Interpersonal Vs. Intrapersonal Skill: Be Strong in Both

In the pursuit of career achievement, communication is essential. You might be the one with the greatest list of qualifications, but without solid interpersonal and intrapersonal skills and capability, it’s unlikely that you’ll advance in the field. It’s common to hear terms like “interpersonal skills” and “intrapersonal skills” used interchangeably, and it’s crucial to know the distinctions and similarities between these two.


People often misunderstand interpersonal and interpersonal skills and styles of communication. The truth is that they’re not the same, and they aren’t interchangeable! The secret lies at the roots of the word – “inter” means between people or groups, while “intra” means inside a person or group of people or groups; both are essential in their own way to achievement in school, work, and life.

Find out what exactly they are and how you can improve your interpersonal and intrapersonal abilities.


The development of your intrapersonal communication (within yourself) and communicating with others (between you and others) will ultimately give you happiness in your life.

There is no way to make one more important in comparison to the other, and it’s acceptable to be more proficient in one form; however, working on both intrapersonal and interpersonal communication over time is the best way to go if you’re looking to succeed at work, school or improve your relationships with others.

What is Interpersonal Skill?

Interpersonal skills are capabilities that allow you to communicate, interact, and collaborate with other people effectively. They are characterized by active listening, problem-solving, and collaboration. To be able to have successful interactions with other people, you have to be able to comprehend the situation and react appropriately. Your interpersonal abilities will allow you to be able to see the bigger picture and comprehend the impact your actions have on others; the phrase “people skills” is often used to describe interpersonal abilities.

Interpersonal communication refers to the process that involves the exchange of ideas and information between two or more individuals through any method; this could be face-to-face contact, on the Internet, over the phone, or written in forms.


There are many aspects that make this form of communication clearly inter-personal:


If we can hold an idea in our head and we don’t express it formally, it can take its shape in other non-verbal aspects of communication like attitude, mood or even body language.


Once something has been written, spoken, or formally submitted, it can’t be reverted. It will remain forever etched into the minds of those around you.


There is a significant probability of miscommunication between the sender and receiver, so the interpersonal communication process can be challenging.


Context is a crucial element of this kind of communication. Its context can be either situational, environmental, or relational.

What are Interpersonal Skills?


There are three kinds of communication: verbal communication, nonverbal communication, and public speaking. All three need to be strong for someone to have high interpersonal skills.

Conflict Management

Interpersonal communication is done by more than one person, and when that happens, there is bound to be conflict at one point or another. It is crucial to manage conflict effectively between you and your coworkers and handle conflicts of others.


Being attentive to others, putting yourself in the shoes of others, and knowing them better is the essence of empathy. If you’re adept at expressing empathy, you’re only one step from mastering the art of interpersonal communication.


Being a leader with a strong personality means inspiring and motivating others to ensure everyone is successful. It doesn’t require being in a position of leadership to become a leader.


Interpersonal communication is not only about expressive communication but also about being receptive, which is listening! Being active in listening while someone is speaking is an excellent way to build your interpersonal abilities.


Being a successful negotiator requires excellent interpersonal abilities. Negotiating requires listening, planning, visualization, and problem-solving, all essential components of interpersonal communication.

Positive Attitude

If you’re positive and have a positive attitude, you’re bound to enjoy positive interactions with others. This interpersonal ability will allow you to succeed in your work, school, and personal life.


Interpersonal communication involves communicating with multiple people, so obviously teamwork is crucial. Collaboration, team building, active listening, and conflict resolution are all crucial interpersonal communication strategies that are based on teamwork.

What Is Intrapersonal Skill?

Intrapersonal skills are related to your self-awareness and understanding of yourself; this means being aware of who you are, your purpose, values, beliefs, and motives. Intrapersonal communication is gaining insight into your thoughts, ideas, and feelings. By understanding how you manage your emotional state, you can make better choices and take meaningful action.

In it are assessments, reflections, and emotions related to the inner communications of one’s self.

Here are a few things that are unique to the intrapersonal world:


The self-concept of one’s self is at the heart of intrapersonal communication. It is a way to evaluate one’s personal views, values, and beliefs and how that assessment affects what happens in the outer world.


Perception is the way people perceive what’s happening around them. Perception is a factor that can affect communication between people.


Expectations are formed by an intimate relationship with one’s self and provide forecasts of what is likely to happen from the perceptions of what’s happened.

What Are Intrapersonal Skills?

What is it that defines an intrapersonal person? Intrapersonal people are those who can communicate effectively within their own group. They are extremely in touch with their feelings and know what they feel, want, and desire.

Some of the skills that highly intrapersonal individuals possess are:


It allows you to perceive things inside your mind and see how they’re supposed to be or how you can plan to make them happen. Many artists, athletes, writers, and politicians possess great visualization skills. They can see themselves in situations and plan how they can succeed in the scenario.

Recognize Negativity

If things begin to become negative in your thoughts, it is essential to stop and acknowledge the fact that it’s taking place. Being aware of negative thoughts and being able to change them is an essential intrapersonal skill.


Being able to look at someone else’s point of view and feel compassion for them is an interpersonal skill, too. Dissociating yourself from your own opinions and experiences is an aspect of being compassionate.

Decision Making

When it’s time to make a decision, the intrapersonal person can consider possible possibilities, imagine them, and then make the best choice. The ability to make this decision without anxiety or inner conflict is a skill you can master with practice.

Differences Between Interpersonal Vs. Intrapersonal Communication

The main difference you must be aware of between intrapersonal and interpersonal communication is that interpersonal involves two or more people, and intrapersonal communication is between you and yourself.

Here are the other major differences:

Parties involved

In the world of interpersonal communication, there is often more than one individual. It doesn’t matter whether the conversation takes place via the Internet, by phone, or via email. Two people communicating is considered interpersonal.

This is different from personal communication, which is conducted in one’s mind with the individual’s thoughts, ideas, and feelings.

The reasons

You might need to engage in interpersonal communication to tell an account, relay an idea or experience, or share information with others or with a group of individuals.

The main reason for using the intrapersonal channel is to think about what happened, create the necessary plans and objectives, imagine the future, and become closer to your own emotions.

Media And Feedback

Feedback in interpersonal communication can be a vast subject; it could be nonverbal, verbal (such as a smile or a nod or the raising of an eyebrow), and it can be written or oral. Feedback can be provided and delivered in person, via the phone, on the computer, or even in a written letter.

Feedback in intrapersonal communication is a difficult concept to define. Your own feedback is personal, and you are the only one who can determine how you respond to your own thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

Similarities between Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Skills

While there may be differences, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills have similarities. One thing is that they both demand you be mindful of your surroundings and be aware of how your actions and words can affect other people (interpersonal) or you (intrapersonal).

Plus, you must be able to communicate effectively to be successful in both. When you’re communicating with yourself or someone else, being able to listen attentively and express your thoughts clearly can go very far.

Intrapersonal and interpersonal abilities can assist you in establishing strong relationships, creating trust, handling conflict, and taking action. When paired with other crucial skills like problem-solving or managing time, these are effective tools for success in your professional and personal life.

How to Improve Your Interpersonal Skills

Lisa Nichols, trainer of Mindvalley’s Speak and Inspire Quest, offers a few suggestions to increase your ability to communicate.

Discover your best communication elements.

To enhance the way you interact with others, Lisa advises you to consider a handful of people who already have incredible communication skills:

  • What makes it so incredible?
  • How do they affect you?
  • How can you let them know how you feel?

Next, you must concentrate on the people who are in your life with whom you are having a difficult relationship:

  • What is the reason it’s strained?
  • What’s preventing you from connecting to them on a secure basis?
  • What blockages do you believe they might have?

When you have identified elements that appear to be similar to your way of communicating, you can begin to connect through your voice and authority. As Lisa points out, once you become more a part of your personal style of communication, you can build walls, or you can build bridges.

Respect the person you’re talking to.

The greatest benefit of communicating is that it brings you closer to others. In this regard, Lisa always suggests that you pay respect and honor your connection with someone, even if you’re in the middle of a conflict.

Connectivity is the only way to make any form of communication more effective, so how you perceive the person you’re chatting with will have a huge impact on the conversation.

Consider, for instance, having a situation at work that requires your colleague to exhibit more patience when it comes to certain tasks. Instead of being frustrated by their inability to focus on particulars, you could begin by acknowledging their desire to complete tasks in a timely manner.

Speak up from a genuine place.

In other words, honesty and clarity are always the best way to enhance effective communication. If things are clearly stated and spoken with respect or assertiveness, according to the circumstances, you can communicate with more confidence and with greater authenticity.

Even if you believe that people do not always want to know the whole truth when it’s being said in a secure area with good intentions, it’s often the one who wins, and you have to be careful because the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

If a person is sleeping on the bare floor, thoroughly exhausted and completely lost to the world, would it be a ‘help’ to wake him up and tell him to go search for a mattress? In a bid to do ‘good’, do not spoil (the existing) peace; ‘doing good’ is never a cakewalk. – Dr DVG In an anthology of pithy verses in Kannada

The Road to Hell Is Paved with Good Intentions

Consider, for instance, where you need to turn down an invitation or express your demands; it is possible to start a conversation by asking for something genuine.

It might be like this:

  • “I require your assistance in …”
  • “What is the best solution for me? …”
  • “Can we come up with a new agreement? …”

You might be amazed by the positive comments you get from other people; this is because the energy of truth is stronger than words. On a higher level, people are able to connect with what is genuine.

What is objective truth? What is subjective truth? My truth! Your truth! Our truth! Truth can only be objective! No! Truth can be objective! Truth can be subjective! For the most part, these were what I was hearing while I spent over 3 hours of my time watching a very interesting argument on YouTube yesterday. 

Before you continue reading, what do you think? Is truth objective or subjective? 

What is Objective Truth: Is Truth Even Objective or Subjective?

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How to Improve Intrapersonal Skills

The way you communicate is a reflection of your relationship with yourself. What does your self-talk sound like? What are you telling yourself when you’re experiencing the tough times?

Meet your emotions

Kristina often suggests that you confront your dragons (emotions) while you’re creating a strong bond with yourself; this means that you connect to the parts of you that may have been shut out previously due to past trauma experiences. Shining light on these areas of your mind is a sign of self-love. It is the essence of what it means to process your shadow work.

Increase your awareness

Creating moments of awareness within is vital to improving your intrapersonal communication. Why? Because the majority of people’s self-talk is a result of automatic thinking or subconscious thinking. You might be habitually talking negatively about yourself because that’s the way your subconscious mind has been programmed.

Kristina advises you to take just a few minutes every day to think about:

  • What’s my current feeling at this moment?
  • What am I thinking about at this moment?
  • What does my body feel like in the moment?

Sometimes, the answer could be “nothing.” Or “I don’t know,” but when you’ve been practicing, you’ll find it easier to give the feelings and thoughts.

Connect to deeper states of consciousness.

Connecting to a deeper state of consciousness will increase your imagination, increase your mind, and build inner peace.

When you’ve mastered the art of navigating these different mental states, you’ll notice how your self-narrative evolves. Plus, you’ll improve your ability to connect to yourself, which will affect the way you live your day to day.


The bottom line is that regardless of the stage at which you are on your path to success, possessing good interpersonal and intrapersonal skills can enable you to achieve new levels. They provide the ability to work effectively with other people, resolve conflicts and solve issues, and make the right decisions to move towards success. Being able to communicate effectively is not just a trendy thing to have; it is vital for professional growth! Start building your communication capabilities now to watch your professional career and personal relationships rise.

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