Seen-zoned Hurts More Than Rejection on Facebook

To all my friends on Facebook,

I know it can be very annoying when someone messages you about a product or service they are offering, but please have the decency (or maybe guts) to respond.

Reject if you must, but do not ignore. Block if you must, but do not stay silent.

Trust me, I have had my share of countless messages from strangers, messages ranging from a cheap instant-whitening-pimple-erasing-weight-loss pill to expensive luxurious condominiums I know I would never afford. Maybe not until later.

You see, with the advent of technology, it’s so much easier to use FB and other social media platforms to reach out to potential customers. I know, I know, while some of us use this medium sensibly, many others simply abuse it.

Imagine receiving 10 photos of something followed by a description that seems like an essay, right?

That’s not a good way to introduce a product or service, and I have received many of that as well. At times, I ignore, but I usually end up saying no thanks to them directly. Sometimes, I simply unfriend or block after letting them know I do not need their services at this time.

But many of us, though, still are courteous enough to engage you in a discussion about your needs. Sales people usually refer to this as “needs analysis.” And if you feel that after a short discussion you don’t need whatever is being offered, politely reject. It is at this time you can choose to block or unfriend.

But if you feel this person was very sensible and could potentially be an “ally” in the future, keep them as friends. Who knows, they may have something useful to offer in the future. And who knows, it may be you will be offering them something as well.

I bet you have a friend or family member who is also into sales. Trust me, they also have to prospect and try to find customers all the time. It’s tiring and can be “toxic,” especially with numerous rejections and quotas on a daily basis. If not a friend or family member, then the company you work for has to sell something, and that’s where we get our salary, right?

We live in a world where people have become so cold to each other, and it’s so much easier to just ignore or seen-zone someone, but trust me, it’s a much better world out there when we turn that seen-zone into a direct “no.” If you have a minute, engage and discuss. But if you feel you have no time at all, just say no, not at this time.

Better yet, say no, and UNFRIEND.  Or even BLOCK.

When you do this, you end up with three benefits:

1. You clean up your friends’ list and get fewer spammy messages.
2. You helped a “salesperson” move on more quickly.
3. You became more warm and professional.

And don’t worry, we won’t take offense if you say NO directly or even UNFRIEND OR BLOCK. Well, maybe a few will, but the true professionals simply move on.

And to all the “salespersons” out there, let’s be better when sending messages. Engage more sensibly. Be more courteous. Be a better listener.

Destroying the Fear of Public Speaking

One of my greatest fears was public speaking.


I can still remember my first public speaking competition back in the 4th grade here in the Philippines. I’m not sure why my teacher entered me into this speech contest. I think they call it declamation.

I froze. I forgot my lines. I still came in 5th place.


Then I moved to the United States right after that. I didn’t speak English well. And when I finally learned to converse in English, I was made fun of because of my immigrant accent.

If you had Filipino accent, the local born kids would make fun of you for being different. Yeah, you couldn’t be part of the cool kids’ club.

I was always conscious about speaking English for fear that someone would make fun of me. In secret, I practiced.

I watched a lot of television. I listened and repeated the words. I read books. I read and read.

At the end of the 8th grade, I mustered enough courage to audition for our high school’s drama club and theater group. Surprisingly, I made it, and this would be the catalyst to my public speaking career.

I became more confident. I won first place in a dramatic festival. I became class president. I joined the debate team. I did more theater. I became honor society president.


In college, I became a writing consultant, a debater. I became an impromptu speaking champion of a major debate and forensics tournament. I became the commencement speaker of my class.


After college, I became a branch manager, staffing manager, and sales and marketing director. These jobs entailed a lot of public speaking as I had to do a lot of training and business to business sales and marketing.


I moved back to the Philippines. Don’t ask me why. It must have been more fun in the Philippines. Yeah, that’s it. I co-founded an English school. I have done classroom training, corporate training, university training, private training, and train the trainer.

So if you were to ask me, do I still fear public speaking? Not anymore, although my heart always palpitates a few seconds before my presentations.

When people ask me, could I really become a good public speaker? Can I really improve my English to your level?

YES and NO. Yes, if you are willing to put in the effort. Massive action. NO, if you are just taking a class here and there.

YES, if you decide if this is going to be the one thing that will take you to your dreams.

NO, if you decide you are just going to try it.


I live in QC now, and I have so much more to learn about English and public speaking.

I’m at that stage again where I am having so many fears starting anew with other adventures. But if I did it in English and public speaking, I’m sure I could do it again in another industry.

I just have to.

To all the people who are doubting themselves, keep telling yourself you can. Eventually, that belief in yourself turns into something way more than you had expected.

I can.

Invest in Travel and Family

Whenever I get the chance, I travel.  I used to travel with a bunch of friends all the time, but I have found that traveling with family is so much more joyful for me now.  Don’t get me wrong, I have had so many great times with my friends, from getting drunk in Vancouver, Canada at 19 to losing two hours of memory in Boracay a few years ago.  Of course, there were many memorable moments with friends that were not binge drinking related.

A few years ago, I had decided to travel with total strangers as well, and this has totally opened my eyes.  And just recently, I had the brevity to travel solo.  Yes, totally on my own.  In fact, I spent my birthday without family and friends in Cebu.  What freedom!

But being with family is always going to be my joy.  A couple of years ago, I visited my folks in Las Vegas, and I was there for a year.  I had traveled to Los Angeles and San Francisco with them, but my favorite one was from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City, with my mom and dad, to visit my sister who had moved there.

I remember several years back as well when my folks visited the Philippines.  I took my sister and my parents to Boracay, and it was their first time.  I had always been to Boracay with friends and colleagues, but the elation I felt in my heart was pure joy.  We dined well, watched sunsets, hopped on a catamaran, and just chilled by the beach.  No loud booming music.  No unlimited alcohol.  Just my folks and the ocean.

As Filipinos, family is one of the things we keep dear to our hearts.  I don’t get to live with my family anymore as I have moved to the Philippines over a decade ago.  I wish I had traveled more with them when I was still in the US.  But as the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder.  This absence has truly made me miss my folks.

Now that my parents are getting older, I am also wishing I had done more for them.  I’m wishing that I had also looked after their finances.  You see, my mom and dad are hard workers, but they never really learned how to save or invest their money.  Yes, they gave a lot to their kids, and I have so much appreciation for that.  My mom, even though she was just making minimum wage, gave everything to her five children.

But I do wish that a few years ago, I had begun discussing with them their retirement plan.  I did at one point, but it never went anywhere.  Maybe I still have time.  I’m now a wealth management executive with AXA Philippines, and I’m looking for ways to still give them some kind of retirement.

If you’re looking to help your parents plan for their retirement, now is the time.  Actually, yesterday was the best time.  Today is the next best time.  Tomorrow?  Just don’t wait too long.

If you’d like to find out how you can help your parents, please fill out this form: