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Jillian Harris: 'Girlfriends Keep You Strong'

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November 13, 2013

I have two girlfriends that have been my best friends since I was five years old. The three of us have been a little trio of nonsense for the last 28 years, and we know everything about each other - every regret, every mistake, every party, every milestone. They're like my sisters.
 
With a romantic partner, sometimes it feels like it's okay to be a little bit nitpicky... but with the girls, it’s different. We never get mad at each other, we never judge the other person, we never get annoyed, and we never get jealous. Sometimes it goes too far – my girlfriends can actually be a bit enabling. For example, I’ll go to my girlfriend Shannon with a problem. "Well Jill,” she’ll say. “You're never wrong. You're never wrong about anything. I've known you for 28 years and I've never known a time for you to be wrong."
 
And that's not true, obviously! I am wrong sometimes. But my friends all make each other feel like we’re the best and the most fabulous. Obviously we're not the best and obviously we're not the most fabulous and obviously, sometimes, we're wrong. But everywhere around you there's always somebody constructively criticizing you and saying “you've got to do this right and you don't do that right.” When I’m with my girlfriends, we're perfect. We're not, but to each other, we are. We make mistakes and we don't always respect each other's decisions but with my girlfriends I've learned so much about letting go of judgment.
 
As a best friend, my role is specific. Recently, I had a friend whose mom contacted me. She was worried about my friend’s eating habits and I simply said, look, she's got you. Everybody else is telling her, everybody else is harping on her. She's stressed and she doesn't want to hear it from her very best friends. I'm just going to support her, and be there with her and try to lift her mood. This is my job.  You guys do the policing. 
 
We don't tell each other what to do and we don't tell each other we're wrong. We just accept each other 100%.
 
When I broke up with Ed, I was in hysterics and the girls didn't know what to do to cheer me up. So, out of the blue, they booked a trip to Italy and France and we went on what we call now “The Breakup Tour.” And now we've gone on breakup tours a few times but it was so fun and so ridiculous and we spent like 4 nights in Rome and never slept and just decided one day to take a bottle jumper to Amsterdam and left our bags in Italy. When you've known somebody for 28 years, the possibilities are definitely endless.
 
We make a lot of time for each other. We have dedicated girls' weekends, we talk on the phone all the time. It's just about reciprocating the love; you can go out for dinner and buy gifts and all those fabulous things, but ultimately you just want to hear from your girlfriends. You just want support. And my group of girlfriends has always been so incredible in knowing exactly who the other person is, knowing exactly what they need from the friendship, and providing that.

Read More of Jillian's Blogs as part of her special gig as iVillage Canada Guest Editor! 

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