Braving the labyrinthian Ikea showroom can feel fun and exciting at first.
Until you remember there are people literally everywhere and too many decisions to make. Then once you load your selections into the car and get home, you've got to actually, you know, figure out how to build the stuff.
Licensed psychologist and couples therapist Ramani Durvasula of Santa Monica, California, says furniture building can be a great way of assessing her clients' communication skills. So she has them videotape themselves assembling furniture.
"It's illuminating because I think, like so many things in life, we don’t realize how much those things show us about ourselves," Durvasula told BuzzFeed News.
People-watching one day in the showroom, Durvasula realized what a conflict-ridden experience Ikea shopping can be.
Durvasula, a divorced 49-year-old, thinks "the Ikea test" can also help strengthen non-romantic relationships. She sometimes thinks about which of her friends she'd be able to pull off a trip to the store with.