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Interpersonal communication refers to communication with another person. This kind of communication is subdivided into dyadic communication, public communication, and small-group communication.

Direct channels are obvious and easily recognized by the receiver. Both verbal and non-verbal information is completely controlled by the sender. Verbal channels rely on words, as in written or spoken communication. Non-verbal channels encompass facial expressions, controlled body movements (police present hand gestures to control traffic), color (red signals 'stop', green signals 'go'), and sound (warning sirens).

Indirect channels are usually recognized subconsciously by the receiver, and are not always under direct control of the sender. Body language, comprising most of the indirect channel, may inadvertently reveal one's true emotions, and thereby either unintentionally taint or bolster the believability of any intended verbal message. Subconscious reception and interpretation of these signals is often described with arbitrary terms like gut-feeling, hunch, or premonition. [[Eye contact] is also important.

Context refers to the conditions that precede or surround the communication. It consists of present or past events from which the meaning of the message is derived, though it may also, in the case of written communications, depend upon the statements preceding and following the quotation in question. Immediate surroundings may also color the perceived meaning of words; normally safe discourse may easily become contextually ambiguous or offensive in a restroom or shower hall. These influences do not constitute the message by themselves, but rather these extraneous nuances subtly change the message's effective meaning. Ultimately, context includes the entire world, but usually refers to salient factors such as the following:

Physical milieu: the season or weather, current physical location and environment

Situational milieu: classroom, military conflict, supermarket checkout
Cultural and linguistic backgrounds
Developmental progress (maturity) or emotional state

Complementary or contrasting roles: boss and employee; teacher and student; parent, child, and spouse; friend or enemy; partner or competitor

The context also includes the type of communication taking place which each have their own rules:

The Johari window model focuses on the balance of interpersonal communication.

Interpersonal communication encompasses:

Having good interpersonal communication skills supports such processes as:

Interpersonal communication is the subject of a number of disciplines in the field of psychology, notably Transactional analysis.

It can be affected by a communication disorder or by arrogance, shyness, etc.

See also

External links

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