Hi there. I have recently read an article about friendship. It is built around two so called “golden rules of friendship”, which explain how to avoid destroying friendship, in a way that I have difficulties understanding. Since my English is not perfect, I'd like to ask for your opinions. Here they are:
* Rule number one: Make friends, never do them.
* Rule number two: Never own the friends you have.
What does it mean, and how can it make sense? Any ideas?
Both rules are nonsense rules which no rational person would take seriously.
Such spurious "rules" are novelties, fit one may suppose, for those who are out of touch with reality.
There is a Golden Rule which can be taken seriously.
Treat others the way you would like to be treated.
Doing someone is a colloquial way of referring to having sex with them.
Again colloquially, owning someone is a way of saying you beat them spectacularly in a competition or otherwise totally dominated over them.
I suppose either one could sometimes destroy a friendship.
Does this make sense in the context of your article?
For #1, to "do" someone is colloquial for having sex with someone, with the connotation of using them. So basically, it's a caution for taking advantage of friends.
#2 is more vague, but to "own" someone is colloquial for have someone be at your disposal, i.e. he/she will do whatever you tell him/her. So this one is along the lines of not bossing your friends around or treating them like slaves.
torusan, thanks. Your explanation makes sense.
Bruce, I'd say this one is even more dangerous, because it seems meaningful. In fact it needs to be considered even more seriously. The rule is fundamentally subjective, it implies that everyone is similar, identical to the one applying the rule, that everyone wants/deserves to be treated the same way that person does.
Have you experienced negative sides of a failed communist society? :-)
A typical (counter)example would be the formal form for the pronoun “you” which is present in other languages. While some take it as a positive sign of respect, others see it as a sign of dislike used to hold a distance and become insulted. I guess one should try to be more objective/less subjective in treating others.