Interpersonal Interaction: Skills & Definition

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  • 0:00 What Are Interpersonal…
  • 0:39 Verbal Interactions
  • 1:27 Verbal Skills
  • 4:44 Non-Verbal Interactions
  • 5:19 Non-Verbal Skills
  • 9:04 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jessica McCallister
Everything you do with and around others is considered interpersonal interaction. This lesson discusses situations of interpersonal interactions and the skills involved during those interactions.

What Are Interpersonal Interactions?

When you are around other people, you are interacting. Imagine that anything you do with others is interacting. Regardless of whether you are talking to them, working together on a project, sitting in a meeting room, or having a conversation, you are practicing interpersonal interactions. Interpersonal interactions also include things like relating to one another and exchanging feelings, and they can be both verbal and nonverbal. So, let's break down the concept better by looking at both verbal and nonverbal interpersonal interactions and the skills involved in those interactions.

Verbal Interactions

When you speak to someone else, you are expressing verbal interpersonal interactions. You can speak in soft tones, loud tones, and tones that include emotion such as anger or excitement. Therefore, verbal interpersonal interactions involve tone and volume.

Also involved in verbal interpersonal interactions is word choice. When you speak to someone like a doctor, for example, you will explain things that involve words such as why you are feeling ill and how long the symptoms have been occurring, and you will most likely ask questions related to your illness. If you were feeling sick and feverish, you might explain that you have been tired and achy and ask questions about how you can feel better. Your word choice includes the words that you choose to express yourself.

There are skills that are involved in verbally interacting with others. Why? Verbally interacting with others doesn't just mean talking. It means that you are carefully choosing your words, your tone, and your volume. It takes practice to interact with others, and sometimes there are conflicts that can arise out of verbal interpersonal interactions. Let's take a look at some situations that involve verbal interactions and the skills that are involved in each of those situations.

Verbal Skills

Response to conflict: When you are experiencing a conflict, the resolution to the conflict will be heavily dependent on what you say to the other person. For example, maybe you and your spouse do not agree on what to eat for dinner. You might become angry and start yelling, explaining that you are tired of eating the same thing over and over while your spouse wants the same dinner as last night. What you say in terms of word choice, volume, and tone will affect the outcome of the conflict.

The verbal interpersonal skills that you might use when experiencing a conflict could include letting each other explain your points of view, reducing the volume and removing the emotional words such as 'I'm so frustrated when...' or 'You get your way all the time!' and replacing them with words such as 'Let's see what we can come up with to make our dinners more balanced' or 'I think we should both be able to choose a few dinners a week.' Using positive words and phrases through verbal communication can change the overall outcome of the situation.

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