Personal vs. Interpersonal: What's the Difference?
Personal pertains to an individual, while Interpersonal relates to interactions between individuals.
Personal and Interpersonal, while both involving individuals, focus on different aspects. Personal zeroes in on a single individual, their feelings, characteristics, and experiences. It's the realm of self-awareness, introspection, and individuality. For example, personal beliefs, personal items, or personal space all revolve around the singular entity – the individual.
Interpersonal, on the other hand, navigates the space between individuals. It concerns the relationships, communications, and interactions that occur when two or more people engage with each other. Interpersonal skills, for instance, refer to one's ability to communicate or interact effectively with others. Where Personal might delve into one's inner monologue, Interpersonal explores the dialogue between people.
Interestingly, the prefix "inter-" in Interpersonal provides a hint. It means "between," pointing to the relational aspect of the word. Personal might examine one's personal growth or journey, but Interpersonal would look at how an individual connects, relates, or communicates with others.
To sum it up, Personal is all about the individual – their thoughts, feelings, and possessions. Interpersonal, in contrast, shifts the focus from the individual to the space between individuals, emphasizing relationships and interactions.
Two or more people
Describing individual experiences or possessions
Describing relationships or interactions between people
Reflecting on personal feelings
Building interpersonal relationships at a workplace
Personal and Interpersonal Definitions
Of or relating to a particular person; private
“Like their personal lives, women's history is fragmented, interrupted” (Elizabeth Janeway).
Of or relating to the interactions between individuals
Done, made, or performed in person
A personal appearance.
Existing or occurring between individuals
Interpersonal communication or conflict.
Done to or for or directed toward a particular person
A personal favor.
Between two or more people.
Concerning a particular person and that person's private business, interests, or activities; intimate
I have something personal to tell you.
Occurring among or involving several people;
Interpersonal situations in which speech occurs
Aimed pointedly at the most intimate aspects of a person, especially in a critical or hostile manner
An uncalled-for, highly personal remark.
Tending to make remarks, or be unduly questioning, about another's affairs
As the student debate got heated, it got personal.
Of or relating to the body or physical being
Relating to or having the nature of a person or self-conscious being
Belief in a personal God.
(Law) Of or relating to the person
Personal property as opposed to real property.
Personal jurisdiction as opposed to in rem jurisdiction.
(Grammar) Indicating grammatical person.
A personal item or notice in a newspaper.
Personals A column in a newspaper or magazine featuring personal notices.
Pertaining to persons (human beings as opposed to things or animals).
Of or pertaining to a particular person; relating to, or affecting, an individual, or each of many individuals
Her song was her personal look at the values of friendship.
Dealing with subjects about which one wishes (or people usually wish) to maintain privacy or discretion; not for public view; sensitive, intimate.
You can't read my diary—it is personal.
That's a very personal question.
I can't believe you went through my drawers and looked at all my personal things!
(euphemistic) Intended for sexual use.
Personal lubricant; personal massager
Pertaining to the external or bodily appearance; corporeal; bodily.
Done in person; without an intermediary.
A personal interview
A personal meeting
Relating to an individual, their character, conduct, motives, or private affairs, in an invidious and offensive manner
Personal reflections or remarks
(grammar) Denoting a person or people.
A personal pronoun
One's personal vehicle, as opposed to a company vehicle
An advertisement by which an individual attempts to meet others with similar interests.
One's own property or asset
Pertaining to human beings as distinct from things.
Every man so termed by way of personal difference.
Of or pertaining to a particular person; relating to, or affecting, an individual, or each of many individuals; peculiar or proper to private concerns; not public or general; as, personal comfort; personal desire.
The words are conditional, - If thou doest well, - and so personal to Cain.
Pertaining to the external or bodily appearance; corporeal; as, personal charms.
Done in person; without the intervention of another.
The immediate and personal speaking of God.
Relating to an individual, his character, conduct, motives, or private affairs, in an invidious and offensive manner; as, personal reflections or remarks.
Denoting person; as, a personal pronoun.
A movable; a chattel.
A short newspaper article about a particular person or group
Concerning or affecting a particular person or his or her private life and personality;
A personal favor
For your personal use
I have something personal to tell you
A personal God
He has his personal bank account and she has hers
Particular to a given individual
Of or arising from personality;
Intimately concerning a person's body or physical being;
Indicating grammatical person;
Personal verb endings
Relating to an individual.
My personal opinion is that we should go ahead.
Private or confidential.
This is a personal matter; please keep it to yourself.
Referring to possessions.
I don't touch other people's personal items.
Concerning one's own life.
He took the criticism as a personal attack.
Distinctive to a particular individual.
She has her personal way of doing things.
Are personal items shared?
Typically, personal items are private to an individual, but they can choose to share them.
Can personal beliefs affect interpersonal relationships?
Absolutely, one's personal beliefs can influence how they interact with others.
Do Personal and Interpersonal mean the same thing?
No, Personal relates to an individual, while Interpersonal concerns interactions between individuals.
Is a personal diary interpersonal?
Typically, a personal diary is private, focusing on individual experiences, not interpersonal ones.
Can someone have good personal skills but poor interpersonal skills?
Yes, someone might understand themselves well (personal) but struggle in interactions with others (interpersonal).
Can you have interpersonal feelings?
Yes, they'd be feelings about or between other people, like empathy or understanding.
Is communication an interpersonal skill?
Yes, communication is a key interpersonal skill, aiding interactions between people.
Are all interpersonal interactions verbal?
No, they can be non-verbal as well, such as through body language.
How can one improve their interpersonal abilities?
Through communication training, empathy exercises, and actively building relationships.
Can personal preferences impact interpersonal dynamics?
Yes, individual likes and dislikes can influence group interactions.
Is teamwork an interpersonal activity?
Absolutely, teamwork involves communication and collaboration between individuals.
Is personal growth related to interpersonal skills?
They can be linked. Personal growth can enhance one's interpersonal abilities and vice versa.
Can personal experiences shape interpersonal understanding?
Yes, personal experiences can influence how one relates to or understands others.
Can you have personal space in an interpersonal setting?
Yes, even in group settings, individuals might need personal space or boundaries.
Can personal achievements boost interpersonal relations?
Yes, personal success can positively affect one's interactions and relationships with others.
Is self-reflection a personal or interpersonal activity?
It's personal, as it involves looking inwardly at one's own thoughts and feelings.
Are all relationships interpersonal?
At their core, yes. Relationships involve interactions and connections between individuals.
What's more critical, personal values or interpersonal harmony?
Both are important, and they often influence one another.
Is personal identity separate from interpersonal identity?
They're related but distinct. Personal identity is about self-perception, while interpersonal identity concerns how one fits within a group or relationship.
Do interpersonal conflicts always stem from personal issues?
Not always, but personal issues can be a factor in interpersonal conflicts.
Written bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited byHuma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.