Study shows you can literally squeeze more empathy out of a man

/Study shows you can literally squeeze more empathy out of a man

Study shows you can literally squeeze more empathy out of a man

hugWhile I typically share information about how estrogen, testosterone and progesterone in the female and male hormone cycles affect behavior, health and the many other facets of our lives, there are a few other key hormones that impact us in fascinating–sometimes, amusing–ways, too. One of them is oxytocin–a hormone that promotes bonding and fosters feelings of trust.

The level of this hormone naturally rises in other people when you give them  a hug, a gentle pat or or hold their hand.

And that’s key information to know if you ever want a guy in your life (say, your dad, boyfriend, brother or pal) to become a better listener or empathize more with you. 

That’s because in a 2010 study in the Journal of Neuroscience, men who were given a spritz of oxytocin with a nasal spray experienced a surge in empathy and a sharpened ability to pick up on facial cues that rivaled that of most women. 

What this means for you: The next time you want to have a heart-to-heart with a man, share your feelings or get loving support, first give him a hug, clasp his hand or pat him gently. This will prompt his brain to create more of its own oxytocin, which will then make him a better listener and more empathetic.

If (I’m betting when) you try this, let me know how it worked for you!

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By | 2018-04-05T18:05:37+00:00 May 11th, 2015|hormone research, hormonology tip|0 Comments

About the Author:

Gabrielle Lichterman is the founder of Hormonology, author of 28 Days: What Your Cycle Reveals about Your Love Life, Moods and Potential and creator of the popular Hormone Horoscope menstrual cycle tracker apps. In 2005, Gabrielle pioneered the growing movement among women to live in sync with their menstrual cycles and learn about the many ways their hormones impact their moods, health and behavior with the publication of her book, 28 Days. She's also a longtime women's health journalist whose articles have been published in major publications around the globe. Gabrielle's new updated and expanded version of 28 Days is due to be published December 2018. You can help get this book published by participating in her fundraiser at

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