Interpersonal communication is... Concept, forms, principles, features

All people are born and live in society. Accordingly, some kind of interaction should arise between members of this society. This interaction is carried out with the help of some tools, such as communication, tactile contact, sexual relations, etc. It is difficult to imagine what people would do without the ability to communicate, how contact would occur, how they would understand each other. For such a tool as a conversation between individuals, even a special term has been introduced: interpersonal communication. So what are interpersonal relationships and the communication process?

Behavior in society is based on communication

What is interpersonal communication

Interpersonal communication is the contact of one person with others, regardless of gender, quality of upbringing, social status, etc. This definition has many derivatives. In order for communication between people to exclude disputes, conflicts, scandals, and misunderstandings, special rules were introduced.

Recently, many have been interested in the intricacies of interpersonal relationships in order to use this knowledge when interacting with people during business negotiations, political discussions, economic solutions to issues, etc. This concept has been studied for quite a long time. It may be impossible in life to communicate with every person according to certain rules, since everyone’s character is different, but it is recommended to adhere to a culture of communication.

Group, mass and interpersonal communications

Before moving on to the terminology of the basic concept, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with other types of communication:

  • Mass communication is the process of disseminating information and influencing others through radio, television, print, cinema, etc., as a result of which messages of this kind reach a large mass of people.
  • Interpersonal communication is the process of interaction and transfer of information from one person to another, involving information exchange. The main goal of this type is mutual understanding between two or a group of people.
  • Group communication involves communication within a group of people, the number of which, as a rule, reaches up to twenty people. It is worth noting that interpersonal and group communications have some similarities, since in both options people interact through speech. Returning to group communications, it should be added that the totality of communication interactions allows both to strengthen the group and increase conflict among participants. If the concept of interpersonal communication presupposes information exchange, the main goal of which is mutual understanding between two people, then the goal of group communication is the implementation of interdependent actions and the solution of joint problems.

Psychology of Interpersonal Communication

In psychology, 3 types of interpersonal communication are considered:

  1. Imperative;
  2. Manipulative;
  3. Dialogic.

Nonverbal communication - what is it in psychology

The imperative type of communication is also called dictatorial. In this option, one of the individuals exerts psychological pressure on another person in order to achieve a certain goal. In the process of imperative communication, it is possible to completely subjugate the will of the opponent, control over his actions, words, and sometimes even thoughts. The dictator forces the interlocutor to perform specific actions. In the imperative version of communication, interlocutors are called “active” and “passive,” where the first is an authoritarian person, the second is the passive side.

Manipulative communication is the most common interaction between individuals. It involves influencing a person in order to achieve their hidden intentions. Imperative and manipulative communication are very similar in meaning. In both the first and second cases, psychological pressure is exerted on one side to achieve certain goals. What distinguishes them is that with the imperative version, the goals are clearly stated, and the suffering side understands that it is being used, moreover, it itself is ready for this. In the manipulative version, goals are not voiced, all intentions are hidden, the passive side believes that it made the decision itself, and not under the influence of communication with another person.

Note! Most often, manipulative communication destroys trusting relationships built over the years. Therefore, it is recommended to think carefully before using certain qualities of a loved one for your manipulations.

Manipulative communication

The basis of dialogical contact is the equality of the parties.

Basic types of communication

In psychology, there are a large number of types of communication. With the formal type, the goal is not to understand and take into account the interests and characteristics of the interlocutor. To do this, unique images are used to hide true emotions in relation to the interlocutor.

With the primitive type, a person is assessed based on how necessary he is. If there is interest in the contact, active communication occurs. Once the goals are achieved, polarization occurs.

Functional-role communication is based on social status. Typically, with this type, all communication occurs within strict norms and expectations.

Business communication involves taking into account personality characteristics, age and mood. Business interests come to the fore, so the main goal is the need to reach an agreement.

Spiritual communication usually occurs between close people when both partners are interested and show maximum interest in each other. This type usually occurs in cases where two people know each other very well.

Interpersonal communication process with examples

Examples of interpersonal communication can be taken in any area of ​​life. For example, the imperative option is often found in work teams, in relationships between a director and an employee. At the moment when the director gives a hired employee a certain task to complete, a clear example of imperative relations occurs. In this case, the goals are clearly voiced by the leader and accepted without objection by the passive party.

Verbal communication - what is it in psychology

Another example of imperative relations stands out in enterprises associated with military activities, in the army, and at training grounds. As in the previous case, the active side clearly and clearly gives orders, the passive side is obliged to carry them out. The passive party has no right to make claims.

Manipulative examples of relationships include the interaction of partners in business or any business area. Manipulation in propaganda is especially clearly visible, for example, presidential elections in the country. Any party conducts campaigning, i.e. that is, she is trying to influence society through manipulative communication, so that society casts its votes for the leader of this particular party.

Important! Manipulative communication can be used in any area of ​​life. It does not always bring comfort to each of the parties. Manipulation in romantic or family relationships is especially unpleasant, since the main task of one of the personalities in such communication is to use the other as a performer of certain actions. Many psychologists argue that manipulators are unfamiliar with such a feeling as empathy, that they are cynical, deceitful and rather primitive.

Dialogue communication is also very popular nowadays. It can often be found in various self-development schools, psychological trainings, etc. This form of communication should be learned. The initial stage of communication does not always remain in the same form at the final stage. Dialogical communication presupposes a respectful attitude towards the partner, his knowledge, development and thoughts.

Dialogical communication

Interpersonal communication among youth

Often communication among teenagers ends in conflict situations. This happens because socialization among young people is not as well developed as it is among adults, independent people. Adolescents experience both formal and informal conflicts.

Formal conflict communication is communication at school, with teachers. Informal conflicts arise in the family or between individuals connected by friendly relations. At the initial stages, teenagers themselves can resolve such conflicts, but in more complex situations, even parents cannot help. This may mean that you need help from a psychologist. Such conflicts occur in the process of growing up, since it is during puberty that a hormonal imbalance occurs, which provokes unstable behavioral reactions. After the process of personality formation is completed, problems disappear.

Bad feedback

Successful activity through interpersonal communications is determined by the effectiveness or, conversely, ineffectiveness of feedback. In any conversation there is always a two-way direction implied. Simply put, during a conversation, feedback from the interlocutor is necessary to improve the effectiveness of the exchange of oral messages. Do not forget about its importance, as it allows you to assess how correctly the interlocutor understood the information. An obstacle to effective communications can be not only poorly established feedback, but also its complete absence.

Forms of interpersonal communication

Why does a person need communication - what does it give and why is it important to people?

In addition to the types of interpersonal relationships, there are also forms. There are positive forms, which include:

  • Love;
  • Friendship;
  • Proximity;
  • Friendly communication;
  • Attraction;
  • Altruism.

Altruism as a form of interpersonal communication

Neutral forms:

  • Indifference;
  • Autism;
  • Selfishness;
  • Conformism.

Negative forms:

  • Negativism;
  • Dislike;
  • Aggression;
  • Hatred.


We propose to consider the distinctive features of interpersonal communication:

  • Irreversibility lies in the inability to return spoken words.
  • Relationships are a determining factor in the stages of the process of interpersonal communication, which develop as a result of creative and business contacts, as well as the ability of people to emotionally perceive each other - empathy.
  • Inevitability and inevitability is explained by the fact that man is a social phenomenon, the existence of which is impossible without communication.

Thus, speaking about the features of interpersonal communication, the following aspects should be highlighted:

  • Activity of communication partners. By sending information messages, one participant assumes the activity of the other, who, in turn, also needs to focus on the goals, motives and attitudes of his interlocutor.
  • The active exchange of thoughts between conversation participants helps to establish interpersonal communication.
  • In the process of verbal interaction, mutual understanding occurs or misunderstanding occurs, which is obtained in the presence of feedback.
  • The essence of interpersonal communication is that information is not only accepted by the interlocutor, but analyzed and comprehended.
  • The information that was received by the interlocutor and returned back organizes the participants in interpersonal relationships into a common information field.

Culture of interpersonal communication

Cultural interpersonal contact assumes that both opponents will feel emotionally, intellectually, mentally and physically comfortable from interacting with each other. In society, there are norms of interpersonal communication, mastery of which will allow interaction to be brought to the cultural level. Since communication affects any area of ​​life, it is important to understand where a serious conversation would be appropriate and where casual chat would be appropriate. Each of these conversations has its own characteristics and requirements. In order to master the culture of interpersonal relationships, they must be properly developed.


Perception is the process of receiving and transforming information through which an individual gains an understanding of reality. It is worth noting that it is subjective in nature, since each person tends to interpret a particular situation differently. With the help of sound, visual and tactile channels of receiving information, a person perceives only what matters to him. Thus, it depends on perception how accurately a person receives the information that the sender wanted to convey to him.

Development of interpersonal communication

The development of communication implies a correct assessment of the interlocutor, which entails the correctly chosen tone in the conversation, an adequate flow of the conversation. The culture of communication is based on a person’s psychological state, his self-esteem, social studies, and the ability to regulate his mood in the process of communication.

Note! In the development of a culture of interpersonal communication, it is very important to be able to feel the interlocutor, his inner mood and state. A very important point in the development of communication is the ability to listen and conduct a dialogue.

Development of interpersonal communication

Inability to listen

Lack of concentration on the interlocutor and inability to listen is a serious barrier to interpersonal social communication. To correctly receive an oral message, you need to hear it. During the conversation, it is important to accept information from the interlocutor, interpret it correctly and give an adequate answer if the situation requires it.

Experts provide several tips for increasing the effectiveness of interpersonal communication during the listening process:

  • It is not recommended to speak and interrupt your interlocutor;
  • during a conversation, ask questions, thereby maintaining your partner’s interest;
  • create a favorable atmosphere for your interlocutor, find interesting and common topics;
  • During a conversation, do not criticize or argue with the speaker, try to evaluate the essence, not the words.
  • Let your interlocutor know that you are listening.

Problems and difficulties that may arise

Problems and difficulties often arise in interpersonal relationships. This is due to the fact that in Russia even a short course in communication culture is not taught. There are situations in which one interlocutor has a culture of communication, and the second does not even know what it is. Communication problems are divided into 2 groups:

  1. Subjectively experienced;
  2. Objectively experienced.

Each of these groups, in turn, is divided into a primary and secondary subgroup. The primary ones include the discrepancy between the temperaments and characters of the subjects of communication, the secondary ones include the memory of unsuccessful interpersonal relationships.

During communication, people learn a lot of new information, change their mood, share sorrows and joys, and realize themselves. The only way to feel comfortable in any society is to study norms of behavior and improve the culture of interpersonal communication.

A little more detail

Interpersonal communication consists of direct contact with people one-on-one, that is, face to face. Interpersonal communication is characterized by the psychological closeness of the interlocutors, the presence of empathy, understanding and sympathy. This type of communication contains three interconnected aspects:

  • communicative - consists of the exchange of informational oral messages between interlocutors, the transmission and reception of feelings and opinions;
  • perceptual - affects the process of understanding and perception of the interacting parties, which contributes to the formation of certain interpersonal relationships;
  • interactive - consists of the exchange of actions between communication partners (for example, request - agreement or refusal).

Interpersonal communication is one of the most important categories of psychological science, since communication plays a major role in the interaction of people. In this type of communication, there are two types of communication: nonverbal and verbal. The first option dates back to ancient times, and the verbal one appeared much later, but is a universal way of communication today. In other words, interpersonal communication is communication between at least two persons, which is aimed at mutual establishment, cognition and development of relationships, involving mutual influence on the behavior, mood, views, and state of the participants in this process. It is also the most free from formal frameworks that regulate the style and form of the message, which makes it more intelligible and accessible. In addition, in the process of personal communication, the effect of perception can be enhanced due to the intonation of the interlocutor, his gestures, timbre of voice, facial expressions, charm, focused exclusively on a specific person. It is worth noting that in interpersonal communication there are great unlimited opportunities for applying the feedback effect.

Models of communicative personality

By a communicative personality we will, following V. Kashkin, understand the totality of individual communicative strategies and tactics, cognitive, semiotic, motivational preferences formed in communication processes.

An individual and a communicative personality are not the same thing. Different personalities can coexist within one individual. The concept of multiple personality is now also widespread in psychology. The extreme manifestation of this is clinical dual personality (mental disorder), but a healthy person also manifests himself in various areas, in various linguistic markets.

The defining parameters for a communicative personality are three: motivational, cognitive and functional.


Motivational parameter

by communication needs
and occupies a central place in the structure of the communicative personality. If there is no need, then there is no communication, or there is pseudo-communication, most likely determined by the psychological need for the communication process as such, and not for the transmission of a message (loneliness, gaming socialization, etc.).

Based on the communicative need, a communicative attitude

, which is pursued by the communicative personality.

Cognitive parameter

includes many characteristics that form the individual’s inner world in the process of accumulating cognitive experience: knowledge of communicative codes, the ability to carry out introspection and self-reflection, that is, introspection and self-awareness, metacommunication skills, the ability to adequately assess the cognitive and communicative horizon of the communicant partner, myths and prejudices, stereotypes and beliefs. The success of communication and the impact on the interlocutor largely depend on the compatibility of the cognitive characteristics of the communicants.

Functional Parameter

includes three characteristics that determine the communicative competence of an individual: practical knowledge of verbal and non-verbal means to carry out communicative functions; the ability to vary communicative means in the communication process in connection with changes in the situation and communication conditions; constructing discourse in accordance with code norms and etiquette rules.

Now about models or types of communicative personality. There are four of them.

  1. Dominant communicator
    : strives to take the initiative, does not like to be interrupted, is harsh, mocking, speaks louder than others. To “fight” such a communicant, it is useless to use his own techniques; it is better to adopt the strategy of “speech exhaustion” (enter speech after a pause, quickly formulate your position, questions, requests, use “cumulative tactics”).
  2. Mobile communicator
    : easily enters into a conversation, moves from topic to topic, speaks a lot, interestingly and with pleasure, does not get lost in an unfamiliar communication situation. You should sometimes - in your own interests - return it to the desired topic.
  3. Rigid communicator
    : experiences difficulties in the contact-building phase of communication, then is clear and logical. It is recommended to use the strategy of 'warming up' the partner (introductory part about the weather, etc.).
  4. Introverted communicator
    : does not strive to take the initiative, gives it away, is shy and modest, constrained in an unexpected communication situation. When communicating with him, you should speak calmly and not interrupt.

Some experts distinguish types of linguistic personality depending on the areas of literature.

For all types of oral literature, the creator of speech coincides with the linguistic personality - the individual speaker. In written literature with the handwritten technique, the creator of the speech also coincides with the individual (except for documents).

In documents, the creator of the speech can be collegial; one document can be created by different legal entities. Such a linguistic personality can be called collegial

. In printed literature, the work of the author and the publisher (creation and replication of the text) is divided.

Here we have a cooperative speaker

. Texts of mass communication combine the features of collegial and cooperative speech activity (news agency + editorial staff + publishing house), therefore, we have a collegial-cooperative linguistic personality. Computer science as a type of literature contains three types of activities (summary and annotation as a complex work on the analysis of the primary text and the synthesis of the secondary + information retrieval + automated control), therefore it is a collective speech activity.

A communicative personality is the most important component of personality in general, because communication occupies 80% of all human existence (listening - 45%, speaking - 30%, reading - 16%, writing - 9%).

Communication strategy, communication tactics, communication skills

A communicative strategy is a part of communicative behavior or communicative interaction in which a series of different verbal and nonverbal means are used to achieve a specific communicative goal, as E.V. Klyuev writes, “the strategic result towards which the communicative act is aimed.” Strategy is a general framework, outline of behavior, which may include deviations from the goal in individual steps. Sellers, in particular, are taught strategies for selling goods through communication with the buyer. Sometimes a seller may speak badly about a particular product. But at the same time, he is implicitly advertising another available product! The seller (especially the street distributor) can use non-verbal techniques (offering to look at a brochure with illustrations together - penetrating into the personal space of a potential buyer).

We use a specific greeting strategy every day for different people and for different purposes of communicating with these people. Many strategies are ritualized, turned into speech conventions and lose their “rhythm” and information content. Violation of conventions, on the contrary, can be considered as a 'message'. If you are often late, and justify your lateness, for example, with poor transport, then they stop believing you. When this actually happens, they don’t believe your truth. In this case, you can even come up with a paradoxical principle: lie so that they believe

Communicative intent (task)

– a tactical move, which is a practical means of moving towards the corresponding communicative goal. Remember the previous example of 'temporary honesty' with the buyer. The same “temporary frankness” is contained in the rhetorical figures of politicians who admit: “We are not angels, we are simple people,” although the communicative goal is to convince the voter of the almost “divine” exclusivity of the potential chosen one. For this, non-verbal elements of communication can also be used (simple clothes, the president in a home environment and a sweater, and other image-making techniques).

The intention and the goal are different here, but ultimately, within the framework of the strategy, the intention contributes to the implementation of the overall goal: - be able to effectively formulate a communication strategy; - be able to effectively use a variety of tactical communication techniques; - be able to effectively present yourself (or your company) as a participant in the communication process. Efficiency here means the correlation of verbal and nonverbal techniques with the goals and objectives of communication, communicative intention and perspective, the systemic cohesion of the elements of a communicative strategy, the practical feasibility of individual tactical moves.

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