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Interpersonal & Intrapersonal Intelligence

Interpersonal & Intrapersonal Intelligence

Interpersonal Vs. Intrapersonal Communication

It’s common for people to confuse intrapersonal and interpersonal communication and skills. On the contrary, they couldn’t be more different and have no similarities at all! The difference can be seen in the word’s etymology: “inter” refers to interactions between individuals or groups, while “intra” describes activities occurring within an individual or a group. Both are important to one’s professional, academic, and personal development.

Both intrapersonal (communication within yourself) and interpersonal (communication with other people) skills can help you be successful in life.

There is no hierarchy between the two types of communication; indeed, having a natural ability for one over the other is beneficial. But the best way to do well in school, work, and social situations is to get better at both types of communication over time. 

What is Interpersonal Communication?

When two or more individuals exchange information and ideas through any medium, they are engaging in interpersonal communication. Communicating in this way can take place in person, digitally, verbally, or in writing.

Individuals with high levels of interpersonal intelligence are able to read and respond to the emotions and intentions of others around them, making for pleasant interactions and a wide circle of friends. They have developed the ability to read and understand the emotions and mental states of those around them. They are social, quick to make friends, and open to learning through group activities, seminars, and conversations. Such high-IQ individuals have little trouble communicating by voice phone, audio conference, or electronic mail. People in this intelligence group are born leaders and often go into teaching, facilitating, therapy, politics, or sales. 

Several features distinguish interpersonal communication from Intrapersonal communication:

Inescapable: It’s impossible to avoid expressing our innermost thoughts in some way, whether through our mood, attitude, or body language, even if we choose to keep them to ourselves and not speak about them.

Irreversible: Once anything has been written, spoken, or submitted, it cannot be undone. People will remember it for a very long time.

Complex: Interpersonal communication is challenging since there is considerable potential for misunderstanding between the sender and the recipient.

Context: Situational, environmental, and interpersonal contexts all play a role in this kind of communication. 

What is Intrapersonal Communication?

Talking to oneself constitutes intrapersonal communication. All the things that go on in your head—your evaluations, thoughts, and emotions—are part of your inner dialogue.

People with high levels of intrapersonal intelligence are in sync with themselves, know what drives them, and are good at analyzing and reflecting on their own actions. People with this personality type are often cautious around others, yet they are also highly intuitive and self-motivated. They also have a lot of opinions, can think for themselves, and have a strong will of their own. Independent study, introspection, journals, and time are all helpful for these individuals, who often end up becoming philosophers or counselors.

Here are some things that are totally intrapersonal:

Self-concept: Intrapersonal communication revolves around one’s own self-concept. Self-reflection involves thinking about how one’s inner state of mind affects one’s actions in the external environment.

Perception: A person’s perception is their interpretation of the world around them. The way people see things can affect how they talk to one another.

Expectation: To expect something is to guess what will happen based on one’s internal dialogue about past experiences and observations.

Difference between Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Communication

The main difference between intrapersonal and interpersonal communication is that intrapersonal communication involves sharing thoughts and feelings with yourself, while interpersonal communication involves sharing information with other people.

Persons Involved

There is usually more than one participant in interpersonal interactions. It makes no difference if the conversation takes place in person, over the phone, or via email. Interpersonal communication occurs when two or more individuals interact with each other.

Intrapersonal communication takes place just between a single person’s thoughts, feelings, and ideas.


Some examples of situations in which you might choose to use interpersonal communication are when you want to share a story, discuss an idea or experience, or communicate some information.

Self-reflection, setting goals, making plans for the future, and getting closer to one’s own feelings are all examples of situations when intrapersonal communication could be helpful.

Media and Feedback

Interpersonal feedback can take many forms, including words, gestures (like a shrug, nod, or raised eyebrow), and even writing. There are many other ways to provide interpersonal feedback, including in-person meetings, phone calls, emails, instant messages, chats, and letters.

Intrapersonal communication uses less complicated forms of media. In most cases, this takes place face-to-face, but it can also occur via live recordings, audio recordings, or written materials.

It is challenging to provide a definition of feedback for internal communication. Only you can judge how you responded to your own emotions, ideas, and suggestions.

Intrapersonal Skills

How do you define “intrapersonal”? Those with strong intrapersonal skills are able to effectively communicate with themselves. They have a strong sense of self-awareness and are in tune with their own emotions, requirements, and desires.

Some of the skills highly intrapersonal people have are:


This is the ability to see outcomes as you intend or anticipate them. Many people who have done well in sports, the arts, and politics have learned to “see” themselves in tough situations and come up with ways to get through them. 

Recognize Negativity

It’s important to take a step back and make an assessment when you find yourself thinking negatively. One of the most important parts of self-awareness and emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and change negative thoughts. 


The ability to empathize with another person because you understand their situation is a form of self-awareness. Part of showing compassion is being able to put yourself in another person’s shoes and consider their perspective and life circumstances.

Making decisions

A person with strong intrapersonal skills may quickly assess a situation, create mental images of possible outcomes, and settle on the best course of action. You can learn the skills necessary to do so without experiencing any worry or internal conflicts.

Interpersonal Skills

When two or more people possess the requisite interpersonal communication abilities, they are able to have productive and pleasant conversations with one another. Excellent interpersonal communication begins when both parties are able to listen attentively, express themselves clearly, and take an active role in the discussion.


Public speaking, non-verbal communication, and verbal communication are the three main modes of interaction. To truly excel in social situations, one needs to excel in all three of these areas.

Conflict Management

Confrontation is inevitable in interpersonal communication since it involves more than one individual. Effective conflict resolution is crucial, both in your personal relationships and in your ability to mediate conflicts between individuals.


Empathy is the ability to place oneself in another person’s position and respond to them with understanding and compassion. And if you can develop deep compassion, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an expert communicator.


Leadership is the ability to inspire and motivate others to achieve a common goal. But being a leader is not dependent on your position in an organization.


Listening attentively is an essential part of effective interpersonal communication that supports the more obvious “talking” aspect of interpersonal interactions. A wonderful method to improve your social skills is to take an active listening role when another person is talking.

Positivity Attitude

Positivity increases the likelihood that your interactions with others will be pleasant. This social ability will serve you well in all aspects of life, including academics, employment, and personal relationships.


Since the very definition of “interpersonal” implies interaction with more than one person, the importance of working together is self-evident. Team-based features of interpersonal communication include working together, getting along with others, listening attentively, and resolving conflicts.

In Conclusion

Which is more beneficial, interpersonal or intrapersonal interaction? They are both important if you want to advance professionally and socially.

Working well with others requires the development of interpersonal skills like listening, empathy, and leadership. Compassion, self-concept, and the ability to picture things are just a few of the intrapersonal qualities that can greatly enhance one’s interpersonal abilities.

Put your interviewing and talking to people skills to good use both professionally and socially by honing both. 

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