I find there are a lot of questions here that ask about inTRApersonal issues and are thus off-topic. As someone who votes to close off-topic questions, I think having a specific close reason for this would be really convenient. Something like:

It seems that your question is about inTRApersonal skills and is, thus, off-topic.

Here is the two most recent example of questions closed for this reason (they are on the main newest question page right now):


Being angry at people for no good reason

Furthermore, a quick "CTRL+F" on "intra" in this page (>2k users only) shows that there are, at least, six questions that were closed for being "inTRApersonal" in the last month.

For the people who can't read this page (and for posterity), here are the custom close reasons we can find on the page:

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this seems like an intrapersonal question. If you have a question about a specific interaction with others, we can help you. However, as it stands, this looks like a question about self-improvement, which is off-topic here.

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is intrapersonal skills, which we do not deal with here.

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is about intra-personal skills, not interpersonal skills.

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it seems like an intrapersonal question, not an interpersonal one. It also sounds like a "What should I do?" question which is off-topic.

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about Intrapersonal matters.

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because as it's phrased it sounds like you're seeking an intrapersonal goal.

Can we add a stack specific off-topic close reason for "inTRApersonal" questions?

Sidenote: Here is useful link about the difference between inTRApersonal and inTERpersonal (thanks avazula)

  • Maybe it's worth reviewing the stats on intrapersonal questions asked on the site before considering anything. There's a lot of questions that get closed for custom reasons, and if the intrapersonal posts proportion is not that large, it might not be worth it to add another closing reason IMHO.
    – avazula
    Commented Sep 23, 2018 at 14:12
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    This is more of a nitpick, and I only comment because I don't have the rep to make an edit here yet, but the first bullet point has a typo at However, at it stands, where it should probably read However, as it stands, I only say something because I totally just stole that comment to VTC. :) Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 18:05
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    Thanks @LuxClaridge :)
    – Ael
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 18:07
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    @LuxClaridge in the future for little stuff like this, hop into chat and give one of us a ping ;)
    – scohe001
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 18:24
  • @scohe001 Noted. I forget that chat exists until I see a link moving a comment thread to chat. :) Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 18:25
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    @LuxClaridge that chat I linked is the site chat. It's where most of the regulars are hanging out. What you're thinking is a little different. But suggested edit or not, feel free to drop by some time!
    – scohe001
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 18:26

5 Answers 5


I agree with "intrapersonal" possibly being hard to understand, as per gparyani's answer, but feel that "personal issues" is ambiguous.

My proposed way of phrasing it:

Questions relating to one's own thoughts and feelings are off-topic for this site. If applicable, instead ask a specific question about interactions with others which might be affected by or causing these thoughts or feelings.

  • Today, this question was asked: interpersonal.stackexchange.com/questions/18717/… It seems clear to me that it was an inTRApersonal question but it had nothing to do with one thought or feelings. Do you have any suggestion that will take this question into account so that your phrasing work there as well?
    – Ael
    Commented Sep 23, 2018 at 15:02
  • @Noon "How do I start being social" is probably just too broad. For "coping", I'd probably still go with saying it's about "thoughts and feelings" (actually "emotions" might be marginally better).
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Sep 23, 2018 at 21:03
  • Today I used your phrasing to vtc a question but I made a small change: "questions relating to one's own thoughts and feelings are inTRApersonal issues which are off-topic for this site. If applicable, instead ask a specific question about interactions with others which might be affected by or causing these thoughts or feelings." I think that having the word "intrapersonal" is important so that one can look for the difference between inter and intra personal (know that I think of it, I should probably have added a link to a definition). Anyway, what do you think about this new phrasing?
    – Ael
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 8:37
  • FYI, the question is from here: interpersonal.stackexchange.com/q/18842/21067 we can see that the OP was confused by the interaction part of your phrasing "I am not sure what exactly is needed to edit. The behavior I mentioned includes "interactions with others" and I have also mentioned the effects." that's why I think adding this link to your phrasing: enotes.com/homework-help/… would be a good idea.
    – Ael
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 8:47

I like the current answers, but I think we should model the phrasing closer to the "What Should I Do?" close reason text:

Questions should ask for help achieving a specific goal. Your question is asking for personal advice on "what to do" without defining a goal; this is too subjective. Edit your question to explain what you hope to achieve and how you would like to interact with the others involved

As such, I'd say:

Questions should ask about issues involving interpersonal interactions. Your question appears to be focused on self-improvement or how you can change yourself; this is too subjective. Edit your question to explain a specific interaction with others that you need help with.

  • I will argue that improving your interpersonal skills is a self-improvement and a way to change yourself (I don't know if it's semantically true but that's how my French understand it). So, your definition of intrapersonal is still confusing (to me at least).
    – Ael
    Commented Sep 17, 2018 at 5:16
  • @Noon but the questions I've seen that focus on the "improving interpersonal skills" aspect are intrapersonal questions. I agree that improving interpersonal skills is an aspect of our site (and it's on the help page too!), but questions should be based on situations the person finds themselves in. Similar to how StackOverflow is setup to improve "programming skills," but questions solely based on improving programming skills are off-topic.
    – scohe001
    Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 1:26

There are several things to consider here. I think it's worth explaining what we mean when we talk about intrapersonal skills, for not everyone is familiar with that term. I relied on that site to further explain the term.

Another thing is to provide further explanation and reading if OP wants to know why we don't accept intrapersonal skills questions here (in addition to, you know, the stack's name). There are a handful of meta posts talking about it, linking one of them is important to me.

"I'm voting to close this as off-topic because this is about intrapersonal skills rather than interpersonal skills. We can't help you with things that go on exclusively within you. This site is about actions and issues between several people. please see [this](https://interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3234/most-helpful-response-to-intrapersonal-problem-the-person-has-with-themselves) to learn more about the stack's policy on intrapersonal issues."


I agree, but the word "intrapersonal" is kind of a high-level word for English learners, and as such I wouldn't use that word.

Here's my proposed way of phrasing it (rough draft):

Questions asking about personal issues are off-topic unless they focus on interactions with another party. Instead, describe the specific interaction with others which might be affected by those issues.

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    As a French person, I did not see the difficulty with the word "intrapersonal" (intra as the same meaning in French) but you do have a point. However, I find your suggest phrasing quite confusing (after all, as far as I understand English, intrapersonal question are personal issues). I add an answer with another phrasing so that people could vote for the one they like best.
    – Ael
    Commented Sep 16, 2018 at 5:50
  • @JessK. Modified my proposal.
    – gparyani
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 12:24

gparyani made a good point when they said that the difference between "intrapersonal" and "interpersonal" might not be obvious for all non-native speakers. However, since the phrasing confuses me (as a French person), I have decided to suggest another phrasing.

In order to be as clear as possible, I think the phrasing should contain those points:

  • Definition of an interpersonal issue
  • The term "interpersonal"
  • Definition of an intrapersonal issue
  • The term "intrapersonal"

From here, I propose this:

Questions here are about interactions with other (interpersonal issues). Your question seems to be only about you which is an intrapersonal issue. Please edit if you want to make it on-topic.

  • This is a good start to me. Although, I'd nuance the fact that intrapersonal skills also involve others for you're trying to improve something that's entirely on you but in order to improve your relations with others. Maybe it'd be interesting to rephrase the fiest sentence of your proposal?
    – avazula
    Commented Sep 23, 2018 at 14:17
  • @avazula I think I understand what you mean. However, I have no idea on how to change my phrasing to nuance it. But if you have an idea on how this could be formulated, you are welcome to try in another answer.
    – Ael
    Commented Sep 23, 2018 at 14:51

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