What Is Interpersonal in Social Psychology?


Diego Sanchez

Interpersonal relationships are a crucial aspect of our lives, influencing our emotions and behavior in various ways. In social psychology, interpersonal refers to the interactions between individuals and the impact they have on each other. These relationships can be romantic, platonic, professional, or even brief encounters with strangers.

Defining Interpersonal Relationships
Interpersonal relationships can be defined as a social connection or bond that exists between two or more people. The interpersonal connections we make with others play a vital role in shaping our perception of the world around us. They can influence our attitudes, beliefs, and values while providing us with emotional support and social validation.

Types of Interpersonal Relationships
There are several types of interpersonal relationships that we encounter throughout our lives:

  • Romantic Relationships: These are intimate connections between two individuals that involve physical and emotional intimacy.
  • Family Relationships: These are bonds formed through shared genetics or upbringing.
  • Friendships: These are non-romantic bonds formed through shared interests or experiences.
  • Professional Relationships: These are connections made through work-related activities.

The Importance of Interpersonal Skills
Interpersonal skills refer to the ability to communicate effectively with others while building meaningful relationships. Developing strong interpersonal skills is crucial for success in both personal and professional settings.

Factors That Influence Interpersonal Relationships

There are several factors that can influence the development and maintenance of interpersonal relationships:


Effective communication is essential to building healthy relationships. It involves active listening, expressing oneself clearly, and understanding nonverbal cues.


Trust is the foundation of any relationship. It involves relying on someone’s character and integrity while feeling secure in their presence.

Social Support:

Social support refers to the emotional and practical assistance provided by others during times of need. It is a critical factor in maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships.


People tend to form stronger connections with others who share similar interests, values, and beliefs.

The Impact of Interpersonal Relationships

Interpersonal relationships have a significant impact on our lives, influencing our physical and psychological well-being. They can affect our emotions, behaviors, and attitudes towards ourselves and others.

Positive Impact:
Healthy interpersonal relationships can provide us with a sense of belonging, purpose, and happiness. They can also offer emotional support during challenging times while promoting personal growth and development.

Negative Impact:
Unhealthy interpersonal relationships can lead to feelings of isolation, anxiety, depression, and stress. They can also contribute to abusive or toxic behaviors that harm both parties involved.


In conclusion, interpersonal relationships are an essential aspect of our lives that influences our emotions, behavior, and well-being. Developing strong interpersonal skills while fostering healthy connections with others is crucial for success in both personal and professional settings.