Interpersonal Communication : Interpersonal Communication

Intrapersonal communication leads to a communication within a person. This is a process of thinking, evaluating, feeling, and interpreting an event in one’s mind.

Intrapersonal communication is the purest and most basic form of human communication. At every moment in life, humans receive messages through their eyes, skin, ears, nose or other sense organs.

Before starting to answer or respond to the message, humans carry out intrapersonal communication to themselves based on perceptions and previous experiences.

Different people may respond to a single message differently because of these differences in their perceptions and experiences.

The discussion concluded that this intrapersonal communication occurs when someone has communicated with himself. It is a basic form of communication. When someone gets a message or observes something, the response depends on intrapersonal communication.

Definition of Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication will occur when both individuals are involved in the communication process. In a broader sense,

Interpersonal communication is an exchange of ideas, information, opinions and feelings related to personal, social, organizational, family, national and international events between two people who are in the same location.

Communicating with interpersonal becomes a basic need for human survival. People engage in interpersonal communication not only at home or in the office but also when they are walking, working, traveling, reading newspapers, shopping, or watching games and movies.

In general, interpersonal communication will take place with face-to-face conversations. However, this can be a telephone dialogue if the individual connects emotionally.

We can conclude that in these two individuals exchanging feelings, views, and attitudes about any issue, this is also said to be interpersonal communication.

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Ngalimun’s Interpersonal Communication

Understanding Interpersonal Communication According to Experts 

Quoting from the journal “Interpersonal Communication” written by Drs. Syahrul Abidin, MA, there are several meanings of understanding interpersonal communication according to experts, namely:

  1. Joe Ayres

According to him, there is no the same meaning among experts when defining interpersonal communication. Some people mark that this communication as a level of the process of ongoing communication between humans.

  1. Dean Barnlund

Dean Barnlund said that interpersonal communication is a communication process that involves connecting other people. Interpersonal communication will occur during interactions that focus on verbal and nonverbal cues and reciprocate each other. If there is no process of verbal or nonverbal exchange, then this cannot be said to be an interpersonal communication process.

  1. Gerald Miller

Gerald Miller separates interpersonal communication and not it as interpersonal communication. The difference lies in sociology (group membership) or cultural. This interpersonal communication is based on perceptions and reactions to the unique psychological characteristics of individuals.

  1. John Stewart and Gary D’Angelo

He said that interpersonal communication focuses on a quality of communication that is established from each individual. By having a relationship with one another, it has feelings, is unique, useful, and self-reflective. In communication a person can act and choose his role as a communicator as well as a communicator.

  1. Joseph DeVito

Joseph DeVito defines interpersonal communication as the process of sending and receiving messages to two people or small groups of people that provide a feedback effect.

  1. Barnlund Johannessen

Barnlund Johannessen describes interpersonal communication when people meet face to face, interact, and focus on verbal and nonverbal exchanges.

  1. Effendi

According to Effendi, interpersonal communication is communication that can occur between two people and have a conversation. In this contact can be face to face or by telephone so that it can lead to reciprocity.

The Difference Between Intrapersonal And Interpersonal Communication

Intrapersonal and interpersonal are two basic forms of human communication. In both types of communication it spreads to all aspects of human life. From the cradle to the grave, humans will continue to carry out intrapersonal communication.

Below are the main differences between these two types of communication:


Intrapersonal communication can occur when a person communicates with himself. As well as interpersonal communication is an exchange of information, ideas, opinions, even feelings between two people.


In Intrapersonal Communication this can occur in the form of sensing, thinking and even self-evaluation. This interpersonal communication will occur in the form of exchange and exchange of information and ideas between people.

People Involved

In an intrapersonal communication only the communicator is involved in intrapersonal communication. And in this Interpersonal communication involves two people in communication.

Media Use

This intrapersonal communication is a type of communication that does not require any media. And in interpersonal communication, people need to use verbal and nonverbal media to be able to communicate.

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Information flow

Intrapersonal communication on the exchange of information does not go beyond one’s mind. As well as in interpersonal communication here, information passes from one mind to another.


Intrapersonal communication would be invisible in nature. And in interpersonal communication itself is visible.

You can learn about Interpersonal Communication: Human Behavior in Educational Organizations
by Edi Harapan & Syarwani Ahmad, Dr. Edi Harapan, M,Pd


Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Communication Theory

After knowing the differences between these two forms of communication according to experts, the following are interpersonal and intrapersonal communication theories that we need to know, namely:


The theory of constructivism will be introduced by Jesse Delia. This theory states the factors behind individuals who communicate according to their wishes and how there can be far more successful communicators than other messengers.

Symbolic Interactionism

The theory of interaction symbolism is a part of the sociological perspective that is influenced by many theorists, such as George Herbert Mead and Herbert Blumer. This theory provides an overview related to the use of language as a communication tool in forming meaning in individuals.

This will relate to the ability to understand the style of communication that will be used in order to be able to convey about oneself, as well as in choosing language in interacting with others through symbols to be able to form society. At the same time, it is useful as well as one’s ability to apply communication as a way to build personal branding.

Attribution Theory

Attribution theory is a theory to be able to understand how each individual describes his own behavior and the behavior of others. Because humans tend to be motivated to be able to understand personality and explain their behavior patterns. This is according to the theory of Fritz Heider.

Fundamental Interpersonal Relationship Orientation Theory

Can we realize that every individual will be motivated to be able to fulfill inclusion and the need to feel belonging? Then on the control, namely the need to form interactions with the surrounding environment, as well as affection as the need to want to be liked, and establish relationships. This theory was introduced by William Schutz.

Action Assembly Theory

In the theory of action assembly theory aims to be able to explain where our thoughts come from, then how can we interpret these thoughts in verbal and nonverbal communication. This action assembly theory has been introduced by an expert named John Green.

Communication Accommodation Theory

In principle, apart from focusing on background and how individuals modify communication behavior, of course, situations will always be different. This theory has been developed by Howard Giles, et al.

Social Penetration Theory

In the theory of social penetration theory describes how self-disclosure can move a relationship or communication process from the superficial to the intimate part. This is the first theory introduced by Irving Altman and Dalmas Taylor about how changes in communication patterns affect changes in a relationship.

Interpersonal Communication Classification

It has been quoted by Muhammad (2004, p. 159-160) who has described the classification of an interpersonal communication into an intimate interaction, social conversation, interrogation as well as in an examination and interview.

Intimate interactions

Intimate interactions include communication between family members, good friends, and people who have strong emotional ties.

Social conversation

Social conversation becomes an interaction to be able to please someone simply. In this type of face-to-face communication it is very important for an informal relationship development in the organization.

Interrogation or examination

Interactions that occur between someone who is in control, can ask or even demand information from others.


The interview is a way of interpersonal communication in which two people are involved in a question and answer conversation.

You can learn about the Theory of Interpersonal Communication
by M. Budyatna Leila Mona Ganiem


Interpersonal Communication Purposes

As many as 6 objectives have been explained, including:

Finding Yourself.

One that can be an objective of interpersonal communication is to find personal and personal. When we are involved in interpersonal encounters with other people, we learn a lot about ourselves and others. This interpersonal communication also provides an opportunity for us to be able to talk about what we like, as well as about ourselves. By discussing ourselves with others, we also provide a source of feedback that will be tremendous in our feelings, thoughts, and behavior.

Discovering the Outside World.

Only with interpersonal communication can we understand more about ourselves and also other people with whom we communicate.

Forming And Maintaining Meaningful Relationships.

In a person’s greatest desires will be the form of maintaining a relationship with other people.

Changing Attitude And Behavior.

A lot of time that we can use to be able to change the attitude and behavior of others with interpersonal encounters

For Play and Fun.

In deep play includes all activities that can have the main goal of seeking pleasure. Talking with friends about our activities on weekends, discussing sports, telling stories and funny stories in general, these are talks to pass the time.

To help.

Psychologists, clinical psychologists, and therapists use interpersonal communication techniques in their professional activities to direct their clients. We can all also be useful in helping others in our interpersonal interactions in everyday life. Our example can be to encourage a friend when experiencing a breakup.

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Interpersonal Communication Effectiveness

An effectiveness in Interpersonal Communication certainly starts with five general qualities, as follows:

1. Openness

This quality of openness will refer to at least three aspects of interpersonal communication.

  • Effective interpersonal communicators must be able to open up with their interlocutors. That doesn’t mean that you have to reveal the entire contents of his life history.
  • This aspect of openness leads to the willingness of communicators to be able to react honestly with incoming stimuli.
  • The third aspect concerns the “ownership” of feelings and thoughts. Being open means admitting that the feelings and thoughts expressed are ours and we are also responsible for them.

2. Empathy

Henry Backrack (1976) defines empathy as ”a person’s ability to be able to ‘know’ what is being experienced by another person at a certain moment. Empathy is feeling something the same as others who are experiencing it, being in the same boat and also feeling the same feelings in the same way.

3. Supportiveness

Effective interpersonal relationships are relationships where there is an attitude of support (supportiveness). The concept is based on the work of Jack Gibb. Open and empathetic communication cannot take place in an unsupportive environment. We can show our support by being descriptive, not evaluative, spontaneous, not strategic, provisional, not too sure.

4. Positive attitude (positiveness)

We can communicate our positive attitude to interpersonal communication in two ways:

  • By expressing our positive attitude positively, we can encourage people to become interacting friends. A positive attitude that refers to at least two aspects of an interpersonal communication.
  • This positive feeling for the communication situation is generally very important for effective interaction.

5. Equality

There will never be two people who are truly equal in all respects. Despite this inequality, in interpersonal communication it will be more effective if the atmosphere is equal. That is, it requires a tacit acknowledgment that both parties are equally valuable or valuable, and that each of these parties has something important to contribute.

You can learn about Interpersonal Communication: A Psychological Review
by Dr. A. Supratiknya

Characteristics of Interpersonal Communication

There are five aspects that characterize interpersonal communication, including:

  • This interpersonal communication will usually occur spontaneously and without any purpose in advance. That is, in general this interpersonal communication will occur by chance or without a plan so that it will occur spontaneously.
  • This type of communication has both planned and unplanned consequences.
  • Interpersonal communication will generally take place reciprocally. One of the characteristics of interpersonal communication is the existence of alternating reciprocity in giving and receiving information between communicators and communicants who take turns which will create a dialogic atmosphere.
  • Interpersonal communication is mostly in an atmosphere of closeness or intimacy. To be able to lead in an atmosphere of closeness, familiarity of course on these two parties, communicators and communicants must have the courage to open their hearts, and be ready to accept openness to other parties.
  • Interpersonal communication at its stage will be more prominent in the psychological approach compared to the sociological one. This is because the elements of familiarity and closeness are limited to two or a maximum of three individuals who can be involved. In the end it is these factors that can affect a person’s psyche that are easier to be revealed in such communication.

Interpersonal Communication Process 

De Vito describes a general model of interpersonal communication. Based on the journal “Interpersonal Communication Process of Deaf-Speech Impaired Subordinates with Their Superiors” written by Immanuel Khomala Wijaya, this section of the model is used for interpersonal communication processes.

1. Sender (Source) and Recipient (Receiver) Message

In interpersonal communication there are two or more people who communicate. One person will send the message while the other person receives and translates the message. In communicating itself there is a process of decoding and encoding.

Decoding is an activity to give meaning to the message conveyed. Meanwhile, encoding itself is an activity of producing messages. In both these activities describe the process of an interpersonal communication. An example of encoding interpersonal communication is when speaking or writing. Meanwhile, decoding is done when listening and reading.

2. Message (message)

The message is a signal that can work as a stimulus for the communicant (receiver). The message itself can take the form of taste, smell, sound, visuals, and their combinations. This message can be carried out by accident, planned, as well as just talking. In interpersonal communication can send and receive messages that can be expressed verbally and non-verbally. Nonverbal messages can be in the form of mouth, hand, and even eye gestures.

3. Feedback (feedback)

In the process of conveying the message will receive a feedback process. Feedback is a reaction that appears when someone conveys a message. The person receiving this message can hear as well as write to the message.

4. Opening sentence

This opening sentence will contain a collection of information that can be given as an introduction, before the main information. This opening sentence or feedforward can aim to convince the person receiving the message so that it can be understood better.

5. Channels or Media

In this communication process requires media to be able to channel the message to the recipient. The media in an interpersonal communication itself can be in the form of e-mail, telephone, or meeting in person.

6. Noise (obstacles)

In an interpersonal communication there are obstacles that interfere. These barriers can hinder the recipient of the message in processing the information. People who will receive this message may misunderstand. An example of an obstacle to interpersonal communication is when the power goes out which can cause communication channels to be obstructed.