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Communication vs. Interaction: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 24, 2024
Communication is the exchange of information or ideas, while interaction involves reciprocal action or influence between entities.

Key Differences

Communication refers to the process of transmitting information, ideas, or feelings between individuals or groups, typically through spoken, written, or non-verbal means. Interaction, on the other hand, encompasses a broader range of reciprocal activities between two or more parties, including communication but also involving actions and reactions.
In communication, the emphasis is on the message and its conveyance, focusing on clarity, understanding, and effectiveness. Interaction includes not just the exchange of information, but also the dynamic relationship and engagement between the parties involved, which may involve negotiation, cooperation, or conflict.
Communication can be one-way, such as a broadcast or a written notice, where feedback is not immediate or essential. Interaction inherently involves two-way or multi-way exchanges where the actions of one party directly influence or are influenced by the actions of another.
Communication can occur without real-time interaction, like in emails or letters. Interaction, however, usually implies a more immediate and direct engagement, often occurring in real-time, such as a conversation or a physical activity involving multiple parties.
Effective communication is a component of successful interaction, but interaction also requires other elements like responsiveness, adaptability, and often a physical or virtual presence, creating a more complex and dynamic process.

Comparison Chart


Exchange of information or ideas
Reciprocal action or influence between entities


Can be one-way or two-way
Inherently two-way or multi-way


On message conveyance and understanding
On dynamic engagement and relationship

Example Modes

Speaking, writing, signaling
Conversations, collaborations, physical activities

Real-time Requirement

Not always required
Often involves immediate and direct engagement

Communication and Interaction Definitions


The act of transmitting information or ideas between individuals or groups.
Effective communication is key in team projects.


The reciprocal action or influence between two or more parties.
The interaction between the teacher and students was lively.


The exchange of thoughts, messages, or information through speech, writing, or signals.
Her presentation demonstrated clear communication skills.


A situation in which two or more entities act in response to or in conjunction with one another.
The app facilitates user interaction through its interface.


A process of conveying meanings from one entity or group to another.
Good communication is crucial in customer service.


Mutual or reciprocal action or influence, often in real-time.
Their interaction during the game showed great teamwork.


The sharing of ideas or feelings in a way that is understood by others.
Their communication breakdown led to confusion.


The process of two or more entities coming into contact and affecting each other.
The interaction between different cultures can be enriching.


The imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using other mediums.
He excels in visual communication through design.


Engagement or direct involvement with someone or something.
Her interaction with the audience made the lecture engaging.


The act of communicating; transmission.


The act or process of interacting.


The exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, signals, writing, or behavior.


The state of undergoing interaction.


(Physics) See fundamental interaction.


The situation or occurrence in which two or more objects or events act upon one another to produce a new effect; the effect resulting from such a situation or occurrence.
Be aware of interactions between different medications.


A conversation or exchange between people.
I enjoyed the interaction with a bunch of like-minded people.


Intermediate action.


Mutual or reciprocal action or influence; as, the interaction of the heart and lungs on each other.


The effect, such as exertion of a force, that one object exerts on another, especially the capture or emission of a particle.


Communication between people, or the actions of people that affect others.


A mutual or reciprocal action; interacting


(physics) the transfer of energy between elementary particles or between an elementary particle and a field or between fields; mediated by gauge bosons


Is interaction always verbal?

No, it can be physical, non-verbal, or digital.

What is communication?

The exchange of information, ideas, or feelings.

Can interaction occur without communication?

Rarely, as most interactions involve some form of communication.

Can communication be non-verbal?

Yes, it includes gestures, facial expressions, etc.

Is communication one-sided sometimes?

Yes, like in broadcasts or announcements.

What's an example of communication?

Sending an email or giving a speech.

Is effective communication important in interaction?

Yes, it's a key component.

What is interaction?

Reciprocal action or influence between two or more parties.

Is interaction one-sided?

No, it's inherently two-way or multi-way.

Do you need to respond in communication?

Not always, response is optional.

What skills are important for interaction?

Responsiveness, adaptability, and engagement.

Is interaction indirect?

It's usually direct and immediate.

Can interaction exist without communication?

Rarely, as communication is typically necessary for interaction.

Can communication occur over time?

Yes, like in a series of letters.

Does interaction require simultaneous presence?

Often, especially in physical or real-time interactions.

Can communication be part of interaction?

Yes, it's often a key element.

What's an example of interaction?

A conversation or a team meeting.

What skills are important for communication?

Listening, clarity, and articulation.

Do you need to respond in interaction?

Yes, it involves active engagement.

Can communication be indirect?

Yes, like through written messages.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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