Difference Between Interpersonal and Intra-Personal Communication

The two terms “interpersonal and intrapersonal” are self explanatory. The word ‘inter’ means between and ‘intra’ means within. When a communication takes place between two or more individuals, it is termed as interpersonal communication, whereas if the communication is exclusively within a single individual, it is an intra-personal one.

Both inter and intra are equally important modes of communication as the first helps you to come close to the community and understand the people around you. The second helps you to reflect on your course of action and thus is a tool of self-awareness. The two can be differentiated based on various aspects. Few of them are:

difference between interpersonal and intra-personal communication


Intra-personal communication is a conversation with one’s self, whereas interpersonal communication is the ability of an individual to interact and communicate with another individual or individuals.


In interpersonal communication, you have someone else at the other end of the conversation and in intra; it is you who is a speaker as well as the listener. It is an ongoing process in your mind.


For interpersonal communication, you need to use various expressions like verbal or non-verbal, actions or expressions to convey your ideas and thoughts successfully to which you are trying to communicate. It is just the opposite for intra-personal communication where your emotions, perceptions, feelings and perceptions are hardly involved. It is the truth inside you that guides you through the path.


Skills that are very important for interpersonal communications are clarity in speech, self-awareness, good manners, self-control, listening and understanding of verbal and non-verbal behaviour. Intra-personal skills are mainly self- conception, belief and values and attitude.


Interpersonal communication develops your relationship with others and intra-personal develops a relationship between you and your inner self. Interpersonal communication is an exchange of ideas and information between two and in case of intra; it is the exchange of ideas within you. You talk your mind not to others, but to yourself.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • If interpersonal communication has already taken place, it cannot be changed. If it is impressive it is sure to have a positive impact, but if not, you cannot change it. On the other, intra-personal communication does not require any feedback as there is no receiver.
  • Interpersonal communication helps you to improve your verbal as well as non-communication skills as you get an immediate feedback but in case of intra-personal communication, there is hardly any feedback as you are the receiver as well as the speaker.
  • Interpersonal communication completely depends upon your mood and state of mind and your mental state, sometimes get reflected in your conversation which in turn affects your communication. This is not the case with intra-personal one.

The obvious difference between the two forms of the communication is that for inter there is a sender and receiver of the message and for intra both are same. The first helps you to become social and the second helps you to introspect within and also contributes to your well being.


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