Interpersonal communication


Communication is a process of utmost importance for the humanbeing. When two or more people are in the same place and are aware of the other’s presence , then the communication process takes place , no matter how subtle or involuntary it may be. As we know, there are many types of communication, one of them is interpersonal communication . This type of communication can be defined as the process by which people are able to perform exchange of information , feelings and meanings through theVerbal and non-verbal messages , is what we know as face-to-face communication  Interpersonal communication is not just about what is actually said, the language used, but how it is said and the non-verbal messages sent through tone of voice , facial expressions gestures, and body language .


What is interpersonal communication?

Interpersonal communication is that which occurs between two people who are close by through the exchange of messages with the aim of sharing some specific type of information .

  • Characteristics of interpersonal communication
  • What is it for
  • History
  • Elements of interpersonal communication
  • Types
  • Media
  • Techniques
  • Objective of interpersonal communication
  • Process
  • Levels
  • Skills
  • Barriers
  • Advantage
  • Disadvantages of interpersonal communication
  • Importance of interpersonal communication
  • Examples

Characteristics of interpersonal communication

Some of the most important characteristics of interpersonal communication are the following:

  • A series of actions such as verbal expressions , touch , eye contact, gestures and postures are used to communicate with another person.
  • It occurs between two people who are physically close.
  • People who participate in interpersonal communication produce messages in response to what the other person indicates in the conversation.
  • The two people who participate in the communication simultaneously influence the behavior of the other .
  • This type of communication shares a physical proximity .
  • It is molded through different social roles.
  • It is irreversible , regardless of the need to delete a message, once it has been said it will be impossible to delete.

What is it for

Interpersonal communication serves us as a means of information to exchange experiences and emotions between two or more people with the aim of informing or persuading to achieve a goal.


Since humanity began its existence on earth, it has always had the need to be able to communicate with others and it has been able to do so through a series of signs , gestures , sounds and signals . Really it does not have an exact date regarding the time the man managed to say his first words but his ability to communicate has been growing day by day.

As man acquired a greater amount of knowledge and information , people became more civilized and began to improve communication between them to achieve a common goal .

Elements of interpersonal communication

The elements of interpersonal communication are as follows:

  • Issuer : is the one who initiates the communication .
  • Encoding : occurs when the issuer translates the information to be transmitted into symbols . It is needed because information can only be transmitted from one person to another through representations or symbols.
  • Message : it is the physical form in which the sender encodes the information . The message can be heard , the written words can be read , the gestures can be seen or felt .
  • Channel : It is the means to transmit the message from one person to another and cannot be separated from the message, it must also be adequate for the message.
  • Receiver : The receiver is the person whose senses perceive the message that comes from the sender.
  • Decoding is the process by means of which the receiver interprets the message and translates it into information . It consists of two phases, the first when the receiver first perceives the message and the second when he interprets it .
  • Noise : implies any factor that disturbs or confuses communication , or that in it. It can be internal or external.
  • Feedback : it is the inverse process of communication in which a relationship is expressed before the issuer’s communication.


  • Short conversation : It is a conversation that tries to be friendly , sociable and build trust . People are relaxed and comfortable and you can share news, weather, sports , topics of each day. It is apt to initiate confidence and reduce tension .
  • Workshop Conversation – Your goal is to collect or provide information as well as stay in touch. Describe , report and follow up . Helps keep people informed and in contact.
  • Fighting Conversation : Try to force change , defend yourself , hide fear, and intimidate. In this type of conversation there is a tense , anxious , aggressive atmosphere . It is a conversation that generates fear and resentment .
  • Resentment Conversation – Wants to make others feel guilty, resists change, and seeks to retaliate . Try to do damage , gossip and revenge . People are resentful and defiant. Many times the person is hurt and resentment turns into revenge.
  • Direct conversation : try to be direct and responsible by observing, responding, discovering and dealing with emotions. It is a respectful , involved, attentive, serious conversation . Seeks to reach the heart of the matter and the feelings of the people .


The means to carry out interpersonal communication are speeches , talks and any other type of communication that involves two people .


Some of the techniques that can be applied to achieve adequate interpersonal communication are:

  • Focused listening that also implies a good posture, in addition to giving you the attention and concentration that is needed.
  • Focused Audience : Involves hearing and listening as separate skills. A person can hear but not listen.
  • Smooth interruptions when you need to remember something about a topic.
  • Information checks .
  • Balance the conversation to respond to information or reactions.
  • Non-verbal communications, so you must learn to use non-verbal signals.

Objective of interpersonal communication

The main objective of interpersonal communication is to make interaction between people possible , in addition to obviously being able to help in the communication process that occurs between two people. In other words, your goal is to achieve reciprocal action between people


The interpersonal communication process is basically the same as that of the communication process. The sender is responsible for issuing the message that he wants to get to the receiver and does so through a channel . The receiver is the one who receives the sent message and who is in charge of decoding it in order to understand it properly.


According to the models established by linguistic experts, at the first level of interpersonal communication we find a relationship that we talk about things. On a second level we talk about people . Already in the third level we managed to talk about ourselves . And at the fourth level we are able to talk about feelings and only when we reach the fifth level can we talk about interpersonal feelings .


The skills available in this type of communication are:

  • Know the correct way to listen and understand what is heard.
  • Maintain respect and tolerance by valuing the person who issues the messages.
  • Maintain empathy to understand the needs of the other.
  • Clear and understandable communication for everyone.
  • Authenticity in messages and relationships .


Some of the barriers that may arise and that prevent adequate interpersonal communication are the following:

  • Language difference : for a message to be communicative, the words must mean the same for the sender and the receiver , so that they share the same symbolic meaning.
  • Emotionality : The emotional reactions can influence influence the way in which it is understood the message and influence other messages.
  • Verbal : these are vices that are acquired when we speak that can become a barrier between people who speak a different language.
  • Environmental : they are all the elements that surround us and that can cause physical discomfort or visual distractions.
  • Interpersonal : people can always get to have an assumption or perception different from what you want to convey.


The main advantages of interpersonal communication are:

  • It is a more direct type of communication that occurs between two people.
  • It can transmit information and meanings from one place to another.
  • Information can also travel by different means , such as telephones , electronic means .
  • It is an excellent communication network that also works in decision-making.
  • It is efficient and effective in being able to transport information.

Disadvantages of interpersonal communication

Among the disadvantages of interpersonal communication we mention:

  • What is said can be neither evidenced nor erased .
  • It can present a series of negative barriers that affect the message.
  • When we need to send a message to many people at the same time, interpersonal communication is not the best option.
  • You don’t always need to send a message to a single person , but you need to send the message to a large group .

Importance of interpersonal communication

The importance of this type of communication for the human being lies in the fact that through it it is possible to satisfy three of the fundamental needs that the human being has, control , connection and consistency . In addition, it is a way of communicating our wishes and desires to other people or of communicating different ideas.


Some examples of interpersonal communication are as follows:

  • A debate between a lecturer and four of his students
  • A phone call to inquire about the availability of a product.
  • Talk to a friend about a certain topic.
  • Sit at home watching the news on television.

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