We, humans, are social animals, and we always need someone to talk or share our opinions, news, and even feelings. Communication is a substantial part of our life, whether we say something or not, it automatically conveys a message to the persons surrounding us, because it is inescapable. It can be intrapersonal communication or interpersonal communication.
As the term, ‘intra’ means ‘within’, so the communication that takes place within a person is called intrapersonal communication. On the other hand, the term ‘inter’ means ‘between’, so when the communication occurs between two or more persons, it is said to be interpersonal communication. The major difference between intrapersonal and interpersonal communication is that the former is invisible, as it goes in our mind, the latter is visible as it takes place between several parties.
Content: Intrapersonal Communication Vs Interpersonal Communication
|Basis for Comparison||Intrapersonal Communication||Interpersonal Communication|
|Meaning||Intrapersonal Communication is one, that we have with ourselves, i.e. the communication that occurs in our mind.||Interpersonal Communication is the communication between two or more person, through verbal or non-verbal messages.|
|Persons Involved||One||At least two|
|Occurence||Continuous due to human nature.||Regular, due to social needs.|
|Media||Only a person's internal senses are involved.||Supported by a verbal and non-verbal media.|
|Concerned with||Thinking and Analysis||Exchanging and sharing of ideas or information|
Definition of Intrapersonal Communication
The communication with oneself is intrapersonal communication. It involves thinking, analysing, interpreting, assessing, contemplating, feeling, etc. It is to reflect the individual self, with a view to clarifying something.
It is an activity that takes place in our mind; wherein a person is involved in a conversation with himself/herself, commonly known as ‘self-talk’ or ‘inner speech’. The activity can be a monologue or internal dialogue, i.e. when you imagine a conversation, in your mind with the absent other. So, it is quite obvious that the sender and receiver are the same person.
Internal discourse, Solo-vocal communication and Solo written communication are the three levels of intrapersonal communication. The three aspects that govern the intrapersonal communication are:
- Self-Concept: Self-concept ascertains 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 grasp from the outside world.
- Expectation: An individual’s future-oriented projection, that something might happen.
Definition of Interpersonal Communication
Interpersonal Communication is the one to one communication between two or more persons, wherein exchange of ideas, information or messages takes place through a channel. It can be a face to face communication between parties, communication over mail, telephone and the like.
In Interpersonal Communication, the way something is said is as important as what is being said. So, here, the tone of voice, body language, gestures, facial expressions, have a great impact on the recipient. The features of interpersonal communication are as under:
- Inescapable: Whenever we try not to say anything to anyone at all, it says something about our mood, attitude or nature, i.e. not by words but through the non-verbal signals.
- Irreversible or Unrepeatable: Once something is being said, it cannot be taken back, so neither it is reversible nor repeatable.
- Complex: Due to some variables involved in communication, it is a complex process. The words used in the process of communication may not have the same meaning for both sender and receiver, and this complicates the process.
- Contextual: Context plays a significant role in the communication process, as in there is psychological, environmental, situational and relational context.
Key Differences Between Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Communication
The difference between intrapersonal and interpersonal communication, can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:
- The communication that we have with ourselves, i.e. the communication that occurs in our mind, is known as intrapersonal communication. The communication between two or more person, through verbal or non-verbal messages, is called interpersonal communication.
- The intrapersonal communication is the communication with oneself, and so only one person is involved in it. On the contrary, interpersonal communication is always between two or more persons.
- Intrapersonal communication occurs continuously because it is the human tendency to think, analyse and interpret things. Conversely, Interpersonal Communication occurs regularly on a personal and professional level.
- In intrapersonal communication, only an individual’s internal senses are involved. As against this, interpersonal communication requires media, i.e. to pass on the message to the other party.
- In intrapersonal communication, is based on the thinking and analysis while interpersonal communication is concerned with the exchange of ideas, information, opinions, feelings and so on.
Intrapersonal communication is the base of interpersonal communication because it is our experience on which our perception relies and our perception influences our interaction with the other persons. In intrapersonal communication the information is always kept in a person’s mind, however, in an interpersonal communication, the information flows from one person to another.