The Imbalanced Friendship

Navigating a questionable relationship

Mark Tulin
2 min readJun 15, 2024

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Question Mark in Santa Barbara, CA. Photo by Mark Tulin
Question Mark in Santa Barbara, CA. Photo by Mark Tulin

I will not teeter
in a questionable relationship
that's imbalanced
a one-sided friendship
giving more than expected
celebrating another
while neglecting my own.

I will refuse
to feel insulted
and disrespected
by people with whom
I've invested.

I want a friendship
where the scales don't
tip in the wrong direction
and I'm not doing all the pleasing
and the other person
the receiving.

I don't want to be an enabler
to a narcissist's ego
It only leads to sorrow
while I sulk and defer
my self-worth whittles down
feeling shame, drained, and resentful.

I'd rather save my dignity
and wait for a friend who is deserving —
go to the movies alone
have fewer phone calls
eat at restaurants solo
see the world through my lens
instead of…

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Mark Tulin

I escaped a therapy career to follow a dream. Poetry/Humor/Sexuality/Doodler/Storyteller — https://crowonthewire.com