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

From the 2015 book by Jack Schafer:

Friendship =Proximity + Frequency + Duration + Intensity

* Street people are constantly seeking handouts, especially in big cities. They can be persistent. Their persistence is not random, though. They target people who are most likely to give them money, and aggressively pursue them. How do they know who is a soft touch and who is not? Easy: They look for friend and foe signals. If
their targets make eye contact, the odds go up. If their targets smile, the odds go up. If their targets show pity, the odds go up. If you are constantly being targeted by beggars and panhandlers, it is most likely
because you are unwittingly sending them nonverbal signals that invite personal contact. Without personal contact, the chances of receiving money are nonexistent. Beggars know this and pursue targets who are more likely to give them a return on their efforts. So, in this case, an urban scowl could come in quite handy.

* Moving with purpose has a purpose. To a potential predator, you are less likely to be seen as prey, just as a healthy, speedy, alert antelope is not likely to be the target of first choice for a lion who is chasing a herd
of the beasts across the African savanna.


They are the “eyebrow flash,” “head tilt,” and the real, as opposed to fake, “smile” (yes, the human brain can detect the difference!).

A head tilt is a strong friend signal. People who tilt their heads when they interact with others are seen as more trustworthy and more attractive. Women see men who approach them with their head slightly canted to one side or the other as more handsome. Likewise, men see women who tilt their heads as more attractive. Furthermore, people who tilt their heads toward the person they are talking with are seen as more friendly, kind, and honest as compared with individuals whose heads remain upright when they talk.

* People tend to lean toward individuals they like and distance themselves from people they don’t like.

* I often use nonverbal signals to monitor the effectiveness of my lectures. Students who are interested in the material will lean forward in their seats, tilt their heads to the right or the left, and periodically nod their heads in agreement. Students who are not interested, or who have lost interest, will lean back in their seats, roll their eyes, or in extreme circumstances, tilt their heads backward or forward as they doze off.

* Members of a large group who form a semicircle with their feet pointing toward the open side of the circle are signaling that they are willing to accept new members. Members of a large group who form a closed circle are signaling they are not going to be receptive to adding new individuals to their gathering.

If you see two people who are facing each other—each with their feet pointing toward the other person—they are telegraphing the message that their conversation is private. Stay away. They do not want outsiders to interrupt. On the other hand, if two people are facing each other with their feet askew, this leaves an “opening” and sends the message that they are willing to admit a new person to their group.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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