Difference Between Interpersonal vs Intrapersonal

Difference Between Interpersonal vs Intrapersonal

One thing that is inevitable as long as life of a human person is concerned is “communication”. The way you relate to others and even yourself is, in fact, a significant definition of your personality. Basically, the two main forms of these relationships are intrapersonal and interpersonal communication. We’ll explain, in the course of this article, what they mean, and also go ahead to answer the question what is the difference between interpersonal and intrapersonal?

Just like a lot of other words in English, many tend to juggle these two, using them wrongly without knowing. They sound kind of similar, but even at that, it is important to know that they are not the same.

Definition of Interpersonal

It is simply defined as association “between” two or more persons which can be either verbal or non-verbal (emphasis on the word “between”). When you are relating with another person in this manner, the way you do it is as important as the information you are passing across.

This is something most of us do every day, talking to someone face to face or on the phone. It is a two-way system where you give and also receive. The definition of this term is one way of showing the difference between interpersonal and intrapersonal. For instance, in the case of face to face verbal contact, the tone of your voice, the look on your face, your gestures, and general body language would have a great impression on the other person.

Definition of Intrapersonal

It is defined as the interaction “within” oneself (emphasis on the word “within”). Naturally, you employ tactics like thinking, feeling, understanding, contemplating, etc.  That alone is a major difference between intrapersonal and interpersonal.

How do you talk to yourself? Most times, you may not need to shout out loud while trying to relate with yourself. This is because you can hear yourself without your ears. Your mind, your head, your heart; all of these are ways you can hear your thoughts without necessarily shouting out loud.

Main Differences Between Interpersonal vs Intrapersonal

Below is a comparison table that shows the diagrammatic representation of the difference between interpersonal and intrapersonal communication.

Basis of ComparisonInterpersonalIntrapersonal
Definition Is defined as association “between” two or more persons which can be either verbal or non-verbalIs defined as the communication “within” oneself
Prefix meaningBetween – among two or more personsWithin – inside just one person
IrreversibleOnce the word is out, it is irreversibleThe word may never come out, so it can be reversed
ComplexityWords may have different meanings for both partiesThe meaning is only what you think it to be
Parties involvedTwo or more parties are involvedJust one party is involved

Conclusion of the Main Difference Between Interpersonal vs Intrapersonal

There are definitely a lot of differences between these terms, but it is also important to note that intrapersonal forms the very basis of interpersonal. It is what you think within you, consciously or unconsciously, that forms the basis of how you relate with another person.