The Like Switch: ⭐️4.8 out of 5 ⭐️
Just like Moonwalking with Einstein, The Like Switch by ex-FBI Agent Dr. Jack Schafer book was another recommendation from a friend who crushed flight school and selected jets. And, like most students, short of actually learning how to fly well I was willing to do whatever it took to get jets on selection day.
It’s not what you know it’s who you know.
A popular phrase we’ve all heard at some point in our lives and something that I’ve come to realize is critically important. Life is relationships and the strength of those relationships determines opportunities afforded, happiness, and success. This is obvious to me… now.
But it wasn’t always. Transforming my previous worldview from one that was purely meritocratic to one that is based as much on merit as it is on connections with others was difficult. But once I found the magic recipe of making friends and getting people to like you I was instantly hooked and never want to go back.
Just turn on the Like Switch!
Who is Jack Schafer?
The author, Jack Schafer, is a psychologist, professor, and former FBI special agent who spent fifteen years doing counterintelligence and counterterrorism operations. He has developed spy-recruitment and terrorist interrogation strategies that turn enemies into allies and built a fool-proof system for getting people to like you and want to be your friend.
His system has been implemented to help the world’s most dangerous spies become double agents for their own country and work for the USA at the risk of death.
Most impressive of all? It will improve your odds of picking up chicks/dudes at the bar.
Dr. Schafer sets the stage by introducing the four building blocks to building successful relationships:
Proximity can be understood as when two people are in the same location at the same time. It’s easier to build a friendship with someone when they share your zip code, timezone, etc.
Intensity or the degree of verbal and non-verbal interaction you have with another. Think the casual “‘sup” head nod versus a hug.
Frequency how often do you see this person? When I go to the same gym to work out every day, I start to feel the people there at the same time as me are my teammates and we’re training together. Even if we’ve only ever give the “’sup” nod.
Duration when you do cross paths, is it fleeting or long-lasting? Whether we realize it or not, as we spend time with others, humans have an innate habit of imitating those they are around.
The Golden Rule of Friendship, as Dr. Schafer puts it, if you want people to like you, make them feel good about themselves. The reason, he says, is because they will start to connect interactions with you and feeling good about themselves and automatically want to spend more time with you in order to keep the positive feedback look going.
Empathic statements, my personal favorite, are statements you can use to show the speaker you are really listening. You take what they are saying, internalize it, and respond in a way that focuses the attention on them.
An example would be when going up to talk to a ticketing agent at the airport after they were just yelled at by the previous customer. Before asking your request, you start off by saying “It looks like your day could be going better. I can tell you’re really overworked…”
Although it sounds like this would come off as condescending or obvious to the speaker, according to Jack people don’t really recognize it that way, rather it makes them feel good.
Finally, a lot of what you tell others is done without talking at all. Signaling, as Schafer calls it, is how people communicate with others whether they’re friend or foe. A subtle upward “flash” of the eyebrows? Friend. Crossed arms? Foe. A slight turn of the head to reveal one’s neck? Friend.
Although maybe awkward at first, with practice you can actually make these nonverbal signals seem natural. The result? People will gradually associate your body language with one of a friend.
Why You Need this Book
This book is one of my favorites because of how much it actually helped me and how it has shaped my worldview. My friends and I have all read it and we joke about it frequently but I’m convinced it works.
When going through an evaluation process like flight school, it is especially important to realize that no system is perfect. At the end of the day, it’s humans evaluating other humans on their perceived abilities. And although you still need to have the basic competency like flying an airplane well, if it comes down to two people of equal skill level being considered for a position: the one who’s more liked will win.
So whether you’re a student in primary flight training trying to get that one jet slot or one of one hundred candidates interviewing to be the next CEO of Cubicle Land, being likable matters and Jack Schafer’s The Like Switch is a great starting point if you’re as unlikable as Joffrey.