How to Survive a Loss of Reputation

Reputation might be defined
as the claim that one can make on the goodwill of strangers; it is what your name will mean to those who don’t know you, who spend almost no time thinking of you. It’s what you will
get reduced to when you aren’t illuminated by love. How your reputation is assessed depends on the extent to which you have fulfilled, or violated, the ideals and aspirations of
your society. Most of us are properly known to, and liked by, five to ten people. When
it comes to everyone else, reputation is what will decide what we have been worth. The Hubble Space Telescope in orbit Reputation can’t buy us love,
but it can provide us with those valuable proxies: respect, honour and politeness. Those who are kind to us may not mean it, but they are at least making an effort. Not all of
us crave equally the warmth that comes with a good reputation. Those with a particularly strong need for applause tend to be those with a weak sense of their own acceptability. The cheer of the crowd is asked to compensate for an innate feeling of shame. We seek the validation of the world when we are inside unconvinced that we are quite deserving. The more we have been humiliated, especially when young, the more the good will of strangers
will matter; and – conversely – the more we have tasted genuine affection, the less
interesting reputation can be. Reputation is gossamer thin;
or like a soapy bubble or an unstable chemical compound, some metaphor to suggest the ease with which it can be torn or destroyed. It is so prone to disappear because it isn’t
based on knowledge or experience of one’s deep self, it’s made up of the candyfloss
of hearsay and third hand gossip. It’s the unconscious supposition of people who haven’t thought very deeply about who one is and have absolutely no wish to do so either; it’s
what people who don’t care about us think about us. This is what makes reputation so delightful when it is going our way. Our nobility becomes part of the unthinking common-sense of the community. But this is also what makes things so tricky when reputation falls apart. The only way in which our good name might be rescued in the minds of others is if they gave us some thought – which is precisely what they have never done before and won’t now begin to either. Reputation will rise and fall according to how closely we track or depart from the ideals of our society – and these tend to be pegged to
financial success, sexual propriety, decorum, marriage, sobriety, the sanctity of family
and the purity of children. The more of these ideals one flouts, the harsher will be the
penalties. Unfortunately, we are – all of us – error prone animals or, to put it more
bluntly, idiots. We should say sorry to the universe every day, given how we are. We’re impulsive, greedy, lustful, vain and selfish. Which means that every year, a small but significant section of the population makes an apparently minor mistake that causes terrible damage to others and blows up their life along the way. Not for nothing does western civilisation have at its heart the example of Greek tragedy, which tells us of averagely good people brought low by highly understandable, everyday kinds of folly – for which they pay an ultimate
price. When Reputation disappearsThe whole community hears in an instant and one is done for. The punishment may be financial or legal, but the ultimate damage is psychological:
one becomes a pariah. In the minds of all those who don’t think about us properly
(which is almost everyone), one is now a monster or a numbskull. For life.From now on, we will need to be looked at through the eyes of love before we re-emerge as in any way human, that is, deserving of even a little pity or understanding. Only through love can we be remembered to have once been baby, who was innocent, who struggled, and who later made mistakes from passing weakness rather than evil. Only through love are there any other sides of the story. As a result, all those who are not our intimates become sources of sure-fire damning judgement. We know from the outset that they will hate or condemn us. It becomes impossible to go to a party or (even) walk down the street. One probably has to move town. Suicidal thoughts become harder to push away. Ambitions have to change entirely. Everything that depends on the minds of people in general is now impossible. ‘What people might think’ disappears from the calculation; it’s a foregone conclusion. They’ll think – always – that one is
a demon. When the reputation-less rediscover close friends and family (and they almost
always do), it isn’t coincidental or a cheap excuse: it’s because they can see, more
clearly than ever, that these are the people, the only people, who know them properly and can therefore examine them with any degree of subtlety, as one might a character in a
novel. For everyone else, one has disappeared into a single word of insult. Image result
for rings of saturn The Lack of RedemptionIn older, more religious societies, there was
the possibility of apology before a divine being, a period of penance and then, eventually forgiveness. But thats one of the handy mechanisms we unknowingly dismantled when we decided that God was a fiction. We have been left with only one tool, the legal system, which
levies fines and prison sentences, but isn’t in the business of restoring reputation – and doesn’t get involved in most of the errors which cause it to be lost in the first place.
There is, quite literally, in most cases, no way to recover reputation. The sentence is life-long. We suffer also because we live in such vast societies. Recovery of reputation might have been possible when we lived in tribes of a hundred or so. You could go around and explain things in person, tent by tent. No such chance when it’s a case of having a few hundred million minds to change. Life without ReputationSo begins that peculiar
challenge, leading a life without a reputation, a feat in its way as arduous as hanging on
to a cliff-face with bare hands in high wind.A few moves suggest themselves. For a start, acceptance: of oneself, of the situation, of one’s misdeeds and of the darkness. Then, the construction of a new kind of communal life, one built around astonishing sincerity
and vulnerability. One says it like it is. There is no need for yet more shame. A whole new set of friends is called for – before whom one can be truly oneself, in a way one never could be before things fell apart. It helps immensely if these friends have themselves lost reputation. Ex-convicts might be an idea. And fallen business people and politicians. They will have a kindness to them open only to those who have suffered infinitely for
their errors. There is only so empathetic and thoughtful that blameless people can ever be. Animals are good too; they rarely judge. The immense open spaces of nature offer valuable perspective, as do history books. On good days, one feels that there might almost be
a kind of relief and freedom now that there is nothing left to lose, and impressing the
world is – perhaps for the first time since one was an infant – truly off the agenda.
We enjoy the particular lightness and indifference that is the privilege of all those with a
reputational calamity to their name.Lots of thoughts have to be avoided in order not to howl with agony. It isn’t the life anyone would have wanted at the high water mark, but it’s a life nevertheless – and one we should all contemplate, whatever our situation, to prepare ourselves for the day (which can’t be guaranteed never to come) when we might be forced to walk the earth without the cloak of a reputation. We believe that confidence is a skill we can all learn. Our confidence prompt cards are designed to help us master this essential skill. Click now to learn more.

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100 Responses

  1. The School of Life says:

    Thank you for watching today's film. Make sure you do not miss any of our future films by subscribing to our channel and turning on notifications

  2. Nikola Danilović says:

    Thank you school of life! I really needed to watch this video because you've described my situation perfectly and helped me accept all the things that i should. Thank you once again!

  3. Adelaide Hamilton says:

    "In a secular world, we've been left with only one tool… the legal system" – ummm what?

  4. Daniel Almada says:

    So it’s “Yup, you’re very much fucked. Learn to live with it, move out of town and make new friends, preferably losers too”

    Thank you, School of Life. That’s what I needed today.

  5. No Labels says:

    It wasn’t until I was abandoned by everyone that I realized how powerful one person can be.

  6. Chris Carson says:

    There are a few of us who really don't care what other people think about us. Supreme overconfidence … who knows. 😉

  7. MacMac0710 says:

    Interesting the correlation between a loss of reputation and my experience growing up as a minority. Potentially your race has lost its reputation and you therefore suffer the same issues

  8. M3Top says:

    just watch Trump and you'll know.

  9. Happy Now says:

    That was beautiful. I Literally just had a thought about how my possibilities were limited by my percieved reputation and not my abilities. This helped, thanks

  10. Inner Vigilance says:

    When you start having trust in life again everything can become good again.

  11. Go Digital Website says:

    The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.

  12. Jen H says:

    someone send this to sarah sanders… she's going to need it..

  13. Psybur says:

    Lol, 'Candy floss'! XD That is so cute! I never knew it was the UK term for 'Cotton candy.' When I heard it in this video, I thought it was, like, an old-school way of saying 'sugar-coated' or something. Then, I Wiki'd it and found out what it was. I freakin' love the way the UK names/pronounces words differently than North America: it's so quaint and cute! Please, don't ever stop doing it; it makes me smile so much. 🙂

  14. African Messiah says:

    Never needed anything other than this.

  15. Existent David says:

    I don't really care about my reputation because someone out there will always hate me why should I be concerned how others think of me ? You can do everything good and someone will still hate you. Just respect life and life will reward you.

  16. gollu verma says:

    after all gone 1-acceptance2-hope3new failure freinds like us4-try again 5-stay away from overthinking cause it's my life no one can stop me from enjoying my life .and wear a cloak of sarcasm and no one can stop you.

  17. Brahim Khalil says:

    I hate the background music. I wish you removed it. It's annoying and making me angry and sad

  18. Amber sen says:

    #metoo has ruined many

  19. S1GM4 C3NT4UR1 says:

    1st step: don't have any to begin with

  20. Brahim Khalil says:

    Gay people of eastern Arab societies suffer most of being so. We tend to be ashamed of ourselves and the views of of others.

  21. Goldie O says:

    Reputation is an illusion to keep people caring what strangers think, and easily destroyed by hateful people. Very shallow idea. Live in integrity for your own conscience and peace of mind. It will matter to you and those you love. There, I said it all in 45 seconds rather than muddle through 9 mins of video.

  22. jmannii says:

    Most people in the world believe that God exists. For those of us who trust in God, we can overcome a bad reputation by asking forgiveness, trusting him to help, and feeling his support. He will show us exactly what to do to fix a reputation

  23. jmannii says:

    read a book by Max Lucado called you are special. It's about a little girl who lives without a reputation.

  24. Opter Imuor says:

    Look it due to my unwise désossions over my teen years i just recently owned my mother trust but its still unstable … and im trying to the respect i own as a person in this time cuz even a wall has more respect then i do in this house

  25. jen says:

    Can’t lose reputation if you don’t have one

  26. Aaron Smyth says:

    Fuck em. You left that bit out.

  27. Kiran Gohar says:

    I don't agree.

  28. twenty four says:

    Subtitles in portuguese please 🙁

  29. Aleks Rayb says:

    unless you're running for a politician someday, this would really be an important factor to consider. but if you don't have plans, make this your least priority. or if you have that brainwashing instrument that u see on MIB. That's to say the least. Am I right?

  30. e hisamova says:

    Also known as "what to do after dealing with a narcissist"

  31. Ka'pella Nuwavin says:

    Jim Bean and a corner cry in.

  32. Sneasel says:

    Jeez, it’s like you predicted that I needed this. >_>

  33. Alistair Hann says:

    I endorse this video.

  34. Michael Svoboda says:

    Read The Fountainhead, for you can lose reputation for both valid and invalid reasons; it is possible to be hated for your evil, but, much more sinister is the hatered towards you for your virtues.

  35. Spicy Artisan Hipster Salami says:

    Honey badger don’t give a shit

    Edit: doing your own thing and doing it well, is better than any reputation. The ones that gossip or hate are simply jealous… they’ll try to slander you. Let’em. You can’t get blood from this stone and eventually they move on to easier targets.

    If you’re really upset with a “bad reputation”, look into stoicism. My answer to folks that attempt to kick me OR PRAISE me is the same: “That’s nice” while I keep doing my thing. They do not matter to me and they shouldn’t matter to you. Your actions speak louder than their words.

  36. Seize the movement says:

    Do you know why conan became successful all the way longest serving talkshow host ever..
    He don't give a damn about reputation

  37. Gilmore Underwood says:

    This is something EVERYONE should know , REPUTATION ,.be it PERSONAL , PROFESSIONAL , BUSINESS or any other thing in LIFE is a INTANGIBLE of LIFE . It's something YOU ,ME or ANYONE else has to WORK and EARN in LIFE it will be GIVEN to no one . Who YOU are and WHAT YOU are to other's AROUND in this LIFE , YOU will be because YOU have made YOURSELF that . No one else can make YOU , HANGING OUT or ASSOCIATING YOURSELF with others in LIFE will NEVER CHANGE others AROUND YOU IMPRESSIONS or the way they THINK YOU. As I was told and heard so many others told YOU are the FIRST and ONLY YOU GOD will never CREATE another in this WORLD . So YOU DECIDE WHOM YOU will be in LIFE for that's all YOU will EVER BE IN LIFE as s YOU. Whether YOU can LIVE with WHAT YOU made YOURSELF into in LIFE though that's another STORY.

  38. Robert Raine says:

    well that was depressing

  39. Tony Goodwin The pitman Poet Poet Goodwin says:

    Here is someone losing their reputation in Rotherham

  40. Chris Gewirtz says:

    In academia right now, and it's a lot of reputation. Want to leave.

  41. Nicolas Chong says:

    Gotta say, it's nice to not care about reputation. It is awful, however, when someone you know who said they loved you suddenly turns and makes intentional steps to sabotage your reputation… It's not so much that I care to be popular… It would just be nice to be at peace knowing that I can mind my own business and not be bothered.

  42. Messiah Akki Detroit Targeted. says:

    If you're unfortunate to know a Narcissist or have one in the family, get away from them ASAP, it will save your Spirit and Reputation a lot of trouble.

  43. Michael JM says:

    It's Darrin from Bewitched at 4:11
    Dick York? And again at 5:30
    Coincidentally He got a reputation in Hollywood for his use of pain killers due to a back injury. It ruined his career.

  44. Tedison says:

    This video made me ring the bell. This would help me greatly in healing our clientele– Persons Deprived of Liberty.

  45. onaturalia says:

    This kind of thing limited my career. Ironically, I didn't know about it until I left.

  46. ABCDE says:

    Reputation before whom? Humans beings? They are wicked creatures, vicious, liars and twisted. Jesus said woe unto you when men praise you. Humans praise liars, that's why leaders nowadays lie to them. The more you lie the more likely you have a chance to be elected. Never seek humans' approval. I don't need it, and I don't want it.

  47. First Name says:

    Just give no fucks walk around live life to full & give two fingers to the world.

  48. Delsin Rowe says:

    i have no reputation and uphold it !

  49. Jason Buhagiar says:

    People think what they like , I just don't give a shit . People really a waste of time and space , you're born alone , stay alone and happy .

  50. Kurt Gödel says:

    Everything is vanity.

  51. stefan vukas says:

    Why is sound so low

  52. Tarini Bauliya says:

    Thank you The School of Life! Great short film. Make sure you check out my article I just wrote on vulnerability

  53. Juan Jose L says:

    Fuck you very much, Alain. (Kidding.) Because you fucking nail down these things with eering accuracy and yet, simplicity. Pardon my foul language. Just very pissed off with the nature of social life and reputation and whatnot. Thank you for posting this.

  54. Magnum Dujardin says:

    How to start again when the internet remembers you forever ? It's impossible. You're one search away from a reminder of your mistakes. They won't allow you to grow or change. The internet is one big chain around the individual forcing him to be forever connected to others, it's sickening.

  55. Faris Abdurrahman says:

    If you think is fiction, you suffer the greatest losses of all, one of them is truth

  56. Owen Martin says:

    Can you make a version without the background music?

  57. Ernest Borsic says:

    love,? what is that? something for eat? tell ,do tell, please

  58. Big Okie says:

    Just move to another town

  59. Jeremy Medina says:

    This is why I love the age we are living in now; People are literally told to "mind their own fucking business" when they don't know a person. Toxicity is being weeded out of society. It's about damn time.

  60. Tyler Tyler says:

    WTF! at the moment I am being sued for libel (after defaming someone on facebook, in support of another person). And despite being a revered and good member of my community, I feel like such a pariah right now when my case went public. I'm still waiting for my court date (for amicable settlement) but still, i feel like a nobody. I want to hide from everyone else. Thank God the internet exists because it's my refuge right now. This video could not be more on time

  61. Avantika S says:

    Reminds me of that Black Mirror episode – Nosedive

  62. Young Producer Kezzi says:

    Bruh It's not that deep lol

  63. jezzermeii says:

    Lol, the best thing is to simply grow up not giving a shit. I couldn't give a toss if people like me or not, lol. If you like me, that's nice. If you hate me, it says more about you than about me. That's how I think about things anyway. I simply never have the time or inclination to hate someone else, so it says a lot about someone who can spend so much energy on intently hating another person.

  64. Rishika chaudhary says:

    Make an album about it. There would be no explanation, only reputation.

  65. Kartoffel Pommes says:

    Once, I moved my family of 5 out of our home country because of a loss of reputation. It was devastating. Now I watch back with tea and popcorn at the implosion. It wasn't us. It wasn't them. It was a culture that never solidified before the money took hold. Good luck to you, folks. We're hoping for luck here too.

  66. Broken Butterfly says:

    Will suicide hurt my reputation?

  67. DominikBacher says:

    I really like your videos. But please, when will you stop making the background music/sounds so loud??

  68. No Face says:

    Suicide is always an option.

  69. Kaque Burlington says:

    It doesn’t matter who you are, the left wing liberals & feminists will destroy your reputation

  70. Aurochsss says:

    Ey, do a video on the wisdom of solitude!

  71. P Davis says:

    Too much background music. It distracts a person from what you are saying.

  72. Nemanja Trkulja says:

    What's an ego?

  73. Azriel Hopkins says:

    The subject
    About history
    Of the beginning
    Is interesting.

  74. A K G says:

    Damn it wasn’t no black and white depictions of black people?

  75. Jongo71 says:

    When I went through this – you start all over again – you don't look back – you rebuild and make sure it's bigger, brighter, kinder and wiser than before.

  76. Justin Hiatt says:

    I’ve stumbled upon your videos through my recommendations. Every time one came up, I felt drawn in by the relevant title. These videos have such a balance, they’re succinct and easy to understand. I was originally skeptical, thinking, “well here’s another wellness channel.”

    But this content is of such value and high quality, I have difficulty expressing my appreciation without writing a novel. I wish I was your friend! Thank you so much for everything you’ve created.

  77. Luigi Pati says:

    check out 'Historia Calamitatum' by Peter Abelard for probably one of the most striking examples of this in history

  78. ahuon says:

    what if we all learned to empathize and not judge like those who have lost reputations

  79. valor36az says:

    One of the few videos on your channel I don’t agree with, it is those who have the courage to to break from conformity that make history, not those who worry about what others think.

  80. Chris Paul Jordan says:

    Clearly this narrator knows nothing about PR

  81. Myoid Jenis says:

    4:01 Fur elise

  82. suzanne adamson says:

    Sincerity & vulnerability…Yes…

  83. Bat Fink says:

    Speak for yourself douchebag, i'm none of the things you claim i should be apologising to the universe for.

  84. Mohammed Bedewy says:

    I suffred loss of reputation when I was imprisoned for one year, I lost almost all of my friends, my job, it was pretty much like walking naked down the street, painful and lonely it is, even though its getting better now, but the matter of freedom it brought to me was enormous, everyone now saw me for who I really am and they have the choice whether to leave or stay I don't really care anymore

  85. Eugene 10 says:

    Taylor Swift did this so well. In the death of her reputation she felt truly alive

  86. Akol King says:

    Excellent video! I will definitely be recommending. Don't think ex cons should seek to commune with ex cons though.

  87. exo’s Love shot says:

    It feels weird seeing ppl rather than animation

  88. Santosh Samuel says:

    Is it just me or does everybody wiggle their bottoms when the maracas play during the intro?

  89. Santosh Samuel says:

    James Charles has liked this.

  90. Anon Anonymous says:

    This video conspicuously ignores the victims of whatever someone did "wrong." This seems to excuse and dismiss as "errors" behaviors that destroy others – shouldn't their experiences be the focus?

  91. abba mohd says:

    Who knows the name of the anime at 6:45? Thanks.

  92. Marissa Abston says:

    Excuse me, please don't frame the entirety of our society in a way declaring that we all have denounced God as a fictional character. It's is not accurate and is also highly offensive to those of us who do believe in God or any other spiritual authority.

    Your videos are enriching except for moments when you're framing something major inaccurately. It impacts your credibility

  93. Leo Voyager says:

    My goodness, this is how I feel, after my incarceration. Nobody takes me seriously, and even when I call out some other peoples abuses and iniquities, I am automatically a-judged – the bad, suspect etc…one. Its getting harder and harder to live down this kind of thing. Worse come to the worse, I may have to move country! – mine is small one so I don't have the luxury of moving to another state/other states and the cities and capitals therein – as in good olde USA. I am reading a lot about hiding in plain sight etc etc –  I feel I'm going paranoid under all this ha. Thanks for your series of very interesting and edifying videos. I have watched bunch of them already, its like a veritable Univ of LIFE sciences – not just the bio aspect, but REAL LIFE itself

  94. The Uberman says:

    You should have added people from Instagram and twitter in the video not irrelevant modern shit.

  95. ROD'S DIY Solutions says:

    I can't be more proud of not having any reputation. I managed to get rid of all those unworthy around me.

  96. Tiasa Dey says:

    Thank you. So much.

  97. Daniel Alexander says:

    So if mob mentality labels you [negative] and just spreads it than the only course I'm left to take is accepting the abuse I deal on the regular basis of the bullying from society and anyone who "knows" of me

    Of course human error as no one is perfect
    But I get called a idiot every day by Evil people
    If not they treat me poorly
    And if I try to stand up for myself they just group up against me

    So yes human error, but not mine

    I'm forced to live a life I hate and think constantly about Suicide because of how Evil the hearts of many people are

    Gossip and slandered
    Abused physically and psychologically
    Then I'm told its my fault when its them attacking me
    So if I try to explain they silence because I'm "wrong and just have to accept it" and if I get angry from the injustice the ooo "he's crazy"
    While day after day Evil gets away free and I abandoned, isolated, and bullied into submission

    And them? Free to continue off as they please as karma does not exist and neither does a Good God

    This life favors the evil and how I wish all who worship it were separated from those who are loving because together good will always lose to evil
    It is a destructive and chaotic force
    And worse it's a presence in our existence and with how encouraged it is eventually everyone will be evil

  98. ZW says:

    This is a pretty depressing conformist view of what life is all about. Sure, it is great if you are born to the kind of privilege that allows one some freedom to fail in societies eyes. Some people are allowed no end to forgiveness, and others are easily discarded. Some of these videos are great. This one is a dud.

  99. Tobi K says:

    Thats so incredibly good, but how does all of this knowledge get genuinely in my head?

  100. JVW says:

    I think you can earn back reputation pretty easily nowadays actually — if you really want to. Social media makes it so easy to mask your shit to thousands. I'm curious as to why some good people let their reputation go to ruins without saying a word.

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