Book notes: The Like Switch

The Like Switch by Jack Schafer book summary

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The Like Switch by Jack Schafer, Marvin Karlins


Synopsis: “From a former FBI Special Agent specializing in behavior analysis and recruiting spies comes a handbook filled with his proven strategies on how to instantly read people and influence how they perceive you, so you can easily turn on the like switch.

Dr. Schafer cracks the code on making great first impressions, building lasting relationships, and understanding others’ behavior to learn what they really think about you. With tips and techniques that hold the key to taking control of your communications, interactions, and relationships, The Like Switch shows you how to read others and get people to like you for a moment or a lifetime.” -Audible

Opening thoughts:

Another book I came across because it was in my recommended reads in Audible. It had a lot of good reviews and a compelling synopsis, so why not? I also wanted to read something less business-y and more on interpersonal skills. Lastly, I wanted to keep with this month’s theme of red-colored book covers so all of the books would match when I collage it for Instagram, lol.

Key notes:

  • His job was essentially getting people to like him
  • We are social creatures that strive to be with others and make friends
    • Dealing with people you don’t know can be a challenging and even scary experience
  • Nonverbal cues and verbal prompts to get people to like you instantly
    1. You must be willing to learn and master the techniques presented in this book
      • Simply apply to techniques as you would need and let the techniques do the work, just relax
    2. You must actually use this new knowledge in dealing with people in your every day life
      • Knowledge without action is knowledge wasted
    3. You must constantly practice what you learn
  • Chapter 1: the friendship formula
    • The friendship formula consists of the four basic building blocks: proximity, frequency, duration, and intensity
      • People who share physical space are more likely to become attracted to one another even when no words are exchanged
        • The key is that it must take place in a nonthreatening environment
      • Intensity is how strongly you are able to satisfy another person’s psychological or physical needs through the use of verbal and nonverbal behaviors
      • Duration has a unique quality in that the more time you spend with the person, the more influence they have over your thoughts and actions
        • Duration usually has an inverse relationship with frequency. The more frequent you see them, the last time you spend. The less we can see them, the more time we tend to spend with them
    • The combination of the elements of the friendship formula can also help identify the strength of a relationship between a couple
    • Establishing common ground is the fastest way to build rapport
    • You can consciously or subconsciously send off foe or friend signals to others around you
      • The urban scowl sends a clear, nonverbal signal two others that you are a foe, not a friend. It is a warning to stay away and don’t screw with me.
      • This is commonly developed by people who live in rougher neighborhoods
      • Panhandlers are usually good at picking up friends signals to filter out there targets
      • Your verbal and nonverbal communications send signals to the people around you
      • Technological advances have stifled our development of emotional intelligence
        • Growing up, kids learn social skills from interacting on the playground with other kids
  • Chapter 2: Getting noticed before a word is spoken
    • Popular people in social settings tend to send out more friends signals to those around him
    • Three critical and nonverbal cues: eyebrow flash, head tilt, and a real smile
      • Prolonged eye contact between two people indicates intense emotion, whether in love or hostility
        • A long eyebrow flash will actually send a foe signal
      • A head tilt to the right or left is a non-threatening gesture
        • People who tilt their head when meeting other people are seen as more trustworthy and attractive
      • A smile is a powerful friend signal. Smiling faces are judged to be more attractive, more likable, and less dominant
        • A smile portrays confidence, happiness, and enthusiasm, and acceptance
        • Genuine smiles are more symmetrical and timed differently than fake smiles
        • Learning to produce a real smile at will, particularly when you don’t feel in the mood to display it, takes practice
      • Making eye contact for longer than a second to someone you don’t know can be perceived as threatening. Friends who like each other, however, are permitted to gaze for longer periods of time
        • Pupil dilation expresses interest
    • Touching is a powerful, subtle, but complex form of nonverbal communication
      • Even the most fleeting touch can have a dramatic influence on our perceptions and relationships
      • A risk free way to measure the strength of a new relationship is to accidentally touch or brush against the hand of your person of interest
        • Most people will tolerate an accidental touch, but they will unconsciously send nonverbal signals indicating the acceptance or rejection of the touch
    • Isopraxism, mirroring the behavior of another person. A nonverbal practice that can be used to make friendship development easier and more effective
      • The spot light technique when a group of friends mirrors one person. Practice mirroring random people when you meet them to develop this additional tool of developing friendships
    • People tend to lean towards people they like and distance themselves from people they don’t like
    • Whispering is an intimate behavior and positive friend signal. Not everyone can whisper in your ear with impunity
      • When you see whispering taking place Between two individuals, you can be relatively certain a close personal relationship exists
    • Food forking is a friend signal and indicates a close relationship between the person possessing the food and the person forking it
    • People who like one another tend to display more expressive gestures
    • Head nods can have various different cues towards the speaker
      • Verbal nudges let the speaker know not only that you are listening but also validating the speakers message with verbal confirmation
      • Focused attention shows the speaker what they are saying is important to you
    • Tips for hire tips:
      • Tip 1: female waitresses touching customers leads to higher tips
      • Tip 2: wear something in your hair
      • Tip 3: introduce yourself by name
      • Tip 4: create reciprocity
      • Tip 5: repeat the customers orders
      • Tip 6: provide good service
      • Tip 7: apply the golden rule of friendship. Make the customer feel good about themselves and they will like you
    • Elevator eyes, looking someone up and down, can be seen as an invasion of personal space
      • The police officer has the authority to look at you and into your car, but the opposite is not true for you
      • A big giveaway for undercover officers is when their body language shows they feel like they have the authority to gaze and look in forbidden spaces
    • Rolling your eyes gives the signal that you think the speaker is stupid, a clear foe signal
      • Squinting and furrowed eyebrows are other forms of negative signals
      • Tens facial expressions and aggressive stances
    • Your environment and context will determine if your outfit will be interpreted as a friend or enemy signal
      • If you don’t pay attention to the details it can expose you for who you are. This is true in dress attire is well
      • A mask is a very powerful foe signal
    • Example of a dog reacting negatively to the dog lover who stairs directly at it and approaches him, but react positively to the dog hater who ignores and doesn’t looked at him. One challenges the dogs personal space, and the other does not
    • Foot signals in group circles can be very telling, as feet pointed towards the center show closed groups, and feet and body positions opened up shows receptivity to new members
    • Confident people are more well-liked than people who aren’t self-assured
      • There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance when displaying signals as a newcomer to a group
    • If you can’t readily find common ground, you can default to music because everyone likes music, even if not the same music
    • When you see people again after meeting them, call them by their names. This means a lot to them
    • Conversational bridge back’s, references to previous conversations, shows that you’re not a newcomer to the group
    • Be careful not to bask in the spotlight when sending out friend signals
    • The spotlight effect is when you try to force friend signals but then they come off as awkward because you think they are, which then makes you seem unbelievable and inauthentic
    • Interpreting nonverbal cues in couples
  • Chapter 3: The golden rule of friendship
    • Golden rule of friendship: If you want people to like you, make them feel good about themselves
    • People tend to gravitate towards people who make them happy and distance themselves from people who make them feel pain
    • Techniques to make people feel good about themselves: empathic statements
      • These keep the focus of the conversation on the person you’re talking with rather than on yourself
      • A great way to start and empathetic statement is with, “so you…”
    • Definite line separates flattery from confidence. The purpose of compliments is to praise others and acknowledge their accomplishments
    • You can use third-party complements to complement the person and take credit for it making him feel good even if you didn’t say it
      • Cashing in on third-party complements in the workplace is very effective
    • Words cannot change reality, but words can change how someone perceives reality. Words create filters through which people see the world around them
    • The primacy effect is sending a message that will predispose somebody to see someone else in a way that you want them to be perceived
      • Be careful because the primacy effect can cut both ways and influence your own thinking and beliefs
    • The Ben Franklin affect: asking someone for a favor will make them like you more
      • When you employ the golden rule of friendship, it encourages reciprocity
  • Chapter 4: The laws of attraction
    • The law of similarity and common ground
      • People are attracted to other people who share their interests
      • Look for potential commonalities when you see people
      • Vicarious experiences, living out an experience or lifestyle through another person
    • Misattribution: being at the right place at the right time
      • When they feel good because of a place or experience, they tend to attribute that feeling to the person they were with
      • You can use misattribution by organizing a fun activity with someone or people to get them to like you
      • Use misattribution by being in close proximity with someone after a workout when endorphins are released or after frightening experiences
    • The law of curiosity:
      • Curiosity can be used as a book to increase intensity and pique a person’s interest in you
    • The principle of reciprocity:
      • Once a person discovers another person likes them, they find that person more attractive
    • The law of self disclosure:
      • Individuals who disclose more personal information with others are more likely to do the same
    • Law of personal attractiveness:
      • Attractiveness is not absolute, you can become more or less attractive with effort
    • The law of humor:
      • Individuals who use humor in social encounters are perceived as more likable
      • Laughing also releases endorphins, and also signifies if the person likes someone by how much they laugh at their jokes
    • The law of familiarity:
      • The more we meet and interact with people, the more likely we are to become friends
    • The law of association:
      • Impressions of the individual is largely assessed by the impression of their group
    • The law of self esteem:
      • People like to associate with individuals who display a high level of self esteem
      • It’s true that many women again a sense of self esteem and social status through display of physical beauty, youthfulness, and relationship with others
      • Male contestants on game shows tend to describe themselves by their occupation, female contestants characterize themselves by their relationships
      • High status women usually try to couple with high status men
    • The law of availability/ scarcity:
      • People are attracted to individuals and things they cannot readily obtain
      • A certain level of unavailability will make you more of a mystery and a challenge
      • Increased restraint increases drive
    • The law of personality
      • Extroverts versus introverts. Knowing the other person’s personality type will help you dissipate what to expect in terms of your interaction with them
      • One technique to identify an extrovert is to begin a sentence and pause. The extrovert will generally complete the sentence, whereas the introvert will not
    • The law of complementarity: giving compliments
  • Chapter 5: Speaking the language of friendship
    • Making friends through verbal communication:
      • The more you can encourage the other person to speak, the more you listen to what they say, display empathy and respond positively when reacting to their comments, the greater the likelihood the person will feel good about themselves and like you as a result
      • Communication is much more than conveying ideas, it also encompasses how you convey them in real-world situations
      • A person who is forced into a defensive position is less likely to except new ideas
        • Creating an adversarial environments to language creates or enforces concepts of winners and losers
    • Cognitive dissonance is triggered when a person holds two or more conflicting believes simultaneously
    • Ego: people are naturally egocentric
      • Keep your ego in check and use psychologically sound principles to shape your communication
    • Create an inclusionary environment, avoid cognitive dissonance, bolster their illusion of self focus, foster a mentor-mentee relationship, showing the other person respect and acknowledging their expertise makes them feel good about themselves
    • Active listening it’s something you want to practice if you want to use verbal behavior as a tool to build new friendships
    • LOVE = Listen, Observe, Vocalize, Empathize
    • Empathic statements are the spice of conversations
    • Because of word mines, we don’t know what meaning people attach to an oculus words
      • There’s a danger in miscommunication when there are no nonverbal cues to guide a conversation
    • Once an opinion or decision is expressed out loud, changing a persons mind becomes more difficult due to the psychological principle of consistency
    • People bite their lips when they have something to say but is hesitant to say it for a myriad of reasons
      • Touching of the lips means the person is uneasy about the topic that is being discussed
    • Attraction and interest for example are communicated much more by the tone of voice then by the words being spoken
    • When you are right and someone else is wrong, give that individual a face saving way to carry out your wishes with a minimum of embarrassment and humiliation
      • Making someone feel wrong in front of people causes unnecessary tension and strife
      • Instead of asserting your right to be right, ask people for their advice. That allows them to be part of the decision-making process
    • An alternate response question gives the other person the illusion of control but doesn’t relinquish authority
      • Strategy 2: use the technique of status elevation to make people feel better about themselves and see you as a friend
      • Strategy 3: if you want to get information from somebody without arousing suspicion or putting them on the defensive, use the elicitation approach
    • Elicitation is the ability to obtain sensitive information from people without then realizing they are providing you with this data
      • The human need to correct an elicitation through presumptive statements. People have a need to be right but an even stronger need to correct others
    • The internal external elicitation technique: Asking someone a question as a third-party can reveal how they really feel on a topic
    • Making an emphatic statement that also allows the person to complement themselves is most effective
    • Common conversational pitfalls:
      1. Avoid talking about topics that engender negative feelings in your listener. Negative feelings make people feel bad about themselves and consequently they will like you less
      2. Don’t constantly complain about your problems, your family problems, more problems of the world
      3. Avoid talking incessantly about yourself
      4. Do not engage in meaningless chatter
      5. Avoid expressing too little or too much emotion
    • Testing for rapport is important because it tells us how we stand in developing relationship with any given individual
      • The touching of the small of a woman’s back indicates intimacy
      • Grooming, picking, or adjusting the other person’s clothing is a sign of good rapport
      • Testing for rapport through the lead and follow approach:
        • people who are psychologically connected mirror one another’s body gestures. Intentionally mirroring another persons body language promotes rapport.
        • Change your body position. If you’ve built a rapport, the other person should change their position within 20 to 30 seconds
      • A hair flip with an accompanying gaze indicates rapport. A hair flip followed by broken eye contact is called a bitch flip
      • People who share a rapport will orient their bodies towards each other
      • Physical and psychological barriers are used and indicate good rapport has not been built
      • Watching for subtle changes in peoples nonverbal language often communicates more information than anything the person might say
      • Pillows, purses, and even eyelids from closed eyes can serve as barriers
      • Increased eyeblink rate can indicate anxiety
  • Chapter 7: Nurturing and sustaining long-term relationships
    • Your are most likely to do something for someone whom you feel cares about you
      • C = compassion and concern
      • A = active listening
      • R = reinforcement
      • E = empathy
    • Active listening means you’re using verbal and nonverbal cues along with empathic statements when the other person is speaking
    • Reinforcement is the use of rewards and punishment meted out by one individual to another in a relationship
      • Remember to give praise when appropriate, don’t forget special events, encourages your partner to participate in decision-making
      • When appropriate, give public recognition to your partner by letting others know what special accomplishment he or she has achieved
      • To make sure you get your partner a gift he or she wants, ask or simply listen effectively
    • Empathy is the critical component of any successful long-term relationship
      • Being able to sense how your partner feels and caring about it is essential to maintaining a good relationship
    • How to deal with angry people, practicing anger management
      • And effective anger management strategy involves keeping the focus of the conversation on the angry party, allowing him or her to vent
        • In addition, provides a course of action to deal with the problem that caused the anger in the first place
      • Do not engage angry people because they are not thinking logically. Anger triggers the fight or flight response which mentally and physically prepares the body for survival
      • Angry people need time to calm down before they can think clearly again. The body takes about 20 minutes to return to normal after a full fight or flight response
      • The big three to break the anger cycle: empathic statements, venting, and presumptive statements to lead towards a solution
      • The better you are at spotting changes in verbal and nonverbal cues, the greater your potential ability at empathizing
        • Empathic statements should target the underlying problem. Exposing the real cause of the anger will venting, which can be controlled by constructing effective empathic statements
      • Venting is critical because it reduces frustration and anger, allowing them to think more clearly. Venting is not a singular event but rather a series of events
      • Presumptive statements direct angry people to take a course of action that leads towards conflict resolution
        • Giving the angry person to options gives the illusion that they are in control
    • Good relationships, short or long term, take effort to bloom. You must nurture relationships with care, patients, and loving understanding if you want them to flower
      • One piece of advice: When relationships are still new, vibrant, and full of love, write letters to each other and go into great detail about what you like and admire about the other person. Instead of sharing, place them in separate sealed envelopes and store away in a safe place. If the relationship go sour, you can give each other the The letters and read them. This emotional reminder may be enough to recharge The feelings of them.
  • Chapter 8: The perils and promise of relationships in a digital world
    • As long as you know how to tell the friends from the frauds, the online landscape offer some distinct advantages
      • The Internet is introvert friendly
      • Be careful as your digital activity will be immortal
      • In the digital world, it is hard to remain anonymous
    • Story of two unfaithful spouses meeting each other online it anonymously and accidentally and discovering the surprise when they met in person
    • The well technique: when you ask a yes or no question, and they respond with “well…” Is a good indicator they’re being deceptive
    • The land of is is a labyrinth of half truths and deception that redirects the direct question towards something else
    • The “why should I believe you” technique
    • Be honest in your on my profile and be patient. Deception will ruin the relationship when discovered
    • Truth bias: people tend to believe others, this allows society and commerce to run efficiently and smoothly
    • The primacy effect:
      • Creates a filter through which we view communication and events, does not change reality but alters people’s perception of it
    • Increased disclosures online results in increased intensity and vulnerability. This also contributes to more emotional investment and less likely to want to disengage
    • In order to avoid cat fishing, force them into the visual world where you can read nonverbal and verbal cues

Closing thoughts:

Absolutely loved this book. Definitely exceeded my expectations. The author is a masterful storyteller, which got me hooked from the very beginning. He doesn’t drag on his points, but he breaks down and is very thorough with each of the sections.

I might be a bit biased, but I really like books on influence, social dynamics, developing relationships, and attraction. I enjoy learning about psychology that’s actually applicable, human nature, our natural tendencies, and other practical concepts that can be honed into valuable skill-sets. This book does it for me in that its a good, hard-tactics kind of book that’s extremely interesting and something the reader can apply immediately.

Nutshell: How to “recruit” people to like you like an FBI agent through the Friendship Formula, the Gold Rule of Friendship, and utilizing verbal and non-verbal cues.

Rating: 4.5/5

2 thoughts on “Book notes: The Like Switch”

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