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Personal vs. Interpersonal: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Personal relates to an individual's private life, feelings, or actions; Interpersonal refers to interactions and relationships between people.
Personal vs. Interpersonal

Key Differences

Personal pertains to individual experiences, thoughts, and emotions, focusing on the self. Interpersonal, in contrast, involves communication and relationships between individuals, emphasizing connections and interactions.
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Personal development concentrates on self-improvement and individual goals. Interpersonal dynamics, however, are concerned with developing effective communication and relationship skills among individuals.
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Personal interests or activities are those pursued by an individual, often in solitude. Interpersonal skills refer to the ability to interact positively and effectively with others.
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Personal space refers to the physical and emotional boundaries of an individual. Interpersonal conflict arises from disagreements or miscommunications between people.
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Personal values are the beliefs and principles that an individual holds. Interpersonal relationships depend on mutual understanding, respect, and effective communication among people.
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Comparison Chart

Focus

Individual experiences and emotions
Interactions and relationships among people
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Development

Self-improvement and individual goals
Effective communication and relationships
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Activities/Interests

Pursued by individuals, often privately
Involving interaction with others
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Space/Conflict

Individual boundaries and issues
Arises from relationships among people
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Values/Relationships

Individual beliefs and principles
Depend on mutual understanding and respect
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Personal and Interpersonal Definitions

Personal

Personal refers to something belonging or relating to an individual.
She kept her personal diary hidden from everyone.
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Interpersonal

Interpersonal relates to interactions and communication between people.
Her interpersonal skills were crucial in resolving the team conflict.
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Personal

Personal can mean relating to one's private life, emotions, and interests.
He rarely shared personal information with his colleagues.
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Interpersonal

Interpersonal involves the way people relate to and understand each other.
Effective interpersonal communication is key in a successful partnership.
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Personal

Personal also refers to a customized or individual experience.
She appreciated the personal attention she received at the boutique.
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Interpersonal

Interpersonal skills refer to abilities in handling social interactions effectively.
His excellent interpersonal skills made him a great negotiator.
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Personal

Of or relating to a particular person; private
“Like their personal lives, women's history is fragmented, interrupted” (Elizabeth Janeway).
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Interpersonal

Interpersonal can describe relationships or dynamics among groups of people.
The workshop focused on improving interpersonal relationships in the workplace.
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Personal

Done, made, or performed in person
A personal appearance.
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Interpersonal

Interpersonal encompasses the emotional and social aspects of human interaction.
Understanding interpersonal dynamics is essential for counselors and therapists.
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Personal

Done to or for or directed toward a particular person
A personal favor.
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Interpersonal

Of or relating to the interactions between individuals
Interpersonal skills.
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Personal

Concerning a particular person and that person's private business, interests, or activities; intimate
I have something personal to tell you.
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Interpersonal

Existing or occurring between individuals
Interpersonal communication or conflict.
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Personal

Aimed pointedly at the most intimate aspects of a person, especially in a critical or hostile manner
An uncalled-for, highly personal remark.
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Interpersonal

Between two or more people.
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Personal

Tending to make remarks, or be unduly questioning, about another's affairs
As the student debate got heated, it got personal.
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Interpersonal

Occurring among or involving several people;
Interpersonal situations in which speech occurs
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Personal

Of or relating to the body or physical being
Personal cleanliness.
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Personal

Relating to or having the nature of a person or self-conscious being
Belief in a personal God.
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Personal

(Law) Of or relating to the person
Personal property as opposed to real property.
Personal jurisdiction as opposed to in rem jurisdiction.
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Oct 19, 2023

Personal

(Grammar) Indicating grammatical person.
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Personal

A personal item or notice in a newspaper.
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Personal

Personals A column in a newspaper or magazine featuring personal notices.
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Personal

Pertaining to persons (human beings as opposed to things or animals).
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Personal

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.
Personal values
Personal desire
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Personal

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!
Personal reasons
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Personal

(euphemistic) Intended for sexual use.
Personal lubricant; personal massager
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Personal

Pertaining to the external or bodily appearance; corporeal; bodily.
Personal charms
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Personal

Done in person; without an intermediary.
A personal interview
A personal meeting
Personal settings
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Personal

Relating to an individual, their character, conduct, motives, or private affairs, in an invidious and offensive manner
Personal reflections or remarks
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Personal

(grammar) Denoting a person or people.
A personal pronoun
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Personal

Denoting ownership.
One's personal vehicle, as opposed to a company vehicle
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Personal

An advertisement by which an individual attempts to meet others with similar interests.
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Personal

One's own property or asset
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Personal

Pertaining to human beings as distinct from things.
Every man so termed by way of personal difference.
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Personal

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.
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Personal

Pertaining to the external or bodily appearance; corporeal; as, personal charms.
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Personal

Done in person; without the intervention of another.
The immediate and personal speaking of God.
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Personal

Relating to an individual, his character, conduct, motives, or private affairs, in an invidious and offensive manner; as, personal reflections or remarks.
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Personal

Denoting person; as, a personal pronoun.
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Personal

A movable; a chattel.
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Personal

A short newspaper article about a particular person or group
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Personal

Concerning or affecting a particular person or his or her private life and personality;
A personal favor
For your personal use
Personal papers
I have something personal to tell you
A personal God
He has his personal bank account and she has hers
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Personal

Particular to a given individual
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Personal

Of or arising from personality;
Personal magnetism
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Personal

Intimately concerning a person's body or physical being;
Personal hygiene
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Personal

Indicating grammatical person;
Personal verb endings
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Personal

Personal is used to describe something done or experienced by an individual.
Her personal achievement in the marathon was a source of pride.
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Personal

Personal can denote an individual's distinct choice or preference.
His personal style was unique and easily recognizable.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What does 'personal' mean?

Relating to an individual's private life, experiences, or choices.
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Is personal growth different from interpersonal development?

Yes, personal growth focuses on the individual, while interpersonal development focuses on social skills.
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What are interpersonal skills?

Abilities to effectively communicate and interact with others.
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Can personal interests affect interpersonal relationships?

Yes, personal interests can influence how individuals interact with others.
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Can interpersonal conflict be personal?

It can have personal elements, but it primarily involves interactions between people.
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How important are interpersonal skills in the workplace?

Extremely important for teamwork, collaboration, and communication.
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What is a personal dilemma?

A challenge or decision that an individual faces in their private life.
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How do personal biases affect interpersonal interactions?

Biases can lead to misunderstandings or conflicts in interpersonal relations.
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Do personal values impact interpersonal dynamics?

Yes, individual values can greatly influence how people relate to each other.
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Can improving personal wellbeing affect interpersonal skills?

Yes, personal wellbeing can positively influence one's social interactions.
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How can one improve interpersonal communication?

By developing empathy, listening skills, and effective speaking.
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Is personal privacy important in interpersonal dynamics?

Yes, respecting personal boundaries is key to healthy interpersonal relations.
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Dec 04, 2023

Can interpersonal skills be taught?

Yes, they can be improved through practice and education.
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What is a personal habit?

A regular practice or tendency of an individual.
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What's a personal goal?

An objective or aim that an individual sets for themselves.
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Can good interpersonal skills benefit personal life?

Yes, they can improve all types of relationships, including personal ones.
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How do personal attitudes influence interpersonal relationships?

Attitudes can set the tone for how individuals interact with others.
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Are interpersonal relationships only romantic?

No, they encompass all types of human interactions, not just romantic.
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What's the difference between personal and interpersonal issues?

Personal issues are internal to the individual; interpersonal issues arise between people.
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Why are interpersonal conflicts common in teams?

Due to varying personalities and communication styles among team members.
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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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