8 Hour Conversation Event Coming Up

White Plains resident, George Ortega, will host an eight hour talk marathon in NYC on September 16th. Ortega, who formerly produced a cable show called "The Happiness Show," now runs a weekly Westchester Meetup for the shy, the lonely and those wishing to improve their social skills. 



8-Hour Marathon Conversation About Conversation; see description (Host: George)

  • Saturday, September 16, 2017

    1:00 PM to 9:00 PM

    Whole Foods Market

    226 E. 57th (btwn 2nd. and 3rd.), New York, NY (map)

  • We'll be upstairs. Look for the red meetup sign.
  • It seems that the more time we spend with others, the more difficult it is for them and us to enjoy that time. We'll be exploring why this is so, and seeking answers to what is a common social challenge in this experimental 8-hour marathon event. Because of the unusual format, it's completely okay to join us late or leave early. But we hope there will be some brave, curious members among us who will try to stick it out for the duration so as to better understand what happens to a group conversation as the hours progress, and what lessons can be learned from our trying our best to keep the discussion lively, informative and fun. 

    For most of us, our relationships with our romantic partners, family members, friends, acquaintances and co-workers in large part determine how rich and happy our life will be. This conversation is about enhancing those relationships. Our discussion is really about our becoming happier. Why? Because decade after decade, as researchers have asked tens of thousands of us what our main source of happiness is, our number one answer has always been "other people."

    This event is based on an experiment conducted in 1980 by New Zealand psychologists, Shelley Lichter, Karen Haye and Richard Kammann. These three pioneering researchers brought people together twice each week for two-hour conversations about happiness, and after four weeks, the group became 22 percent happier. Extending the sessions, they discovered that after sixteen weeks, the group became about 42 percent happier. By this same means, we'll work together to enhance our relationships.

    Although we'll talk about whatever concerns, questions and plans we have, here are some of the topics we'll also explore:

    How to get closer to the people in our life 
    How to pleasantly and considerately disagree 
    How to start new relationships 
    How to keep relationships positive 
    How forgiveness keeps us close to others 
    How to decide whether to repair or leave a relationship 
    How to overcome sibling rivalry 
    How to be assertive rather than aggressive when dealing with others 
    Why compromise is important to relationships

    As we talk in a casual, positive and optimistic way about how we relate to others, we can expect to get better at bringing new people into our lives, and also get better at enjoying our friends and lovers, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, aunts and uncles, and everyone else in our lives.

    That's the event, and those are our goals. It's, of course, very important that we have fun. With that in mind, let's get ready to better enjoy the people with whom we share our lives.

    The phrase "people who need people" is borrowed from the song, People. It was sung by Barbra Streisand in the 1964 movie Funny Girl. Here's a video of that scene.


    And..if you're interested in heading out of the City for an evening, the meetup group People Who Need People - Exploring Relationships meets every Tuesday at 7pm in White Plains at the Barnes & Noble in the City Center (a short walk up Main Street from the Metro North train station). 

    Check it out here:



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