How to Deal With Asshole Surfers and Become Asshole Proof

We’ve all come across an asshole in our lives.  For most of us they seem to show up once or asshole surfertwice a year and typically exhibit classic asshole behavior like belittling you for no apparent reason.  Or if you surf an asshole may drop into your wave just because they feel entitled and haven’t quite evolved past the 8th grade.

When I got up today, I thought, wow its gorgeous outside and I haven’t surfed in a few weeks and its 78° with water temperature at 70° and consistent 2-3 foot glassy waves peeling in. I drove down to Scripps pier, which is 3 minutes from my house and paddled out to a semi crowded Saturday.

After catching lots of fun waves and chatting in between sets with a few locals I know, I took off on a wave to go right.  After I stood up on my board some guy next to me got up and attempted to go left.  I called him off, rode the wave and paddled back out. About a half hour later I paddled into a left and the same guy dropped in right in front of me.   I called him off but he didn’t get off and instead said “what comes around goes around.”

Only problem with that motto is that intentionally screwing people for revenge has nothing to do with the the natural flow of karma or what comes around goes around. Of course to top it off, he was using this as an excuse to mask his entitled asshole approach to life.

I then confronted him and told him I never cut him off nor did he ever call me off a wave.  He stuck with his story so I told him “you don’t have to be a dick and intentionally cut me off,” but of course this meant nothing to him and he proceeded to paddle away. A few seconds later his buddy paddled up next to me and started shouting obscenities at me like a rabid foaming dog.  I had my head turned during his barrage of poisonous venom and had about 1 second to decide what to do.

This was a crucial moment, I could’ve attacked and gotten violent, but those days are long gone for me.  And quite ironically, I had just held my bi-monthly spiritual mastermind meeting on changing negative karma.

It also didn’t hurt that I’ve been in this situation at least a few times over the last 10 years.  When I turned to him, I simply said:

“The sun is out, the water is clear, it’s a beautiful day, so why are you so angry?”

He was literally stunned and didn’t know what to say. These words of truth worked like magic, stopped him dead in his tracks and instantly diffused his anger.  I should’ve just dropped it as he began paddling away mumbling “yea whatever”, but my own pain body wanted to bury this guy so I said:  “You know I’m right” and of course assholes, with their heavy addiction to anger are always looking for opportunities to spew venom.

So eventually he began spewing more obscenities and attempted to belittle me. He even pulled the local card.  Unfortunately for him he was not in 8th grade where that comment might have pulled weight against an immature 15 year old kid.  He was most certainly around 30 years old and I knew at that moment I was not dealing with a full deck of cards, but rather a little boy in a man’s body who had never evolved.

So I said: “Clearly you have a lot of anger and don’t know how to deal with it because if you were happy and you really felt good about yourself you wouldn’t need to put other people down.”

Of course this was again something he had never heard before and stunned him again, but there was no way he was going to give up on being an asshole.  He even went so far as to say, “Are you Christian?” As if Christians are bad people for being kind. How disconnected can a person possibly be? How could I not have anything but deep compassion for this lost soul.

His buddy on the other hand who actually cut me off didn’t have a whole lot to say, most likely because he knew deep down that he was wrong.  At that point I had said what I needed to say and paddled away.

In retrospect if I were to do anything differently I would have said to the angry guy:

“The more you put me down the more you show everybody how unstable, insecure and angry you are.”

This is what I think would’ve really shut him up because he just didn’t understand that every bit of slander that came out of his mouth was digging him deeper and deeper into a hole of self-hatred.

I don’t know if this would’ve shut him up but it does shoot straight to the core of the issue…

“People who put others down don’t like themselves.”

Biggest Takeaway
My biggest takeaway from this whole incident goes back to the spiritual mastermind we held earlier this week.  In order to change your karma and stop attracting negative people you need to take a different course of action when confronted by an asshole.

The Spoon & The Glass Of Water
The best analogy for changing karma I’ve ever heard is the spoon and the glass of water, which is based on the Buddhist law of causality.  So imagine you are the glass of water. In the water there is sediment or dirt, which represents your past negative causes, slandering others, hurting others, etc. This sediment represents what we call the inherent causes, which create your present results.  Ok so what about the spoon?

The spoon represents the external cause (the asshole).  So when the spoon stirs the water, it becomes cloudy and we can’t see clearly.  This may lead to more poor decisions, more slandering and hurting others, which are more inherent causes that create latent effects lodged in your life awaiting the right circumstances to show up as a manifest effects.  But here’s the catch and the key to this whole thing, so listen up:

If there were no dirt or sediment in your life, the water would still be clear when stirred.  Basically making you “asshole proof.”

I could have acted with anger, and punched this guy or jumped off my surfboard and tried to drown him, but this would only have created another “inherent cause” which would’ve led to a latent, then manifest effect of future assholes (spoons) to come stir my water.  And so the vicious cycle repeats itself.

So instead of acting with rage and anger and adding fuel to the fire, I realized that having this asshole in my life was an opportunity for me to act from the world of Buddhahood, show compassion and see the deep pain that caused him to lash out for no apparent reason, thereby preventing more assholes (spoons) from showing up in my life

Of course this is no easy task when you have a barking dog foaming from the mouth who activates your animal instinct to protect and fight.

What you do at this moment is what separates the boys from the men and the girls from the women.

The real challenge is that these things come up once in a while, out of the blue and they hit you from what appears to be nowhere.  If you haven’t been actively practicing what it means to act from the world of Buddhahood by reaffirming your good side, you’ll most likely over react like the angry dog in the water and you never get the chance to really change your karma and stop attracting negative things into your life.

There has been lots of research on neuroscience which proves that for every 1 negative experience we must have 3 positive experiences to cancel out the negative.

So folks…It’s a work in progress and I’m still working on it.  Here’s my suggestions for reaffirming the good and becoming asshole proof:

  • heart to heart dialogue with others
  • journaling
  • yoga
  • helping others
  • spiritual practices (meditation, prayer, chanting)

So the next time you encounter an asshole, just know they got a lot of dirt in their water and deep down they are most likely suffering from a lifetime of failure, regret and broken dreams. This is not an attack.  This is an opportunity to do something different and act with compassion.  If you can do this each time you are tested, those tests will gradually fade away and become less and less frequent.  I already know this from my own life.  I’m living proof, hey its been almost 3 years since I had a real asshole appear and they used to show up at least semi-annually.

Feel free to leave comments below.

Wishing you an asshole free weekend!  Or maybe not??