Intra-Personal Communication Barriers

Introduction to Intra-personal Communication Barriers

Intrapersonal barriers refer to the elements within the individual’s own self which pose a hurdle from within the individual’s communication both in sending and receiving messages.

Good thing is, these barriers are within the individual’s control. Thus, individuals may deal with them and overcom them on their own.

Intrapersonal barriers may be caused due to broader factors such as specific socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.

For instance, an individual who has been born and brought up in a closed culture will be less enthusiastic to express feelings—both happy and sad—than another individual who comes from an open culture.

Similarly, an individual who has received prejudiced treatment from other people—in the family, at the workplace or society at large—is likely to develop either selective perception or a judgmental attitude.

There are different intrapersonal barriers in an individual’s personality. They may be grouped under five broad categories:

  1. physiological barriersOpens in new window,
  2. psychological barriersOpens in new window,
  3. perceptual barriersOpens in new window,
  4. attitudinal barriersOpens in new window, and
  5. emotional barriersOpens in new window.

1.   Physiological barriers

Physiological barriers are caused by the individual’s own personal discomfort such as sensory dysfunctions. This may occur on the part of the receiver or the sender.

Physiological barriers often result from performance characteristics and limitations such as memory, concentration, mental sharpness and the functioning of the sensory organs like eyes, ears, nose, etc. Learn more hereOpens in new window.

2.   Psychological barriers

Psychological barriers are due to the emotional character and mental limitations of human beings.

These barriers result in absent-mindedness, the fear of expressing one’s ideas to others, excitement and emotional instability, accounting for an overwhelming number of communication problems. Some of the common types of psychological communication barriers are discussed hereOpens in new window.

3.   Perceptual barriers

Perceptual barriers are the mental blocks that result from the individual’s own perception. The problem in communicating with others occurs because we all perceive things differently.

Perceived barriers are based on each individual’s unique experience, cultural background, educational level, and value system.

Everything we interpret is subject to this experience, good or bad. If one has had negative experiences with a friend, everything the friend does or says will be filtered through this perception.

Different perceptions lead to different interpretations of a message Opens in new window.

4.   Attitudinal barriers

Attitudinal barriers are the barriers that result from the individual’s own attitude and assumptions that built up over the years based on one’s socio-economic and cultural background and often get reflected in one’s day-to-day communication with others.

Attitudinal barriers may consist in poor management, lack of consultation with employees, personality conflicts, lack of motivation, dissatisfaction at work, insufficient training, resistance to the ideas, and so forth. Attitudinal barriers are discussed further hereOpens in new window.

5.   Emotional barriers

Emotional barriers are due to mental limitations created by one’s own self. Emotional barriersOpens in new window may be present in either the sender or the receiver. An emotional state of mind plays an important role in the communication process.

People base their encoding or transmitting of information on their personal experiences and expectations.

For example, a subordinate who expects to be rejected or belittled for making a suggestion or comment will not send one’s message.