When I was a child, we had an Addams Family Thing Bank, which you would place a coin and Thing would come out of its box and snatch the coin.
It took about maybe two days before I broke it. When Thing snatched the coin, I snatched Thing, and a tug of war ensued that proved shoddy Asian manufacturing was no match for 500 million year old multicellular nano engineering.
It's amazing how easy it is for greedy monkeys to break shit.
Take our climate, our world, our existence. We seem bound and determined to perform a historical recreation of the P-T extinction event as soon as we can. At current trends, I figure 2100 for sure. Maybe 2050 if we really let the stupidities blossom like a thousand flowers. (That's an ambitious schedule, but I think it will only take a decade or two of conservatard rule to do that).
As such, there is no paradox to the Fermi Paradox. There are no aliens because Nobody Has Made It Yet. If this is true, and we humans are universally unexceptional, then the Great Filter awaits.
Or, it could be that star-traveling aliens took center stage a long time ago, that these aliens decided they didn't want to take a chance with their survival with competition from ET, and took up the griefer lifestyle.
If star-traveling (and no magic allowed), then aliens travel slower than light, probably much slower than light (less than 1%c), and so the best option is send out self-replicating robots (vN probes) to colonize and explore other worlds. And if you are a griefer, you use your vN probes to get rid of alien life.
Well, one method would be use the entire (or near) energy of a star to build a giant fucking star laser. Then, whenever you detect a planetary signature that suggests life, you blast it to smithereens.
Or, my scenario, more likely as I suspect it uses less energy, is a variant of grey goo. There is almost always waste when making stuff, stuff left over, so you use that waste as dust.
The vN probes simply turn anything they can in the target solar system into dust. Blot the sun, or at the least set up a star circling dust cloud that makes it hard to travel or beam messages through. Dust is easy to make, and there is a lot of debris floating around ready to be turned into dust.
So, if we are looking around, and we see an old to middling aged star with a very young dust cloud or disk surrounding it, maybe you should be afraid.
Of course, it could be that the aliens are simply everywhere, but we call them Dark Matter. In which case, if they are predatory, we could end up like that hot blonde at the beginning of the movie Jaws. A nice little golden speck of a civilization suddenly just grabbed by the ankle and pulled down under into the sub levels of reality to be consumed.