How to Spot Poisonous Friends (TAW009)

Episode 009 – How to Spot Poisonous Friends.

We all have friends, and we all know what it’s like when friendship goes wrong.  Today, in a bonus episode, we’re doing our first ever Apprenticeship Way interview with Mary DeMuth who has just written a book called The Seven Deadly Friendships. I want to introduce you to Mary because I think she’s someone you should know, and her book may prove helpful to you.

Show Notes

Show notes will not be a transcript. At least not now. You’ll find a few key bullet points, any scriptures references, as well as any other books or resources referenced.

  • Tech Notes: Our interview happened during a terrible storm in Texas, where Mary lives, and her internet was down, so we did the interview over her phone cellular service, which means the video and audio isn’t the best quality on her end. But I’ve edited for your enjoyment, and it should be good enough for you to find something helpful here.


  • Keys points from Mary:
    • There are books about divorce recovery, but no books about recovering from broken friendship. Why don’t we talk about this more?
    • Mary suggests that Christians are particularly susceptible to toxic relationships because we are taught to automatically confer trust on other people labeled Christian.
    • The modern social media culture trains us to create an image of who we are, and so we’ve become more skilled at deceiving each other. We are getting worse at knowing how to determine if people are healthy or safe to be friends with.
    • “Reliable friends love your no as well as your yes. They understand you are an autonomous person loved by Jesus who get to say what you do and don’t want. You may not always make your friends happy by saying no, but to the degree in which a friend pushes against your no is the possible degree that they may become a problematic relationship in the future.” – Mary DeMuth, inspired by Dr. Henry Cloud.
    • If we wounded in toxic community, we are most likely going to find healing in healthy community.
    • Examining our past is key to understanding why we connect with certain kinds of toxic people.
    • “We are inside our Salad Dressing Bottle. We cannot read the ingredients label. Someone else on the outside can.” Mary, quoting friend Jim Rubart.
    • “We don’t grow in isolation.” – Mary’s husband.

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