What is interpersonal communication?

We explain what interpersonal communication is and the codes that influence it. In addition, the elements it comprises.

  1. What is interpersonal communication?

Interpersonal communication is called the exchange of information that usually occurs between people who share a physical space , that is, who cohabit and therefore are in need of sending and receiving messages to regulate or organize coexistence . This can refer to diverse fields, such as home, work, street, etc.

When talking about interpersonal communication, however, not only the verbal one is referred to, that is, the one starring the language . It is clear that human beings distinguish ourselves from animals by precisely our ability to organize and communicate our reality through a system of sound and graphically represented signs (spoken and written language respectively), but it is not exclusively through this mechanism that we We transmit information.

For example, other types of code also influence interpersonal communication, such as proxemics (“personal space”), pragmatics (contextual content), body language and other forms of nonverbal communication that, however, allow Two people share certain senses and meanings .

Many times this nonverbal communication takes place without taking into account consciousness, that is, automatically or symptomatically, without the express intent of the issuer. It is what happens during flirting, for example.

In this way, we understand by interpersonal communication the set of relations of transmission and coding of information that occurs between two or more people, or even the set of skills that a person possesses to deal with such relationships.

For example, when we say that someone “has bad interpersonal relationships ,” we mean that these types of communicative situations are difficult for him or that he usually gets rid of them, be the field in question.

  1. Comunication elements

interpersonal communication
There are many channels to transmit a message, such as air and paper, among others.

Every communicative process, it should be noted, is composed of a series of elements, which are:

  • Issuer . The one who emits the message, that is, the one who starts the communication mechanism. A sender, except in certain monodirectional contexts (in which communication flows from one side to the other only), does not usually only play that role, but alternates with that of the receiver: it is spoken, for example, and then heard .
  • Receiver . Similarly, the receiver is the one who receives the transmitted message and decodes it to rescue the information inside. In the case of the speech act, it is equivalent to the listener. Again, a receiver never remains purely passive, but alternates positions with the sender.
  • Channel . The physical medium used for the transmission of the message. It can be the air through which sound waves travel, it can be a paper on which the message is printed, or many other means. For communication to occur, the channel must be clear of obstacles or barriers and available for use.
  • Code . Every message has an encoding, that is, a key to understanding and ordering your senses. These keys, for example, in verbal language we call languages ​​or languages: a conventional, social arrangement of the signs that make up a language. Thus, the message code must be handled by both sender and receiver, for communication to occur.
  • Message . In this context the message is the content of the information, that is, what you want to transmit to the recipient, whatever it is.

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