The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over Book Review

The world is filled with countless interactions and connections, and our ability to navigate them effectively often dictates our success in various aspects of life. In “The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over” by Jack Schafer and Marvin Karlins, we are given a valuable roadmap to understanding and improving our social skills. Drawing on the authors’ extensive experience, this book provides insights into human behavior, communication, and persuasion that are both enlightening and practical.

1 Sentence Summary: “The Like Switch” is a captivating guidebook that reveals the secrets of building rapport, gaining trust, and winning people over, as shared by a former FBI agent, with actionable steps for improving social skills and influencing others positively.

The Like Switch An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over by Jack Schafer and Marvin Karlins

TitleThe Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over
AuthorJack Schafer, Marvin Karlins
GenreSelf Help
Publication DateJanuary 13, 2015
Length288 pages

Where to Purchase

Best Quotes from the Book

  1. “People like people who like them.” This deceptively simple statement lies at the core of the book’s message. The authors emphasize the importance of showing genuine interest in others and making them feel valued. When we convey our liking for someone, it often triggers a reciprocal response, fostering trust and rapport.Analysis: This quote highlights the power of reciprocity in human interactions. By taking the initiative to show appreciation and interest in others, we can establish a positive feedback loop of mutual liking. It’s a reminder that building connections starts with us.
  2. “Trust is a combination of three things: honesty, integrity, and reliability.” Trust is a fundamental element in any relationship, and this quote breaks it down into its essential components. The book goes on to explain how to demonstrate these qualities to gain and maintain trust.Analysis: Trust is fragile, and understanding its components helps us work on them deliberately. The book’s advice on cultivating trust provides valuable insights into becoming a more reliable and trustworthy individual.
  3. “The greatest compliment anyone can pay you is to feel safe in your presence.” This quote underscores the significance of creating a safe and comfortable environment for others. When people feel safe around us, they are more likely to open up and connect on a deeper level.Analysis: Safety and trust go hand in hand. This quote reminds us that being a source of comfort and security can be one of the most powerful ways to attract and win people over. It encourages us to be empathetic listeners and supportive friends.
  4. “To be a good conversationalist, you have to learn to ask open-ended questions.” Effective communication is a key theme in the book, and this quote emphasizes the value of open-ended questions. Such questions encourage meaningful conversations and allow people to express themselves fully.Analysis: Asking open-ended questions not only keeps conversations flowing but also shows genuine interest in the other person’s thoughts and feelings. It’s a practical tip that can instantly improve our social interactions.

Book Summary

“The Like Switch” delves into the psychology of human behavior, focusing on the factors that influence our connections with others. Drawing on Dr. Jack Schafer’s experience as an FBI agent who specialized in behavioral analysis and communication, the book provides a comprehensive guide to building rapport, gaining trust, and influencing people positively.

One of the book’s key takeaways is the importance of the Golden Rule of Friendship: “People like people who like them.” By showing genuine interest in others, being a good listener, and making people feel valued, we can create connections that are based on trust and reciprocity.

The book also emphasizes the significance of nonverbal communication, explaining how body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice can convey our intentions and emotions. Learning to read and use these cues effectively can greatly enhance our social interactions.

Furthermore, “The Like Switch” provides valuable insights into the art of persuasion, teaching us how to influence others ethically and positively. It explores the concept of the Friendship Formula, which breaks down trust into three essential components: honesty, integrity, and reliability.

Throughout the book, readers are presented with practical examples and real-life anecdotes from Dr. Schafer’s FBI career, making the concepts relatable and easy to understand. The authors offer actionable steps and strategies for improving social skills, whether in personal relationships, professional settings, or everyday interactions.

Book Review

“The Like Switch” is an engaging and insightful book that combines Dr. Schafer’s real-world experiences with Dr. Marvin Karlins’ writing expertise to create a valuable resource for anyone looking to enhance their social skills. The book’s conversational tone and relatable examples make it accessible to a wide audience.

One of the strengths of the book is its emphasis on actionable steps and practical advice. The authors provide clear and straightforward strategies for building rapport, gaining trust, and improving communication. These strategies can be applied immediately, making the book highly practical and beneficial.

The writing style is engaging, and the authors manage to convey complex psychological concepts in a way that is easy to grasp. Dr. Schafer’s personal anecdotes from his time in the FBI add a layer of authenticity to the book and help illustrate the principles discussed.

However, one potential drawback of the book is that it may leave some readers wanting more depth in certain areas. While it provides a solid foundation for understanding human behavior and social dynamics, it doesn’t delve deeply into some of the more complex aspects of psychology and persuasion. Additionally, some readers may find that the anecdotes from Dr. Schafer’s FBI career dominate the narrative at times, potentially overshadowing the practical advice.


This book is part of my list of best manipulation books. Check out the list for more books on this subject.

This book is recommended for:

  1. Professionals: Individuals in careers that require strong interpersonal skills, such as sales, marketing, leadership, and negotiation, will find “The Like Switch” invaluable for improving their ability to connect with others and influence outcomes positively.
  2. Students: College students and young professionals can benefit from the book’s insights into building relationships, networking, and effective communication, which are essential skills for personal and career growth.
  3. Anyone seeking to improve relationships: Whether in personal or professional life, if you want to enhance your ability to connect with others, gain trust, and build meaningful relationships, “The Like Switch” offers practical guidance that can be applied in various contexts.

Small Actionable Steps You Can Do

  1. Practice active listening: Make a conscious effort to listen attentively when engaging in conversations. Show genuine interest in what others are saying and ask open-ended questions to encourage them to share more.
  2. Pay attention to nonverbal cues: Learn to read body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice to better understand people’s emotions and intentions. Practice using positive nonverbal cues to convey warmth and openness.
  3. Cultivate the Friendship Formula: Work on being honest, displaying integrity, and consistently delivering on your promises. These qualities are essential for building trust in any relationship.
  4. Mirror and match: Subtly mirror the body language and speech patterns of the person you’re interacting with. This can create a sense of rapport and make the other person feel more comfortable.
  5. Create a safe environment: Make an effort to be a source of comfort and security for others. Show empathy, provide support, and create an atmosphere where people feel safe opening up to you.

“The Like Switch” by Jack Schafer and Marvin Karlins is a valuable resource for anyone looking to enhance their social skills, build rapport, and influence others positively. With practical advice, relatable examples, and insights from Dr. Schafer’s FBI career, the book provides a roadmap for improving interpersonal relationships in both personal and professional life. While it may leave some readers wanting more depth in certain areas, its actionable steps and accessible writing style make it a worthwhile read for those seeking to master the art of winning people over.


  • Michael Corbin

    Michael Corbin stands out as a dynamic content writer which combines his dual passions for self-help and digital marketing literature. A fervent believer in the transformative power of books, Michael delves deep into self-help titles, extracting valuable lessons and insights that he actively integrates into his daily life. Simultaneously, his keen interest in digital marketing books has not only expanded his knowledge but has also played a pivotal role in the success of his business ventures. Always on a quest for self-improvement and growth, Michael's reviews are a testament to his commitment to personal and professional development. His writings offer readers a unique perspective, as they are infused with real-world applications and experiences derived from the books he reviews. For those seeking to elevate their personal lives or enhance their business strategies, Michael Corbin's reviews serve as a trusted guide, pointing them to the most impactful and actionable books in the realms of self-help and digital marketing. His relentless pursuit of knowledge and betterment makes him an invaluable asset to the literary community and an inspiration to readers and entrepreneurs alike.

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