Warm interactions with others can be a reliable source of everyday oxytocin, as long as we're able to trust and open up.
According to the New York Times, a new study shows that friendships at work can protect against burnout and depression.
Many of us avoid getting close to co-workers, or even socializing with them or getting personal. It's unprofessional, we fear, and could lead to embarrassing entanglements. Some of us like to maintain a different persona for work that hides or minimizes interests or traits we feel aren't mainstream or widely acceptable.
However, according to the article,
People who said they felt generally supported by their colleagues and could lean on co-workers in a time of crisis were spared the rigors of job stress. In the study, men and women who felt little social support at work were two to three times more likely to suffer major bouts of depression.
Certainly, those of us who don't get close and personal with co-workers lose the opportunity to engage in a stress-reducing oxytocin response with them.