According to Daniel Goleman, whose 2006 book “Social Intelligence,” was praised as “superb and essential” by the Library Journal, social “facility” is made up other three other abilities: synchrony, self presentation, influence, and concern.
“Synchrony,” as he defines it, is what ‘lets us glide gracefully through a nonverbal dance with another person” (page 91), because it’s what allows us to read on body language and then respond appropriately with our body language — whether it’s by nodding, turning, reaching out a hand, or other gestures.
People who don’t synchronize non-verbally tend to fidget, laugh nervously, turn away at the wrong moment, or continue to talk even when the other person is clearly ready to move on. In fact, many a person who seems aloof or disinterested may actually just be a bit clumsy in the nonverbal realm.
Interestingly, Goleman notes, the inability to read (or respond to) social cues (called “dyssemia), isn’t a neurological/physiological problem in the brain. Instead, studies show that in 85 percent of all cases, the failure stems from a childhood spent interacting with too few peers or being raised in a family where an insuffiently wide range of emotions was displayed.