Review: The Like Switch by Jack Schafer

Friday, May 19

My rating:
3 Stars…& 1/2 stars
Quote…If you want people to like you, make them feel good about themselves


What I loved:

I really enjoyed the real world examples from Dr. Schafer's time with the FBI. They were interesting, and I liked trying to spot the ways he put his own advice into action.

Learning more about body language. Since I listened to this on Audible, I got the accompanying PDF, and I'm always down for reading that feels like a game. This was one of those books that gives you things to spot and situations to analyze. And it's always fun putting human behaviour tips into real world situations - in a bar, at a dinner, at sports functions - just watching people interact, armed with a whole new insight.

The last chapter, about the German prince and the lady. Interesting stuff.

His fresh take on empathic statements. We all know how to mirror back what someone is saying, to show we are listening, but I felt like The Like Switch offered ways to make empathic statements not sound so cheesy and obvious. Speaking of - I liked that Dr Schafer pointed out that while we might feel the use of these techniques is obvious, they really don't have to be noticeable to be effective. Having used them a few times lately, he's so right. It feels obvious and manipulative when you're doing it, and then you see a good result and think holy shit, I can't believe that worked.

The chapter about why you shouldn't engage with angry people. That one, I really liked.

What I didn’t love:

I felt like this book was confused about it's target audience. A lot of the early chapters were like People 101. Most of us, who have spent any amount of time around people, know not to be too handsy with strangers because it's creepy, and don't cross your arms when you're talking because you look defensive or angry, and make reasonable eye contact without staring because staring is super weird, and angle your body towards someone if you're trying to build rapport. Those things just come from being a reasonably functional human being, I think. I felt like the kind of person who would buy a book like this already understands the basics, so there were a few wasted chapters there.

Likewise at the end, there was a chapter about safe internet use, which I felt wasn't relevant for anyone under the age of 65. It would have been nice to have some more real life examples from Dr Schafer's life to see the Like Switch system play out.


A good read with some useful techniques and I learned a lot. Case in point:
Quote…Men with lower self-esteem tend to select women who are less physically attractive and women with lower self-esteem tend to select mates who are lower income earners
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