Interpersonal-vs-Intrapersonal Intelligence

Key Takeaways:

  • Interpersonal communication is between two or more people.
  • Intrapersonal communication is with one’s own self.
  • Both interpersonal and intrapersonal skills are important for one to navigate successfully through life.

True, navigating through life is fun, but it is not easy. Be it an adult or a kid. 

It is important to understand the difference between interpersonal vs intrapersonal intelligence to have a successful and fulfilling life. 

One helps individuals connect with others. While the other helps them connect with their inner selves. It is this that makes them among the top fun skills to learn, for a joyful life. 

But what are intrapersonal vs interpersonal skills, and how to improve them? Follow through to find all the answers. 

Interpersonal vs Intrapersonal Communication Definition

When it comes to the intrapersonal vs interpersonal communication debate, no one is better than the other. The ability to build connections with others helps one navigate through social and public life.

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At the same time, the connection with oneself helps to live life effectively with integrity and joy. 

Interpersonal Communication Definition

The interpersonal communication definition can be understood in a few simple points:

  • It occurs between two or more people.
  • There is an exchange of ideas and information. 
  • The channel could be any – face-to-face, phone, letters, radio, online content, or public broadcast. 

Interpersonal Communication Examples

An office meeting, conversation among friends, phone chat, blogs, or public display advertising are all interpersonal communication examples. 

Now let’s understand the intrapersonal communication meaning. 

Intrapersonal Communication Definition

The following points can help one understand intrapersonal communication definition:

  • It is communication done with one’s own self.
  • Such communication includes thoughts, self-analysis, and feelings. 
  • The most popular channels are thinking, writing, and speaking by oneself. 

Intrapersonal Communication Examples

Some of the intrapersonal communication examples could be – using creative visualization techniques in mind, drawing a table of pros and cons before making a decision, or speaking self-assuring statements alone in a room before a meeting. 

Now let’s move on to the differences between intra and interpersonal relationships. 

Differences: Intra vs Interpersonal 

There are some major intra vs interpersonal relationship differences. Their knowledge can help one achieve both professional and educational goals in life.

Basic conceptCommunication with othersCommunication with self
Type of informationIdeas, facts, knowledgeThoughts, feelings, self-analysis
Number of people2 or moreOnly 1
Occasion Social/public situationIntrospection and self-development phase
Channels usedFace-to-face, print, broadcast, onlineThinking, self-talk, writing
Success criteriaFulfillment of social goalsFulfillment of self-development stage

In spite of the differences, there are also some similarities between interpersonal and intrapersonal communication. 

Similarities: Interpersonal and Intrapersonal 

Interpersonal and intrapersonal communication similarities can be understood in a few simple points below:

  • Personal growth: It is not only the personal training books that can help one with growth. Both communication styles result in the growth of intellect, self-understanding, and general abilities. 
  • Self-awareness: Self-awareness is an essential part of developing interpersonal relationships.
  • Cognition: Both communication styles cannot be performed without a certain level of cognitive activity.
  • Self-expression: These styles also involve self-expression – either to others or to oneself. 

Hence, in spite of the differences and similarities, every communication style is essential for an individual’s success and growth in life.

Intrapersonal vs Interpersonal Skills

When it comes to intrapersonal vs interpersonal skills, the most vital factor that comes into play is the basis of communication. That said, let’s go through their individual meanings and types. 

Interpersonal Skills 

The interpersonal skills can be better understood through the different skill areas that form part of it. 

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Below are some of the major abilities involved in communication with others:

  • Verbal and non-verbal communication: One must be good with spoken words, writing, and displaying essential non-verbal cues to have high interpersonal effectiveness.
  • Empathy: To be able to look at a situation from the other’s viewpoint is an essential social skill.
  • Listening: Conversation with others is incomplete without being able to properly listen and grasp the meaning of their verbal and non-verbal language. It is due to this reason that paraprofessionals take time to learn sign language, to be capable of forming deep bonds with special children.
  • Negotiation: For those in the corporate world,  interpersonal meaning holds no value unless they have learned the art of negotiation. 
  • Positive attitude: Often given less importance than others, the positive attitude holds high value in forming bonds with others.

Intrapersonal Skills 

Further, intrapersonal skills meaning can be understood with the help of the different areas in which they reside.

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Following are some of the major abilities in this area:

  • Visualization: Those high in intrapersonal intelligence can visualize ideas, thoughts, and plans.
  • Self-compassion: To be able to bond to oneself, being self-loving and self-forgiving are important traits to behold. 
  • Decision-making: Without firm decision-making ability, there is little use in engaging with oneself. 
  • Self-feeling: It is not cognition alone that is involved in intrapersonal relationships. But the ability to recognize and understand one’s feelings also matters, especially if one is thinking of being involved in something emotionally challenging – like a career in health administration. 

Therefore, intrapersonal vs interpersonal skills are different by nature from each other. However, they have but one goal – to drive the individual towards greater success in life.

Inter vs Intrapersonal: Advantages and Disadvantages

Both types of intelligence come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. 

Advantages Disadvantages 
Interpersonal CommunicationHelps to build meaningful relationships.Leads to interpersonal conflicts.
Helps in self-expression to others.Demands high time, energy, and effort. 
Develop knowledge and ideas through others.May cause emotional bruises.
Contributes to professional growth.Difficult for introverts.
Helps to achieve group goals.
Intrapersonal CommunicationHelps with self-awareness and self-development. Limits one’s exposure to alternative viewpoints. 
Enhances problem-solving ability.Requires high cognitive and emotional efforts.
Leads to intrinsic motivation for work. This might result in feelings of loneliness and isolation.
It helps with the regulation of stress and emotions. If uncontrolled, it might lead to pessimism and passiveness. 
Enhances one’s self-concept and self-esteem. 

Therefore, inter vs intrapersonal abilities offer both opportunities and challenges to their practitioners. 

How to Improve Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Skills?

The intrapersonal and interpersonal skills can be easily improved with some basic techniques and practice. 

Improving Interpersonal Skills

Below are some techniques to improve methods of connecting with others and resolving interpersonal differences. 

  • Practice by communicating with others on a daily basis.
  • Engage in group activities, like collaborative strategic reading. 
  • Make efforts to know others and develop empathy for them.
  • Talk to others about their interests and life situations.
  • Learn public speaking skills through courses and meetups. 
Improving Intrapersonal Skills

Further, one may also improve one’s inner connection through these simple exercises.

  • Meditation is one powerful way to achieve intrapersonal effectiveness and understand inner feelings and thought patterns.
  • Maintaining a personal diary or self-reflection journal goes a long way toward building self-connection and resolving inner conflicts. 
  • Planned self-talk while alone can also help with internal connection. 

Furthermore, intrapersonal skills vs interpersonal skills also need to be developed in children as well as in adults to achieve professional success. 

Interpersonal Skills vs Intrapersonal Skills: Work and Success

Interpersonal skills and intrapersonal skills hold high importance when it comes to success in one’s professional career and life. Practicing them consistently can help achieve continuous learning in professional development.

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Interpersonal Skills at Work

The following are some ways one may use interpersonal or people skills to succeed at work:

  • Leading a team in times of crisis.
  • Motivating others to achieve organizational goals.
  • Negotiation in a business deal.
  • Holding a corporate conference. 
  • Luring investors to invest in the business. 
  • Helping to resolve interpersonal conflicts among co-workers.
Intrapersonal Skills at Work

Resolution of intrapersonal conflicts can also guide one through success in a professional career.

  • It leads to higher self-esteem, which helps with one’s public speaking skills.
  • Strong self-connection helps with good relationship-building with co-workers.
  • Inner clarity helps with higher assertiveness while dealing with superiors at work.
  • One’s inner positive emotions lead to an optimistic approach during a business negotiation. 

Hence, when it comes to a professional career, one can handle the difference between interpersonal skills vs intrapersonal skills. Both of them help to achieve superior success in work life. 

Intrapersonal Skills vs Interpersonal Skills: Development in Kids

Interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence, when built in kids, helps them navigate through life with the least amount of problems. 

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Building Interpersonal Skills in Kids

The interpersonal skills in kids could be built by helping them engage in certain activities.

  • Engaging with kids in their daily work schedule.
  • Motivating them to participate in group and community activities.
  • Taking them out to play and socialize with other kids.
  • Tracking their social progress in school.
  • Connecting with the families of their friends and organizing occasional meetups. 
Building Intrapersonal Skills in Kids

The intrapersonal relationship in a kid can be improved through the methods below.

  • Talking to kids about their thoughts and feelings in different situations. 
  • Providing them explicit instruction on ways to increase their inner effectiveness. 
  • Motivating them to write and maintain a personal diary. 
  • Giving them time and space to self-reflect and try to resolve their problems by themselves.

Not only parents but teachers may also adopt the above methods to build interpersonal intrapersonal intelligence in kids. Practicing such measures could even help with the professional development of teachers in their work.

To Sum it Up

When it comes to the interpersonal vs intrapersonal skills debate, every skill is equally important to succeeding in life. 

However, one may decide the extent of their involvement with each, depending on the individual situation and requirements in life. 


Ans: Yes, you can be both interpersonal and intrapersonal, but it completely depends on the demands of the situation. To handle an inner conflict, you need to have intrapersonal skills. While engaging in a social/public situation, you need to practice interpersonal communication. 

Ans: No single skill is better than the other. However, one needs to be strong in intrapersonal skills to be able to practice interpersonal skills efficiently. 

Ans: If you prefer spending a lot of time by yourself and are able to understand your feelings and thoughts, you are intrapersonal. 

Ans: Intrapersonal people are wiser than others and, therefore, might be smarter than others. This is due to their ability to use inner clarity while dealing with others. 

Ans: Psychologists, researchers, teachers, and entrepreneurs are generally the jobs for intrapersonal intelligence. 

Ans: Intrapersonal intelligent persons are sensitive to their own thoughts, feelings, and other inner processes.