How do you know where do you really stand with someone?
You have family members, friends and colleagues, all of whom you consider "close" for one reason or another.
But how "close" are they, really? How can you measure this kind of closeness?
It can't be how often you see someone. You see your coworkers almost every day, but how many of them would drop everything at a moment's notice to help you in a crisis?
Even among your friends and family - how many of them would do that?
That's my method for measuring closeness - ask someone a question that's pretty important to you and observe their response.
For instance, say we're talking about your colleague. Tell him (or her) that it's very important to you that they complete a certain assignment or a bit of research.
Of course, if they don't do it at all, you know where you stand.
But if they do complete it - how long did it take? Did they start working on it ASAP? Did they put it behind a dozen other tasks they felt they "needed" to complete?
This is a way of gauging how close you actually are to that person's heart. How much of a priority you are.
The same goes for a loved one or a friend. Ask that person to do you a favor.
The favor itself doesn't have to be so significant or difficult. The key is to let that person know that it's important to you.
See how they respond.
Writing teachers will tell you that good writing is about "showing, not telling."
It's the same with relationships.
Anyone can tell you you're a close friend. Or that you're "tight." Or that you're "thick as thieves."
But how do they show it?
That's the best way of measuring closeness.