intrapersonal

[ in-truh-pur-suh-nl ]
/ ˌɪn trəˈpɜr sə nl /

adjective

existing or occurring within the self or within one's mind: People with high intrapersonal intelligence are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Intrapersonal conflict can lead to emotional stress.

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Origin of intrapersonal

First recorded in 1905–10; intra- + personal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does intrapersonal mean?

Intrapersonal means “within a person,” that is, taking place within one person’s self or mind.

It’s not to be confused with interpersonal, which refers to something occurring “between people.”

Example: Your intrapersonal awareness is very strong, but there’s such a thing as too much self-examination.

Where does intrapersonal come from?

Intrapersonal is attested by the early 1900s. It’s composed of the prefix intra-, from the Latin preposition meaning “within, inside,” and personal, the adjective form of person, ultimately from Latin persōnālis. Early on it was written intra-personal, but the hyphen is usually dropped today.

Intrapersonal is an important term in psychology to describe factors impacting people that come from within themselves, such as attitudes, self-esteem, self-regulation, and decision-making. It is commonly used in the phrase intrapersonal communication. This includes one’s inner monologue—that voice in your own head, that debate between the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other.

Don’t mistake intrapersonal (“within-self”) communication with interpersonal, which refers to relationships or communication inter- (“between”) people.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms of intrapersonal?

  • intrapersonally (adverb)

What are some synonyms for intrapersonal?

What are some words that share a root or word element with intrapersonal?

What are some words that often get used in discussing intrapersonal?

What are some words intrapersonal may be commonly confused with?

How is intrapersonal used in real life?

Intrapersonal is most commonly used in psychology, communication studies, and education. It occasionally crops up in your everyday life in work contexts, such as during trainings and meetings, or in personal contexts when people are discussing relationships and self-reflection.

On “intrapersonal skills”:

A joke about intrapersonal and interpersonal:

Intrapersonal in psychology:

Try using intrapersonal!

Identify whether or not intrapersonal is being used correctly in these two sentences:

  1. She has great intrapersonal skills—you can tell by how well she gets along with everyone.
  2. Intrapersonal communication is important for strong mental health; you have to understand yourself to address your inner problems.