What is Intrapersonal Communication?

What Does Comunicación Intrapersonal Mean

Intrapersonal communication is what a person establishes with himself . This form of communication implies that it is the same person who emits and, at the same time , who receives the same message.



Intrapersonal communication consists of the analyzes that the person carries out privately and can include everything that the person hears, reads or repeats. It is through this type of communication that people connect with their consciousness, reflect, encourage or calm down. From this intrapersonal dialogue, negative messages or thoughts may also arise that generate fear, insecurity or anxiety , among other emotions.

Intrapersonal communication includes, in addition to thoughts or reflections, ideas, dreams and thoughts out loud .

See also: Effective communication

Examples of intrapersonal communication

Intrapersonal communication can generate negative thoughts and ideas.

People can have different types of intrapersonal communications. Some examples are the following:

  • Between the parts of the body. This happens when an organ in the body sends a message to the central nervous system . For example, the sensation of heat or cold, the desire to eat, some pain, burning or tickling.
  • Aloud. More than once, people find themselves talking aloud to themselves or even reading aloud. This can help you pay attention, calm down, organize a series of ideas, or focus. Sometimes this form of communication occurs unconsciously.
  • Negative It is about those thoughts or ideas that generate anguish in people and can affect the self - esteem of the individual, as well as their links with the rest of society . These negative thoughts include the following:

    • Catastrophic. The person, in this case, usually maintains dialogues with himself that generate rejection, anxiety, guilt or pity towards him.
    • Victim. The person maintains dialogues in which he feels that the rest is superior to him and feels totally unprotected.
    • Irrelevant. Having this kind of thinking means that the person cannot get out of a vicious cycle of exhaustion and stress since they do not stop repeating over and over again the objectives that they did not reach or any type of frustration.
    • Self-critical. It occurs when the person feels worthless and all the self-evaluations that are made are totally negative.

Characteristics of intrapersonal communication

The individual must interpret or reflect on the messages he sends himself.

There are different forms of communication and, to identify the intrapersonal from the rest, some qualities to take into account could be the following:

  • It is inevitable . The person cannot choose to maintain this type of communication or not. To give a very graphic example, it is not like when the telephone rings and the individual chooses not to answer. Intrapersonal communication just "springs up" and can even be very difficult to manage.
  • It is one-sided . Unlike bilateral or multilateral communications, in which the roles between senders and receivers are exchanged, here the conversation is between a single person who is, at the same time, sender and receiver of the message (no change of roles or “ feedback ”).
  • They are not necessarily literal . Many times the individual must interpret or reflect on the messages that he sends to himself.
  • It works as a "filter" . This type of communication helps people to behave in a "socially accepted" way. Thanks to it, people manage to self-censor certain comments, gestures, behaviors that, otherwise, would be frowned upon by others.
  • No single person is used . These dialogues with oneself can be carried out using the first person, but also the second person. This depends on each one, as well as the circumstance in which it occurs.

Intrapersonal communication problems

As listed above, people can have negative thoughts and this can affect their health as well as their bond with other people. That is why it is key to identify when a person suffers from these types of problems to work on them.

It can also happen that an idea or message is repeated in the individual's head over and over again and it is important to be attentive because they may be sending signals about an external problem that the person must face and solve. Once this is done, the message will disappear.

It is very common for people who suffer from negative thoughts to turn to therapists or specialists to guide them to overcome them, or to help the person to live with them without affecting their self-esteem or behavior .

It is also important to know how to control yourself before these types of thoughts , even when they are not pathologically, but in a situation of too much pressure or stress. Having negative thoughts is more common and frequent than one might imagine. There are studies that reveal that an individual dedicates about 15 hours a day to dialogues with oneself. And, of the total, 80% of those communications would be negative.

Interpersonal communication

Interpersonal communication is bilateral or multilateral.

It is very common to contrast intrapersonal communication with interpersonal communication. What does the latter mean? It is about the reciprocal communication that exists between at least two people . This means that it is not unilateral, but rather bilateral or multilateral.

In other words, in interpersonal communication the roles of sender and receiver are constantly exchanged and, at the same time, the person who emits the message is not the same as the one who receives it.

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