love and relationships

Why IKEA is Giving Stress to Relationships?

  • 4.7 (6 Votes)
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IKEA is a Sweden based giant MNC, which deals in furniture, home accessories and electronic appliances. According to a psychologist, a visit to IKEA can become nightmarish for many couples as the simple task of assembling or putting the furniture together can make their relationship hit rocky roads. The reason is the connection between emotional triggers and the steps of IKEA process.

Shopping at IKEA can easily turn into an argument between you and your second half. There are several reasons why. IKEA has been termed as a ‘relationship death trap’. It is not an errand but an experience. At least that is how it labels itself. If you have shopped or assembled a piece of IKEA furniture with your significant other, then you must have argued about assembling. Once a comedian Amy Poehler joked about IKEA being a Swedish term for an ‘argument’ due to a soaring number of arguments cropping up from the shopping of the products from Sweden. You must be thinking why exactly assembling flat packed furniture is so quarrelsome for couples? Or why conversations about furniture like bed, sofas can lead to arguments?

Several studies have been conducted to understand the behavior of couples. This article will showcase some of the behavioral patterns of couples while shopping together at this store and will discuss the emotional triggers associated with it to give you a better understanding so as to identify and avoid them.

Too many Choices: Striking the balance

Let us start with the basic and simple thing- too many choices. Consider it with an example- you are looking for a classic Billy bookcase. You are passionately scrolling the store for the Billy but it turns out that your husband has stuck to Hemnes? It ripens the conflict and gets hard for you two to shop as you both look for the items based on your individual choices.

The couple starts arguing over the features of the brands available in the store and turns them into deeper relationship troubles. This can happen as you start bringing up the past experiences or just throw some cutting remarks on each other’s choices.

Disagreements tend to induce negative mood state, which in turn results in remembering more negative past experiences with the partner. But what if you convince your partner for Billy, yes it is a win-win situation if you are still on the talking terms. But the fun does not end when you leave the store.

Well, some people choose to have their stressful moments beneath the disorienting maze i.e. IKEA store while others prefer to keep their blow-up save till the time they get an item to their place and assemble their flat pack stuff. The idea is to balance the desires and needs with your partner.

Common issues: Creating a better understanding

The process of going through the well-arranged, neat and clean showroom can lead you to different unsettling topics in your personal lives where you may start discussing about unhappy you are about your sex while roaming in the bedding section. Your wife, while going through the modular kitchen, may bring up discussions about the chores or children’s section can initiate an endless debate that only you would know about. It is good to enjoy the moment and focus more on making a selection based on your requirements rather than getting diverted to a completely different realm.

Power struggle: No harm in stepping down

It can be a difficult task for even those who follow a proper division of labor at home during day-to-day tasks. He may be the one taking care of the garden and bills and she is the one involved with cooking and shopping. All this can change with the new task of assembling an IKEA dresser. Both of you may want to take the lead in the challenging igniting a power struggle which definitely paves a path for conflict.  There is absolutely in no harm in letting your better half take the lead while taking up the role of assisting them in making it more cordial and easy.

Tendency to blame one another: Avoid it

There is something called as fundamental attribution error which means that we, as human beings, have a habit to attribute our mistakes on external while others mistakes on internal factors. For example, if I have not been able to install a water heater properly it has to do with the improper instructions in the manual but if it is someone else then quite possibly that they do not read the instructions properly. So it is healthy to acknowledge your own mistakes rather than driving it towards your spouse right away.

On a good day, maybe you are pretty good at avoiding blame and taking an enlightened view. But we have already established: this is not a good day. This is an Ikea day. The showroom made you feel inadequate, you are subconsciously battling your partner for power, and you are embarrassed that it has taken the better part of a Saturday for two educated adults to build a chest of drawers.

Conflict in Store: What store can do

IKEA is a web of modern kitchens, bedrooms and kids rooms. Customers get engaged once they enter the store and spend their time in sitting in the faux lounge room and imagine how life will look like with the comfort of these luxuries. That is where the trouble begins. According to University College London professor, couples or shoppers don’t understand and realize how the store’s set up can affect them. It gives them a feel at home thus, making them feel they do not have to be on their best behavior.

Clinical Psychologist summed up the store as a map of a relationship nightmare. Once the woman starts walking through the kitchens, they get into the touchy subjects such as who is into cooking or who does it more. And while going through the children’s section, they have their own set of issues about children. The best way to alleviate this tension is by creating an incentive for the couples who behaved well by introducing pun session.

Matter of self-image and esteem: Take it easy on yourself

Although IKEA tells its customers about the ease with which the assembling process can be carried out and that you too might have an impression that it would not take much of your efforts, it may turn into an ordeal for you later on. It is obvious when it does not meet expectations your ego is prone to get hurt. Learn to recognize it at the moment and relax. Being easy on yourself will save you from turning on to your partner.

IKEA Relationship Station: An attempt by the company

Realizing the effects that IKEA has on its customers, the furniture maker itself took an initiative where they build IKEA Relationship Station. Here there are relationship exercises that allow the partners to do activities like yelling at a horse instead of each other or enjoy looking at a dog to create a light and joyful environment. It gives them a chance to write down their problems, wearing a milk carton or simply blowing bubbles in the air. All these activities aim at making it a light and stress-free experience for IKEA visitors.

Knowing how it can affect you, your partner and the relationship you share, all the aspects surrounding an IKEA visit should be kept in mind. Saving yourself from the hidden outcomes is not as difficult as you may think.

Dr. Bhavna Banga

About The Author

Infertility Specialist, Gynecologist Dr. Bhavna Banga
Noida

Dr. Bhavna Banga is one of the top gynecologists and obstetricians at Max Multi Specialty Centre, Panchsheel Park, Delhi. She has a significant experience in treating patients with different infertility and gynecological health issues which prevent the occurrence of successful pregnancies. Dr. Bhavna completed MBBS from Pune and MD in Obstetrics and Gynecology from Mumbai. She is a crucial member of the department of gynecology at Max Multi Speciality Centre, Delhi. Dr. Bhavna specializes in the gynecological and fertility treatments including Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Normal Vaginal Delivery (NVD), Gynecological Problems, Infertility Treatments, Donor Egg Process as well as Surrogacy Procedures. You can find more details regarding Dr. Bhavna Banga and her expertise at elawoman.com

6 Comments

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Sunil Kapoor

I tried IKEA relationship station, I and my wife really felt the difference.

Oct. 12, 2018, 11:41 a.m. 4.5

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Kabir Gandhi

What should I do to fight the possibilities of ikea? Please suggest.

Oct. 1, 2018, 2:01 p.m. 4.5

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Sukanya Rao

I strongly agree with the blaming point. It's true that we blame each other at every point of mishappening.

Sept. 27, 2018, 4:56 p.m. 5.0

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Ankita Lokhande

I tried doing this and believe me we failed even after having 10 years of marriage.

Sept. 20, 2018, 2:11 p.m. 4.5

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Kabir Rathore

I am curious to experience this after this article. Let's see how strong is our relationship.

Sept. 12, 2018, 6:33 p.m. 5.0

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Tanmay Nayna

Sept. 7, 2018, 4:27 p.m. 4.5

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