North Seattle Community College


As we’ve begun to explore the different aspects of interpersonal communication, what would you say is the difference between impersonal communication and interpersonal communication?  What elements make communication interpersonal or impersonal?


Interpersonal Communication

Impersonal Communication


People are treated as unique individuals

People are treated as objects

People communicate in an “I_Thou” relationship. Each person is special.

People communicate in an “I-It” relationship. Each person has a role to perform.

There is a true dialogue and honest sharing of self with others.

There is mechanical, stilted interaction, rather than honest sharing of feelings.

Interpersonal communication often involves communicating with someone you care about.

Impersonal communication involves communication with people such as a sales clerk – some you have no history with and expect no future with them.

Interpersonal Communication: Relating to Others, Steven Beebe, Susan Beebe, Mark Redmond, page 6.