Definition of Interpersonal Communication

Essay by Anonymous UserA, January 1996

download word file, 4 pages 3.9

Interpersonal communication is defined by Michael Cody as:

the exchange of symbols used to achieve interpersonal goals(28).

Does this definition include everything, or does it only include certain

things?. When we are dealing with the issue of interpersonal

communication we must realize that people view it differently. In this

paper I will develop my own idea or definition of what interpersonal

communication is. I will then proceed to identify any important

assumptions or issues that become important in the definition that I

choose. Finally, I will provide examples of communicative and non-

communicative events based on my definition.

Interpersonal communication, in my opinion, is the exchange

of information verbal or non-verbal between two, no more than 5 or

6, people for the purpose of getting a feedback and sharing

information. Interpersonal communication is not interpersonal if it

involves too many people. When the number of people exceeds a

certain amount it is no longer interpersonal communication,it then

becomes mass communication.

In my definition it is vital that feed-

back be given to the person that is doing the communicating. When

feedback is not present then the lines of communication break down

and then there is no communication at all. Even if the message is

perceived wrong interpersonal communication still exists as long as

the feedback is given. For example: when you talk to someone that

is hard of hearing and you ask them to do something and they hear

you say something other than what you said there is still

interpersonal communication, although it is miscommunication. If the

person, however, does not here the speaker at all and does not give

any feedback, then interpersonal communication has not been

established according to my definition.

Another important dimension to my definition is that the

information is exchanged in order to share...