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Book Review: 'The Like Switch'

Updated on January 18, 2018
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.


“The Like Switch” is a book by an ex-FBI agent over reading body language and building emotional rapport. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this book by Jack Schafer? How does “The Like Switch” differ from all the other personal development books out there?

The Cover of "The Like Switch"
The Cover of "The Like Switch" | Source

The Strengths of “The Like Switch”

Too many books try to describe the body language of your audience in words; this book provides many pictures to show you want receptive and defensive body language looks like.

“The Like Switch” provides a lot of actionable advice. How do you engage someone when you want to present a contrary opinion? Ask for their advice with your contrary viewpoint. How do you convince the person already deciding against you? Acknowledge their doubts revealed by body language and then discuss how you solve the issue.

This book explains why many tactics recommended in sales and friendship building workbooks actually work.

The historical examples of building rapport, whether for the purpose of spying or seduction, are entertaining as well as educational.

Why do comments on social media get misunderstood or blow out of proportion so often? This book explains how the lack of feedback via body language when talking to others on social media makes that a logical outcome. Emojis are, in my opinion, an attempt to get it back but fall short.

The Weaknesses of “The Like Switch”

I wish there were more photos explaining all of these different facial expressions and body language cues. This isn’t obvious to everyone, including many buying the book.

The Back Cover of "The Like Switch"
The Back Cover of "The Like Switch" | Source

Observations Regarding "The Like Switch"

The author gives generally usable advice on how to build rapport and empathy. He suggests, in general, to respond with empathy, apologize and agree not to do it again.

His book ignores the growing source of “word mines” by liberal bullies who prey on the “civil” behavior pattern he recommends.They seek offense so they can claim victimhood before abusing the moral authority our society gives to victims in order to make irrational and/or unfair demands. “I’m offended, you all have to abandon use of that term. I’m upset, so I get to yell at you and tell everyone else what to do.”

Or the fact that his approach fails when you’re dealing with the irrational or the bullies who warp our standards of civility to get people to brow-beat themselves into submission less they be called a bigot, a racist, a sexist, a sexual harasser. I do realize this subject could be a book in its own right.

Who Should Read “The Like Switch”?

The author specifically states that the book is desperately needed among young adults who’ve been weaned on social media and thus lack the skills at reading body language their parents had. He suggests it as reading material for anyone who has trouble reading others, and I agree with that assessment.


“The Like Switch” is a great book to read if you have trouble reading people or seem to be repelling them despite your best efforts. The book has excellent practical examples on how to build rapport with all types of people and useful information on how to “read” people.

© 2018 Tamara Wilhite


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