Difference Between Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Communication


As the term, “intra” means “within” the communication that takes place within a person is called intrapersonal communication. On the other hand the term “inter” means “between”. So when communication occurs between two or more people it is said to be interpersonal communication.

We humans are social animals, and we always need someone to talk to or share our opinions news and even feelings with. Communication is a substantial part of our life whether we say something or not. It automatically conveys a message to the people around us because it is inescapable.

It can be intrapersonal communication or interpersonal communication. The main difference between intrapersonal communication and interpersonal communication is that the former is invisible as is thought the latter is visible when it occurs between various parties.

Definition of intrapersonal communication

Communication with oneself is intrapersonal communication. It involves thinking, analyzing, interpreting evaluating, contemplating feeling etc. It is to reflect the individual self in order to clarify something.

It is an activity that takes place in our mind in which a person is engaged in a conversation with themselves, commonly known as “self-talk” or “inner speech”. The activity can be a monologue or an internal dialogue, that is, when you imagine a conversation, in your mind with the absent other. So it’s pretty obvious that the sender and receiver are the same person.

Inner speech vocal-only communication and written-only communication are the three levels of intrapersonal communication. The three aspects that govern intrapersonal communication are: lifestyle travel food

Self -concept : Self-concept determines the way an individual takes himself/herself, oriented towards others. The three factors in self-concept are:

Perception : It is what the mind receives and captures from the outside world.
Expectation – An individual’s future-oriented projection, that something might happen.

Definition of interpersonal communication

Interpersonal communication is individual communication between two or more people, in which the exchange of ideas, information or messages is carried out through a channel. It can be face-to-face communication between the parties, communication by mail, telephone and the like.

In interpersonal communication, how something is said is just as important as what is said. So here, the tone of voice, the body language, the gestures, the facial expressions, have a great impact on the receiver. The characteristics of interpersonal communication are as follows:

Intrapersoonlijk Inescapable – Every time we try not to say anything to anyone, it says something about our mood, attitude or nature, that is, not with words but through non-verbal cues.
Irreversible or unrepeatable : Once something is said, it cannot be taken back, so it is also not reversible or repeatable.

Complex – Due to some variables involved in communication, it is a complex process. The words used in the communication process may not have the same meaning for both the sender and the receiver, and this complicates the process.

Contextual – Context plays an important role in the communication process as there is a psychological, environmental, situational and relational context.

Key Differences Between Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Communication

The difference between intrapersonal and interpersonal communication can be clearly drawn on the following grounds:

The communication that we have with ourselves, that is, the communication that occurs in our mind, is known as intrapersonal communication. Communication between two or more people, through verbal or non-verbal messages, is called interpersonal communication.

Intrapersonal communication is communication with oneself, so only one person is involved in it. In contrast, interpersonal communication is always between two or more people.

Intrapersonal communication happens continuously because it is the human tendency to think, analyze and interpret things. In contrast, interpersonal communication occurs regularly on a personal and professional level.
In intrapersonal communication, only the internal senses of an individual are involved. Against this, interpersonal communication requires means of communication, that is, conveying the message to the other party.

In intrapersonal communication, it is based on thinking and analysis, while interpersonal communication deals with the exchange of ideas, information, opinions, feelings, etc.


Intrapersonal communication is the basis of interpersonal communication because it is our experience that our perception is based on and our perception influences our interaction with other people. In intrapersonal communication, information is always kept in the mind of one person; however, in interpersonal communication, information flows from one person to another.

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