Interpersonal communication is communication between people. It can involve two people or a whole group: what is essential is that there are several people involved.
Interpersonal communication can take many forms. For example it can be verbal (speaking face to face), written (in a letter or an email, for example) or non-verbal (for instance facial expressions and body language).
Interpersonal communication is so important in so many aspects of everyday life. Below, you will find 10 examples of interpersonal communication in everyday life.
Examples of interpersonal communication in everyday life.
1. Speaking on the phone: whether we call a friend or a taxi, we are engaging in interpersonal communication. Tone of voice is as important as words when we are talking to someone verbally.
2. Giving a presentation at work: this sharing of information in a formal setting is another form of interpersonal communication. We might use technologies such as slideshows to aid our communications here.
3. Expressing our emotions through facial expressions: a subtle way of communication with others. We can say one thing with our words, but express something different through our facial expressions.
4. Sign language: many members of the deaf community communicate using sign language – which comes in many forms. British Sign Language (BSL) and American Sign Language (ASL) are just two examples of these.
5. Writing an email: communicating with friends and others via email is something many of us do everyday. Editing emails to get our words just right can also make our communications clearer and more concise.
6. Chatting with a group at a party: this is an informal and fun type of communicating. Tone of voice, gesture and words all work together here to enable people to communicate.
7. Giving and receiving instructions: on trains, in the workplace, giving directions to visitors to our town, and reading the instructions leaflet for a new appliance are all examples of this.
8. Body language during a job interview: the way we sit or stand can communicate a lot about our state of mind. Sitting with our arms open rather than folded, for example, and our hands visible, demonstrates that we are in an open and honest state of mind.
9. Sending an invitation: sending an invitation to a party or another event is a way of communicating with others. And, when the invitees reply, they are communicating with us in their turn.
10. Sending a text message: text messaging – or using similar messaging services such as WhatsApp – is another spontaneous way of communicating with people in writing. This type of messaging can often have many of the elements of a conversation between a group of people talking in the same room – though in fact all of the interlocutors can be scattered throughout the globe.
All of us have probably engaged in some type of interpersonal communication already today. Looking at the list of examples above, what is your preferred means of interpersonal communication and why? Are there any ways in which you might improve your interpersonal communication skills? Interpersonal communication can gain us jobs, make friendships and much more, so it is crucially important in our lives.