What is interpersonal interaction? Interpersonal interaction means interactions between people. In order to understand this phrase fully, it is a good idea to break it down into its two constituent words and to examine each word separately.
What does interpersonal mean? Interpersonal means ‘between people’. The ‘inter-‘ part of this word means ‘between’; it comes from Latin.
What does ‘interaction’ mean? Again, here ‘inter’ means between. Interaction is action that happens between two things. When two things or people interact, they act not alone but on and with each other.
A full definition of interpersonal interaction: So, from the above, we can see that interpersonal interaction means interactions that occur between people. Interpersonal interaction can be a form of social interaction, or it can involve simply two people.
How does interpersonal interaction occur? There are many ways in which this type of interaction can take place. For example:
- In person: people meet and discuss things face to face, making use of eye contact and body language as well as words to communicate.
- Digitally: many people interact with others online either in writing (email, online chat) or through video chat services and social media.
- Formally: some forms of interaction obey codes of politeness and formality. One example is in a court of law.
- Informally: people interact at parties, in cafes and in many other informal situations.
- Spontaneously: sometimes we do not mean to get engaged in an interpersonal interaction, but we end up bumping in to someone and we start talking!