After Sheryl Sandberg, one of the most powerful women in tech, lost her husband unexpectedly in a tragic treadmill accident earlier this year, she wrote a poignant and much talked about Facebook message. Today, the COO of the social media network has shared another touching post, this time about the importance of her girlfriends. Sandberg spoke of her lean in circle of gal pals who she has known since she was 10 years old. After her husband died, they helped her get through the dark time: “My connection to this group of friends was one of the things that helped pull me through. They checked in daily. Even though they live across the country, they showed up early and often. They did not just hold me as I cried—they cried with me.”
Her friends have supported her through ups and downs, college and pregnancies, sickness and health. Sandberg hopes that in the new year everyone can find this sort of similar community in their lives. “Everyone needs this kind of help and connection. We all need people who encourage us, believe in us, and remind us that we are not alone. For women, this kind of support can be especially important in navigating our lives and pursuing our ambitions. Too often the world tells women why they can’t do something; our friends are the ones who tell us we can… and help us figure out how. My hope in the coming year is for everyone to find a community.”
Being someone who is currently hanging out with a friend who I have known for 26 years—since 4th grade!—I couldn’t agree more with what Sandberg has to say. Without my core group of girlfriends I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
To learn more about the philosophies of Sandberg, read her book Lean In.
Do you have a circle of female friends that you rely on through thick and thin?