Option B by Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant | Book Review
Hello readers! Another week, another book! This week we cover a serious topic. We’re talking about Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. This book is about facing adversity, building resilience and being able to find joy in life after tragic events.
The Three P’s
The three P’s stand for:
When we think that we are responsible for a tragic event, that is personalization. Sandberg explains that she kept personalizing her husband’s death, finding ways that she somehow should have prevented the event from occurring.
Pervasiveness is the belief that when a tragic event occurs, we feel that it’s going to impact all aspects of our life, we feel that the tragedy is going to consume us. We feel that a specific event is going to stop us from functioning and succeeding in other parts of our life.
After a tragedy, we feel that our emotional state, our fragility will last forever. We can’t imagine ourselves recovering and being able to live a fulfilling life. We are convinced that the emotions and grief that we’re dealing with will never go away.
The combination of these three P’s is what challenges our resilience. Sandberg, through sharing her story of struggle with the three P’s shows us as the reader how to be more resilient and overcome the inevitable issues we will face in life.
Grounded hope—the understanding that if you take action you can make things better.
Silence is not the answer
Sandberg talks about how the silence, the elephant in the room that nobody wanted to address after her husband’s death actually made the situation WORSE for her. That was very interesting insight for me, because I always felt that when I’ve encountered friends that are dealing with a tragic event, the best course of action is to avoid the topic.
I was wrong. Sandberg explains that the mindset of “if I bring it up, they’ll remember” is ridiculous. A tragic event sticks with somebody regardless of whether or not you talk about it, they won’t suddenly forget. The issue specifically when dealing with someone’s death is that through silence we’re not remembering the person, we’re not honoring the person. If we’re silent and we don’t talk about the elephant in the room, we’re not giving the other person the opportunity to remember and that person may feel that their loved one has gone forgotten.
Post-traumatic growth could take five different forms: finding personal strength, gaining appreciation, forming deeper relationships, discovering more meaning in life, and seeing new possibilities.
One thing I like about this book is that the ideas discussed are relevant for a variety of tragic events, not only death. Although Sandberg talks about her personal experiences dealing with the death of her husband, the ideas and the message is relevant for any adversity or grievance you may be dealing with.
What I value most about this book is the honesty. Sandberg opens wears her heart on her sleeve and shares the intimate details of her struggle with her husband’s death. I appreciate this because Sandberg gives others the opportunity to learn from her struggles and reminds us that we’re able to be resilient and overcome tragedy.
Who should read this book?
If you’re dealing with adversity, this book is for you because it can help you recognize your ability to become more resilient and you’ll find strength in the personal story Sandberg shares. I also think that if you have friends struggling with the death of a loved one this book can help you avoid some of the intended mistakes that we make in trying to support our friends and family.
Interested in this book? You can buy it here.
About Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant
Last week we talked about Irresistible by Adam Alter. If you’re interested in learning about addictive technology and how it impacts our life, click here.