Interpersonal Communication Skills

Interpersonal communication is one of the most important skills in life. It’s how we connect with others, share our thoughts and feelings, and get things done.

The purpose of this article is to discuss the different types of interpersonal communication that exist, as well as some strategies for making your interactions more effective.

Smiling woman with arms around man

What is Interpersonal Communication?

Interpersonal communication is defined as any form of nonverbal and verbal exchange between individuals. It is a key component in the language we use to communicate with others.

It includes written, spoken, and non-verbal language. It refers to the message being conveyed (the content of the message) as well as how it is being conveyed (via tone, word choice, body language, etc.)

Communication between two people can take many different forms, including face-to-face conversations, telephone calls, emails, text messages, and social media interactions.

Interpersonal communication is an important skill because it allows us to build relationships, share ideas, and resolve conflicts.

How we communicate with others is not only important in our everyday personal lives but also in business and education settings. In fact, interpersonal communication plays a significant role in almost every aspect of our lives.

The importance of communication in our lives cannot be overemphasized. Communication plays a key role in all our interactions with others, whether at home or at work, in formal contexts such as business meetings or informal ones such as over the phone or by email.

Interpersonal communication plays a key role in business leadership by communicating goals throughout an organization and by motivating people to achieve them. It also plays a key role in conflict resolution.

Types of Interpersonal Communication

The term interpersonal communication refers to the process of sending and receiving messages between people. The most common method of interpersonal communication is verbal, consisting of words spoken aloud. However, interpersonal communication can also be conducted nonverbally, or in written form.

There are many different types of interpersonal communication, but some of the most common include:


Verbal interpersonal communication involves the use of spoken language to communicate thoughts and feelings.

Verbal communication is the most common form of interpersonal communication. It includes any time that two or more people are talking with one another.

Verbal communication can be face-to-face; in audio form, like over the phone or on a digital voice recording such as a podcast; or in video form, such as a video call or recorded video.

The ability to express your feelings and thoughts in a way that reaches someone else’s mind and heart is a talent, one that can help you make friends, win arguments, solve problems, and make the world a better place.

Verbal expression is also an art form. It can be practiced, refined, developed, and mastered. Effective communication is simple, clear, unambiguous, brief, unbiased, relevant, and timely.


Nonverbal interpersonal communication may include facial expressions, body movements and gestures, eye contact, and use of space. It can include body language, clothing, facial expressions, touch, physical proximity, and eye contact.

Nonverbal communication is integral to human interaction and requires interpretation by others for clear understanding.

The study of nonverbal communication includes many different scientific fields including:

  • Kinesics is the study of body language, including facial expressions and gestures.
  • Haptics is the study of touching, including handshakes, holding hands, and patting someone on the shoulder.
  • Proxemics is the study of personal space, including how close you stand to someone.
  • Paralanguage is the study of vocal qualities, including tone and pitch.


Listening is a vital skill for communication. The ability to listen is a skill that enables you to be able to understand what the other person is trying to tell you.

Effective listening skills can be used to create a sense of support, empathy, and understanding. It can also be used as a means to verify that one’s message is being understood.

Within listening communication skills there are two primary types:

  • Active listening involves listening to what another person has to say, using body language to demonstrate interest, and then paraphrasing or repeating back the information that was just conveyed.
  • Passive listening involves hearing a message but not giving any feedback as to whether you understood it correctly.

In order for there to be successful communication between two people, both parties need to actively listen and try not interrupt each other when they’re talking.


Written communication skills are very important. The ability to write clearly and to convey your thoughts is a skill that everyone needs to learn.

Written communication examples include business correspondence, job applications, personal letters, blog posts, emails, texts, and social media messages.

The importance of having good written communication skills cannot be overstated. Having strong writing skills will help you get ahead in life.

This can aid in job opportunities, getting promoted at work, getting accepted into college, and even meeting the love of your life.

When looking for a job, most employers prefer applicants who have strong written communications skills.


Any interaction between two or more people is an opportunity for us to grow, learn, and develop our interpersonal communication skills. The better we are at interacting with others, the more opportunities will present themselves to us.

This holds true whether we are dealing with friends, family, clients, or professional contacts. Learning how to navigate the waters of interpersonal communication will allow us to make lasting connections with those around us.

The bottom line is that these skills will help your life no matter whether you become a practicing psychologist, or if you simply want to be an effective team member at work or in your personal relationships.

These skills will not only help you understand others, but also help to make your own needs and feelings clear, allowing for the possibility of understanding from others.

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