On the basis of Salber's book "Der Alltag ist nicht grau", published in 1989, and many other of his investigations, we present everyday forms of life on this website at loose intervals. This article is about the "Gemütliche Runde". Somewhat more contemporary one can call it the "Quattro-Round".

A popular form of everyday life is the cozy or even nonsense round. The duties are fulfilled, one has time. Within this framework - even during breaks at work during the day - people sit together and start a conversation. One thing leads to another and the dynamics of the cosy round takes its course.

A human organism

This everyday form can be used to illustrate mental configurations that transcend the individual. Like an organism, it shows itself occupied with coping with constantly arising restlessness. Movements go right through her. At times a unifying direction emerges, only to then break up into individual vertebrae. Sometimes a silence seems to be established, which then turns into a bursting laughter. All are more or less shaken by it. Once a violent movement has taken hold of the whole group, an aftershock is needed until a balance is found again. Forms of this kind build up and decay. They suggest that we may value the construct of the individual more highly than it really is visible in everyday life. People dissolve into "group organisms" and seem to have something of it.

What does it look like from the inside, sitting in the middle of the cosy round? Even in this position it becomes clear that spiritual things do not nest in the bodies or heads of individual people. The joke of one person sweeps the others away. One's own laughter is reinforced by their laughter. The little story that someone tells is reflected in the expectant looks of the others and takes shape in them. The topics dealt with express the emotions of different people, make them clearer, sometimes to the point of pain. Certainly there are always moments of dissociation in the group, when this offensive remark goes too far and the laughter seems too loud. But the focus on what we have in common contributes to their weakening.

The promise of a cosy round

The cosy round is something different than the small talk that is done at a party. There, the formalities are much more formal. Therefore, such meetings are also exhausting for many people. In the game-like constitution of the small talk round more restlessness can be accommodated than in stiff reception and party conversations. Without sanctions it is possible to make jokes about absentees. Tips towards members of the group can be landed in the garb of cheerfulness and openness. The topics around which the exchange revolves touch on things that are otherwise rarely discussed. This extended expression in the context of playful attacks, but also fraternisation, is one of the attractions of the cosy round.

It is imprecise to assume that in the round the desire of the people for common ground is at its expense. These are banal themes - even tabooed ones - of human life, the desire to caricature and to cross borders, which is called for, even desired here. People like to form "herds". But in the cosy round they produce meanings that go far beyond the given situation. The whole human universe is moved within them. In the cosy round something like an expanded or unleashed soul is established. It is liberating to let oneself be carried away by aggressive sensory developments. It is pleasant to see one's own secrets mirrored. The otherwise valid boundaries are drawn differently. Here one embraces what one would otherwise set oneself apart from. And here one is setting oneself apart from rules that one should otherwise 'embrace'. This is the "psycho-hygiene" of going beyond the usual limits of cultivation forms. Therefore, it is understandable that people lacked this everyday form in the Corona lockdown.

Modifications of the cosy round

Wilhelm Salber has often written about the myth of the common meal. It is indispensable for culture that people come together at one table, swap swords for cutlery, so to speak, and set about cutting up and appropriating the fabrics of this world together. This is an important process for the peaceful coexistence of people.

The cosy get-together has a similar meaning, but on the whole it is even more mobile and free than the common meal. There are fewer rules to be observed here, the succession results from the moment. Because it is not - as with a meal - fixed as a sequence of events. That is why the cosy round also exerts a great attraction. People love their cosy rounds. They love to dissolve into it and then to stand out again as something special through the looks that react to them. There is no other everyday form in which this dissolving and lifting off experiences a similar intensification. TV sitcoms offer media entertainment that comes close to the conditions of the cosy round. But it is one thing to be presented with streams of meaning, and it is something else to be actively involved in the production of meaning. Because then you not only feel the risk of injury, but you can also enjoy the triumph of success more.

From the cosy round a row formation goes out. The next position would be the merry circlewhere the exchange is fired by the liquefaction of the alcohol. Here the common expressions can have something explosive. The jokes burst out of the whole and bring the group organism into a fierce frenzy. The inhibition thresholds, which are already low in the cosy round, are even more permeable. Therefore the humid and cheerful round can also take devaluating and aggressive traits. The more the group merges into a unit, the more noticeable the outward demarcations become. This form of recreation experiences a further increase in the Celebrate. Here music and rhythm are added to replace linguistically formulated movements of meaning and further enhance the experience of fusion.

Click and read on this page about other everyday forms:

Sexuality in everyday life
Wake up in the morning
Looking out the window