8 junio, 2024

Intrapersonal communication: characteristics, types, examples

The intrapersonal communication It is a type or form of communication where the sender and the receiver are the same person. That is to say, it is a communication that is carried out with oneself. In addition, it has the particularity that it can occur verbally or orally, in memories, acts of imagination or visualizations, and even in past memories.

For example, when reading a message from a friend, inviting you to a restaurant, the thoughts that it generates and the decisions we make until we respond to the message, are a form of intrapersonal communication.

On the other hand, intrapersonal communication helps to achieve a better social adaptation, allowing the individual to internally analyze each situation, reflect on it and make decisions about how to act.

It is one of the forms of communication that people use the most in their day, although there are not many studies carried out on it. And, sometimes, it is not included in the group of other communications, for the reason that the receiver is oneself.


Characteristics of intrapersonal communication

Some of the most outstanding characteristics of intrapersonal communication are the following:

It is unavoidable

Due to the constant activity of the human brain, it is inevitable to have intrapersonal communications, since when a person is not communicating with another, they are analyzing or processing thoughts internally.

Even when you are communicating with another person, decision-making is done internally before externalizing it.

Serves as a filter

Using intrapersonal communication, a person can moderate their way of reacting to certain types of comments that can cause impulsive reactions. In this way, you will have a subdued type of reaction that will allow you to continue to communicate on good terms.

An example of this might be when someone receives a comment that they find offensive, but the person who made the comment did not mean to offend. In this case, instead of reacting violently, the recipient can internally analyze the comment, and tell the other person that they felt offended, resolving the situation calmly.

Use of personal pronouns

The most used personal pronouns in intrapersonal communication are the first and second person, although their use varies with respect to the situation in which they find themselves.

The first person is generally used when intrapersonal communication is about the person’s feelings.

Instead, the second person is used when intrapersonal communication is used with the intention of encouraging oneself. For example, to cope with a difficult situation.

It’s one-sided

The conversation established in an intrapersonal communication is carried out only by a person with himself, being the sender and receiver.

This is one of the aspects that most differentiates it from other forms of communication, where there is always a sender and a receiver.

Create points of view

Both the internal dialogue and the analysis of situations allow the elaboration of personal points of view about everyday situations.

Types of intrapersonal communication

Within intrapersonal communication, three different types can be identified, which are:

inner speech

Internal speech is a type of intrapersonal communication in which communication takes place entirely within oneself, as in thoughts, situation analysis, and concentration.

In addition, experts add to this category both night dreams and the sensation of daydreaming. In the same way, prayers, meditation and contemplation are included here.

Speaking out loud

Speaking out loud, addressing oneself is another type of intrapersonal communication, which happens when a person expresses a thought.

This type of communication usually occurs when a person encourages himself, when rehearsing a message that will be given to another person, or when emotions are expressed to vent.

An example of this type of communication occurs when a person encourages himself, before performing a very difficult task.

write for yourself

Writing to oneself is a type of intrapersonal communication in which thoughts are externalized, in written form, but without directing them to any person.

A clear example of this is when writing in a personal diary, or when messages of encouragement and encouragement are written down on a board or blackboard, among others.

Examples of intrapersonal communication

Some examples of intrapersonal communication may be the following:


When a person feels that there is something in their life that is not right or that bothers them but they cannot identify it, they generally do a self-analysis to try to determine the reason(s) for which they feel that way.

In this way, you will have a conversation with yourself to identify what is causing this discomfort.

rational thought

It can generally occur when a situation arises for which you are not prepared or you do not have enough experience to solve it. As in the case of, for example, a new job.

In this case, the person will resort to their knowledge and experiences previously obtained, to perform in the best way in the new job.

externalize an emotion

When externalizing an emotion, the type of intrapersonal communication occurs in which the message is not addressed to anyone, but to oneself.

An example of this occurs when a person, after performing an action that cost him a lot of effort, says «Very good!».

Take decisions

Decision making is one of the most frequent activities that a person performs. For example, when a friend invites us to dance, before answering yes or no, intrapersonal communication takes place to decide what to do.

In this communication questions may arise from whether or not I feel like going out, to whether I like the place to which they are inviting me. In addition, images of the place may come to mind, as well as memories or memories of how I felt when I was there.

You can even ask questions about what tasks I have to do the next day, and if I’m going to be too tired to wake up early to do them.

All this happens in a matter of seconds and within oneself, until the decision is made and the answer is given.


Buffalo State College. (2020). Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Communication. Retrieved from faculty.buffalostate.edu Dance, FE, & Larson, CE (1972). Speech Communication: Concepts and Behavior. Retrieved from courses.lumenlearning.com Encyclopedia of Communication and Information. (2020). Intrapersonal Communication. Retrieved from encyclopedia.com Popular Autonomous University of Veracruz. (2020). TYPES OF COMMUNICATION: INTRAPERSONAL AND INTERPERSONAL. Retrieved from universidadupav.edu.mx University of Minnesota. (2020). Intrapersonal Communication. Retrieved from open.lib.umn.edu

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