connotations. It seems that someone doing exactly the opposite of what is predicted/expected is inherently negative, even if there are no ill intentions. Another example would be to "defy expectations". "Defiance" also has less positive connotations.