The Love, Bonding, and Unity Hormone

Oxytocin is sometimes called the love or bonding hormone. That’s because it plays a prominent role in social bonding between individuals, in sexual reproduction, during childbirth, and the bonding period that occurs between mother and child soon after childbirth. Oxytocin also plays a role in unitizing otherwise unconnected people.

The principle of unity, as popularized by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., has to do with shared identity. The theory behind unity is this; it’s easier for us to say yes to those who are of us, those we share an identity with. It’s a powerful driver of influence because saying yes to those we’re bonded with is almost like saying yes to ourselves.

Family units

The deepest bond, form of unity, is family because we share the same genes with family members. Think about this; there are things we’ll do for family – even family members we don’t like very much – that we might not do for our closest friends. That’s because we are genetically wired to keep our family line going. Knowing this, it makes sense that we’d be most open to requests from people we’re genetically connected to.

Non-family units

What if you’re not related by marriage or blood? There are plenty of other examples where you may feel a deep connection with other people. A few that come to mind include:

  • Religious organizations. They usually have communal activities that foster a sense of oneness. That’s why many religious groups are referred to as “the body.” Coordinated movements (standing, kneeling, praying), singing together, and physical touch (hugs, laying on of hands) facilitate a sense of unity.  
  • The military. Bonding starts with the shared experiences in bootcamp. A “band of brothers” is formed where people will literally die for one another. Coordinated movements, such as marches, are often set to ritualistic chants or music, to create cohesive groups that think and act as one.
  • Cross fit. In this type of workout participants feel a sense of unity that goes beyond regular gyms. That’s so because people go through painful workouts together, encouraging and helping each other every step of the way. Overcoming pain creates bonds because you understand people at deep physical and emotional levels.

Not in an organized group?

What can you do if you’re not part of a religious organization, the military, cross fit, or some other organization? You still have opportunities to stimulate oxytocin production to produce unity. 

According to a Harvard Health article, exercise, music, and touch, are ways to release oxytocin. The article stated, “One study noted a jump in oxytocin levels measured in participants’ saliva after high-intensity martial arts training. Music also seems to have the ability to increase oxytocin levels, especially when people sing in a group, which adds the element of bonding. Just the simple act of touch seems to boost oxytocin release.”

Other ways to create unity 

Coordinated activities promote togetherness. Activities such as going on hikes, dancing, and running can promote unity when you do them with other people. There’s something about moving together in coordinated ways that make us feel in sync and connected.

Being together is another way to promote unity. Time gives opportunity to know people at a deeper level. This is one reason many people feel a deep connection to their high school friends. During high school a massive amount of change takes place with young people. While some people disliked their high school experience for a variety of reasons, many people feel connected to their teenage friends because going through the changes of those years together creates a bond.


Unity is not easily formed but once it is, or once it’s discovered, it’s one of the most powerful principles of influence. That’s because, as noted earlier, when you raise unity to the surface, the other person’s yes to you is almost as good as a yes to themselves.

Brian Ahearn

Brian Ahearn is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence PEOPLE. An author, TEDx speaker, international trainer, coach, and consultant, Brian helps clients apply influence in everyday situations to boost results.

As one of only a dozen Cialdini Method Certified Trainers (CMCT) in the world, Brian was personally trained by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., the most cited living social psychologist on the science of ethical influence.

Brian’s first book, Influence PEOPLE, was named one of the 100 Best Influence Books of All Time by Book Authority. His follow-up, Persuasive Selling for Relationship Driven Insurance Agents, was an Amazon new release bestseller. His latest book, The Influencer: Secrets to Success and Happiness, is a business parable designed to teach you how to apply influence concepts at home and the office.

Brian’s LinkedIn courses on persuasive selling and coaching have been viewed by more than 500,000 people around the world!

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