13 Signs Someone Wants to Destroy You and Your Reputation

WhatToGetMy Instructional Article

  • A person who wants to destroy a man’s life or destroy someone’s reputation usually comes close to that person, so that they can understand them enough to know how to go about destroying and wrecking them.
  • This article will explain why people destroy others, how to recognize a person who will ruin your life, and what to do when someone is trying to ruin and destroy your life and reputation.

Watch the video version of this article:

2020 online reputation management statistics (U.S.). Source: Reputation X

2020 online reputation management statistics (U.S.)

Reputation is so important in everyone’s life. The above chart (gotten from Reputation X) on the importance of reputation to online businesses is as true for our everyday life as it is for online businesses. Once a person’s name is tarnished, they are as good as destroyed because no one will want to relate with them at a level of trust.

In the Christian’s holy book, the Bible, there is a very wise saying that “a good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.”(Proverbs 22:1) This ancient text espouses a principle we must never forget, and which forms the subject matter of this article. And that is that one’s good name and reputation are very important, and in fact more important than wealth.

This principle is also one of the laws of power espoused by the renowned writer, Robert Greene, in his controversial book, The 48 Laws Of Power, as the fifth law of power. In his words:

“So much depends on reputation. Guard it with your life. Reputation is the cornerstone of power. Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once it slips, however, you are vulnerable and will be attacked on all sides. Make your reputation unassailable. Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they happen.”

This quote aptly summarizes why we need to guard and protect our good name and reputation at all costs. But we can only fight an enemy that we know, see and understand. To protect your good name and reputation from being destroyed, you need to know what to look out for as signs that someone wants to destroy you and your reputation because there are people who make it their life mission to ruin someone’s life.

It is only when you are able to identify them, can you be able to do what Robert Greene says about being able to thwart potential attacks before they happen. And that is why this article will enlighten you on how to recognize a person who will ruin your life, and what to do when someone is trying to ruin your reputation.

Why Would Someone Want To Destroy You?

Sometimes people try to destroy you because you have something they want and can’t seem to get. Destroying you gives them a dark sense of satisfaction in knowing that because they can’t have it and have destroyed your chances at it, you also can’t have it.

When a person is out to destroy you, your misery is their satisfaction. Your sadness is their joy, and your pain is their happiness. They couldn’t be bothered if they destroy a man’s life or break someone mentally because of the destruction.

And the unsettling thing about people like this is that you have done nothing wrong to them. Just because you have something they want and desire, you become their target. Such people are usually known either as sociopaths, psychopaths, or toxic people. In extreme and dangerous cases they may have an antisocial personality disorder.

It is important to know how to identify such people so that you can take the necessary precaution to protect yourself and your hard-earned reputation.

How To Recognize A Person Who Will Ruin Your Life.

One thing you should know about a person or people who will ruin your life is that they never come looking like the devil. They are your everyday people and behave like normal nice people although they are anything but, on the inside.

They will not expressly tell you that they are out to ruin you and you may not pick up on these signs or think too much about them because you have no reason to suspect or think they are out to ruin you.

These people are close to you because it is only by being close to you that they can get the armory they need to destroy and ruin your life. This is very important to remember. A person on the outside cannot destroy you without adequate information about you. And the only way to get that information is either to get it directly from you or indirectly through someone who is close to you and knows you. Either way, such people will find their way into your circle somehow.

If you see any of these signs from the people close to you, beware! They are out to ruin you and your reputation. And even if they may not be out to destroy you, they are certainly using you and are still bad for you.

1. They are generally negative and toxic people and have nothing good to say about anyone or anything.

If someone close to you is always full of negativity about everyone and everything, they are trying to infuse that negative energy into your life so that you also start to see only the negative in life.

Everyone around them is an enemy, and they want you to see everyone that way too. When you see everyone as an enemy, you begin to isolate yourself from everyone else and see them as your only friend, except they are not. And once they have you to themselves and away from everyone else, you find that you are at their mercy.

What you may not be aware of is that in the same way they come to you talking about what is wrong with everyone else but themselves, is the same way they go to those same people to tell them how horrible of a person you are.

Beware of a “friend” who always seems to have the latest bad news on everyone else and never has something positive to say about other people. They are doing the same thing to you behind your back, to anyone who would care to listen. Without your knowing it, they are tearing your reputation to shreds behind your back before people you may not even know. And these people will in turn judge you negatively even before they’ve seen you, and suddenly your reputation is down the drain.

Keep such “friend(s)” at arm’s length and do not give them room to peddle their negative stories because their negative stories are the way they bait and trap you into keeping them close. Not to mention, you don’t need that kind of negative energy around you.

Related article: How to remain positive in difficult times.

2. They always play the victim card to get your sympathy.

The world and everyone in it are always against them. They are always being oppressed and no one seems to understand them or wants to help them. These are the stories they will always tell you at every chance they get. They are trying to appeal to your soft and caring side so that you see them as a project to be rescued, and in that way, you keep them close. And by keeping them close, they keep prying into your life to find ways to destroy you.

Any friend or close associate that is always trying to play the victim card with you is someone to beware of and be on the lookout for. A person who genuinely wants to help themselves will not always want to be seen as the victim. They will have their sense of pride to want to go out and make something of their life in the same way you have without wanting to latch onto you like a parasite.

Again with such people, don’t let them in. keep them at arm’s length. When they “cry”, encourage them that the world is not against them and that they can make something of their life with hard work and commitment. But do all of that from a distance.

3. They will try to put down your dreams and ambitions.

A person who is out to destroy you is the last person to be discussing your dreams and aspirations with. Hearing about your plans and aspirations will fill them with envy and jealousy because those are things they cannot dream up for themselves, no matter how hard they try. They will try to dampen your enthusiasm by showing you all that could possibly go wrong with your plans.

Or they could act very disinterested and dismissive because they cannot help the envy and jealousy they feel at your dreams and ambitions. For some, after feigning disinterest, they will go behind your back, steal your idea and try to use it before you do.

When you see any of these signs when you discuss your dreams and plans with a friend or loved one, take the cue immediately and cease talking about your plans with them because in those cases where they feel extreme jealousy, they will steal your plans and ideas.

To err on the side of caution, it is best to keep your plans to yourself until you have completely executed them.

4. They talk about you behind your back.

You may walk in on them doing this accidentally. Or, you may be passing by and overhear them without their knowing. In other instances, how you get to know is when the people they’ve been talking to about you eventually get to meet you. You can immediately tell from their body language that they have been told certain things about you that are most likely negative. Or, you may be lucky enough that one of the people they talked about you with, will come and tell you about the rumors being spread about you.

Once you see this sign, run as far away as possible from this friend because they will surely complete the destruction they have started.

5. The only conversations they ever want to have is about you, your accomplishments, and what you’re up to.

And the reason why they do this isn’t because they care about you or your wellbeing. No. The only reason why they want to know is so they can keep tabs on you. Take note of what they ask about you. It’s never to find out how you’re doing and if you’re keeping well. It’s always about what’s new in your life; what are you up to and the likes.

When a person is out to destroy you, information is their power. The more they know about you and what you are up to, the easier and quicker it is for them to wreck your life and destroy your reputation.

Another way you know them is that they are very evasive when you ask them about their own lives. They are suddenly very private and want to change the topic. Suddenly, it looks like they are uncomfortable talking about their lives. And maybe it is because they don’t want you to notice how shallow and uneventful their lives really are, and how much of nothing they are doing with their lives.

Once you have a friend who is always about wanting to know about you and not very forthcoming with their own lives, watch out. A friend who does not want you prying into their lives will also not pry into yours. Keep such people at arm’s length and never give them any more than what you will tell a total stranger about your life because as far as your well-being is concerned, they are as good as the total stranger you meet on the streets.

6. They make you feel they have your back in private when they are with you, but in public, they will never publicly defend or stand for you.

A friend who tells you how unjustly you are being treated in private, and yet cannot defend you with the same vigor before those detractors is not your friend. They are someone you should watch out for because their silence in public speaks volumes. Their silence says that they agree with the treatment being given to you by your detractors. They are secretly happy that you are facing the opposition that you are facing. In some cases, they may in fact be the architect of that ill-treatment, or at least have a hand in it.

Always pay attention to those who defend you in public and the language they use. It will tell you volumes about how they feel about you and whether they are the kind to join others to destroy you.

7. They are not genuinely happy for you.

They may give a forced smile or laughter when you share your good news with them. If you suspect the smile or laughter is false, it most likely is. Trust your instinct and don’t allow yourself to be fooled by their fake smile because they are not happy for you.

8. They downplay your accomplishments.

This is their way of trying to make themselves feel great about themselves. They may say things like “I could have done that in more record time.” Or, “I can do that too with my eyes closed.” They want to make you feel that there is nothing notable about what you did, and yet they cannot do the same things if presented with the same opportunities.

9. They are only ever friendly when they need something from you.

They may disappear from your life for some time but suddenly reappear out of the blues. You may start to feel special and remembered, only to realize that they only reached out because they wanted something from you. A friend who does this is a user and not a friend. They are not interested in who you are and building a relationship with you. They are only with you because of the benefit(s) they think it brings them.

You should also care for yourself enough to cut off from such a person. Even if you wanted them to hang out with you, you don’t need such users in your life as they will only drain you.

10. They try to separate you from other important relationships in your life.

It is hoped that by doing this, you are left alone, vulnerable, and at their mercy when it matters most. A friend who is always trying to paint your other friends and family badly is trying to separate you from them. Beware of such a friend or friends.

11. You may accidentally catch a quick glimpse of contempt in their eyes/face which is quickly masked with a smile or laughter.

It will happen so quickly that you will start to question what you saw and if indeed you saw it. Do not doubt your instincts. Contemptuous looks or stares are hard to miss because of the glare in them. And if you think you saw this, you most likely did. Trust your gut.

You should be extra careful of friends or loved ones like this because that momentary flash of contempt is exactly how they feel about you, and any chance they get, they will destroy you without hesitating.

12. They subtly plant seeds of doubt to eat away at your confidence and self-esteem.

They do this by chipping them in as questions or suggestions. Once the seed of doubt is planted, you begin to doubt yourself. And when you begin to doubt yourself, you start making avoidable mistakes, and this is exactly what they are counting on to happen. They hope that by making mistakes, your goodwill and reputation will begin to crumble, thus destroying you and your legacy.

A good friend will never make you doubt yourself, and will always boost your confidence. Any friend who does otherwise is out to destroy you, cut them off.

13. They feel entitled to whatever it is they ask you to help them with.

This shows in how they receive it. They may mutter a half-hearted word of gratitude under their breath as though they can’t understand why they need to be thanking you for it anyway. Their thinking is that you owe it to them even when you owe them nothing.

If you sense a friend or someone close to you with this tendency, watch out for them. It is only a matter of time before they take what is rightfully yours because of their misplaced mindset that it is theirs and not yours.

What To Do When Someone Is Trying To Ruin Your Reputation – How To Deal With Someone Who Wants To Destroy You.

In addition to all the tips already mentioned for each of the 13 signs above, once you identify a person who wants to ruin your life and reputation, do the following 5 things.

1. Say little to nothing about your life to them.

The test of knowing what to say to them is to ask yourself if the information you are giving out is information you will not mind a total stranger knowing about you. If it is information that you will mind divulging to a total stranger, then don’t tell them. Simply brush it aside with a smile or you can even be bold enough and tell them you don’t want to talk about it with them. That express refusal always annoys and keeps them away.

2. Turn the tables on them and always ask them about their life.

This will make them uncomfortable and they will slowly start to avoid you. And if they still decide to keep coming around, always make it a point to keep them as the center of the discussion. They will soon get the message that you don’t want to talk about your life, and they will stay away.

3. Keep them at serious arm’s length.

You don’t need friends who display the above signs close to you. They are bad for your quality of life and success. They will only ever pull you down with them. Keep your interactions and discussions with them at the barest minimum because they have nothing to add to your life except misery.

Related article: Influences that can affect a person’s life.

4. Take note of the close friends in their circle who are also in your circle, and limit the information you pass to them.

This is important because once they realize they can’t get to you directly, these are the links they will use to get to you. And because these friends of theirs do not know their agenda, they will unwittingly divulge information which you may not want them to know about. It is best to keep anything about yourself outside their circle of friends because it will eventually get to them somehow.

5. Cut them off.

Ultimately, you need to cut them off if you want to keep your reputation and success. It is important to know when to let go of the toxic people in your life before they destroy you. Not all relationships are meant to be, and knowing when to give up on a relationship is important for your survival. Our article on When should you give up on a relationship provides you with invaluable insights on when you should call any relationship quits.

Frequently Asked Questions.

1. Someone is trying to ruin and destroy my life, what should I do?

Don’t lose sleep over it. Knowing that they want to ruin your life is great. That is one half of the problem solved. Follow the steps outlined in this article for the other half. Take all the steps listed in this article, and you will beat them at their game.

2. Why does my female friend try to sabotage my success and turn everyone against me but at the same time acts so innocently like she doesn’t know what she is doing and it wasn’t her intention?

First of all, it is important to stop calling her your friend because she is not. A friend will not do what she is doing. She has no respect for you or your friendship and is obviously trying to destroy you and your success. As hard as it is to believe, you have to understand that she does not have your best interest at heart. Her only interest is to destroy and finish your success and reputation. Avoid her at all costs if you want to salvage your success and reputation.

Related article: What to do when someone won’t apologize.

3. What do you do when someone is trying to sabotage you and your life any way they can?

Cut them off completely. Don’t wait for their sabotage and destruction to finish you off. Cut off from them completely and save your life. Don’t even try to confront them because they will deny it vehemently and make you feel and look stupid. Cut and severe all ties with them and move on.

4. What are the signs of someone wanting to destroy your life?

If they show you one or all or some of the 13 signs listed in this article, then they want to destroy your life.

5. Why do people destroy other peoples’ lives and then go with their own lives as if nothing happened?

It is as we said earlier in this article, it gives them a very dark sense of satisfaction just knowing that they have destroyed another person’s life. Read the first section in this article for a more detailed explanation.

6. If someone is trying to ruin your life, is there anything you can do to stop them?

Yes indeed. You can stop them by cutting them completely out of your life and not letting them close to you. When you keep them out, they have no way of ruining your life.

7. How do you protect yourself from someone who is trying to destroy your life?

You protect yourself by cutting them out of your life and keeping them on the outside. If they are on the outside, they have no information to destroy you with. Remember to also limit the information you share with their other friends because this will then get back to them.

8. What are some less obvious hints that your “friend” is trying to sabotage your success?

They will display the 13 signs listed in this article. If you don’t pay attention to their actions, you will miss these less obvious hints.

9. Can people ruin your life just for fun?

Yup, they can. Sadly for some people, ruining other people’s lives for fun gives them a kick. Those are the kind of people you definitely do not want in your life.

10. What should I do if someone keeps ruining your reputation and people around you inevitably believe it?

Cut off from them, and if these people are important to you, work on redeeming your reputation by acting towards them in ways contrary to the bad reputation created by your “friend”. With your consistent actions, it will hopefully change the wrong perception they have about you.

If they are not too important to you, don’t lose sleep over it. Cut off your “friend” and move on. In time they will see that your “friend” was wrong.

11. How can you deal with people who ruin your life?

Cutting them off from your life completely is the best way to deal with them and the best punishment for them. Not knowing what you are up to, it will drive them up the wall.

12. A manipulative person destroyed my reputation and poisoned my social circle against me. How can I convince them he’s lying?

First of all, it goes to show you the quality of your social circle. Your friends who know you well enough will not believe just about anything about you because they know you. You may need to ask yourself if you want to bother convincing people who were so quick to believe lies about you without giving you the benefit of the doubt. Ask yourself if it’s really worth it because it may not be.

But if you still want to convince them, have a sit-down with them and let them know how disappointed you are that they were so quick to believe lies about you even with all they know about you, without giving you the benefit of the doubt. Tell them what the true position of things is. Ultimately it is for them to decide whether or not they believe you.


Some people derive pleasure from ruining other people’s lives. And often, they come close to us masquerading as friends. Your role is to protect your life, success, and reputation at all costs. And you do so by identifying who these devious characters are and cutting them off from your life.

Once you identify them through the 13 signs listed in this article, take the 5 steps also listed in this article, which ultimately culminates in cutting them off. Cut them off and protect your life, success, and reputation.





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