Interpersonal vs. Intrapersonal Skills: Which Do You Have?

Interpersonal vs. Intrapersonal Skills: Which Do You Have?


Why are interpersonal skills important? And how do they compare to intrapersonal skills? Knowing the difference serves you in ways you could never imagine.

The interpersonal vs intrapersonal skills debate is one you might have heard of before. Is it better to possess interpersonal communication skills or intrapersonal perception?

It’s a good question, and one worth investigating. Here’s why:

Developing both your interpersonal and intrapersonal people skills will help you in the long run. Not only will these skills turn you into a more effective communicator, but you’ll also enhance your problem-solving abilities as well as develop your empathy, introspection, and self-awareness.

So, which skill set is more advantageous? When it comes to the interpersonal vs intrapersonal debate, the key is in understanding how these communication skills operate in the everyday world.

What Are Interpersonal vs. Intrapersonal Skills?

Interpersonal communication refers to the interaction that takes place between two or more people. Intrapersonal communication, on the other hand, is communication and connection with yourself. Fun fact: the word ‘inter’ means ‘between.’ The word ‘intra’ means ‘within.’ So that’s a good way to remember it.

What is interpersonal communication?

Someone with great interpersonal communication is adept at speaking with others. They’re able to get their message across efficiently and effectively. They’re good listeners and are active participants when both conveying and receiving a message.

Interpersonal communication skills are highly sought after by employers. Here are a few interpersonal skills that could help you nail your next interview or team project:

  • Active listening
  • Collaborative mindset
  • Clear verbal communication
  • Positive attitude
  • Receptive to feedback

What is intrapersonal communication?

Intrapersonal communication is communication that happens within an individual. It consists of self-talk, self-concept, introspection, and personal reflection. It can take several forms. Working through a problem in the privacy of your own mind is a form of intrapersonal communication.

Talking to yourself out loud when you’re on your own isn’t an indication of insanity. It’s just another form of intrapersonal communication! (And quite healthy, might we add.) Journaling and blogging are also forms of intrapersonal communication.

Engaging in intrapersonal communication helps you better understand your desires, passions, and motives. In fact, intrapersonal intelligence is one of Gardner’s nine types of intelligence.

People with strong intrapersonal intelligence tend to focus more than others on reflection, introspection, and self-analysis. They pay close attention to their thoughts, feelings, and emotions to better understand their motivations and goals.

What Is Intrapersonal Communication?

What’s the Difference Between Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Conflict?

As we’ve already learned, interpersonal and intrapersonal communication are quite different. So, what about interpersonal vs intrapersonal conflict?

Well, interpersonal conflict is a conflict that exists between two or more people. Intrapersonal conflict is a private, personal conflict within.  

Both forms of conflict can be tricky to handle. And the secret to navigating them? It all circles back to those communication skills!

Improving both your interpersonal and intrapersonal communication skills can help you when problems arise with others and in your own life. 

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