What is Interpersonal Communication?

By Leah Rodriguez

What is interpersonal communication, and is it as hard to understand as it sounds? The simple answer is no; it’s not hard to understand. As a matter of fact, everyone engages in interpersonal communication without even knowing it! 

Interpersonal communication is the process of exchanging information, ideas, and feelings between two or more people through verbal or non-verbal methods. It often includes face-to-face exchanges of information in the form of voice, facial expressions, body language, and gestures.

Here are the four characteristics of interpersonal communication:

  • Interpersonal communication is essential. We can’t communicate without it.
  • Interpersonal communication is irreversible. You can’t take back something once it has been said.
  • Interpersonal communication is complicated. No form of communication is simple.
  • Interpersonal communication is contextual.

When it comes to the basic elements of interpersonal communication, the various types of possible communication will cluster under three basic categories: verbal, written, and non-verbal communication. So, in turn, even when you don’t mean to communicate something verbally, it can be shown through facial expression, body language, or even eye contact. 

At the end of the day, interpersonal communication is practiced throughout all our lives, with friends, family, coworkers, and even strangers on the street. It is a type of engagement that lends a hand in understanding others better through what they say and don’t say. 

Photo by Headway on Unsplash

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