I'm currently organising a board game night. This is an iteration of a weekly board game night amongst a rather loose group of friends, but this one is something of a bigger deal: it's happening at a friend's place on the weekend, instead of at uni on a weeknight. There might be drinking, and partying, and other things we don't normally do.

The friend who is hosting the event doesn't make it to the board games much any more, but can do weekends, so he offered to host it instead since nobody else really had the space to do so. However, people perceive it to be my event, for a few reasons: I'm the one with the board game collection, I've been agitating to do this for a while, and it's something of a farewell for me, since I'll be leaving the uni in a month.

This friend who's hosting, without asking/consulting with me, invited another person to play games. This person is an old friend of his, and something of a new friend of mine. I have no issues with this person coming to games; on the contrary, he's a pleasant guy and I think he'll be a good addition to the group.

But, this guy sent a message via a group chat, expressing gratitude for my thinking to ask him. I want him to feel welcome, but I don't want to be dishonest about the reason for him being invited. I don't really want to take undue credit, especially when this group chat contains our mutual friend who really invited him. All the options I could think of just sounded like I was trying to make him feel unwelcome.

Is there anything I could say that makes it absolutely clear that he is very welcome to come, but that I was not the person to invite him?

4 Answers 4


I think something simple like:

"It was actually your friend's idea to invite you and you're a very welcome addition to the group."

should suffice. Note that it doesn't mention whether or not this idea was ran by you first. You could then add something like:

"I don't know why I didn't invite you myself."

at the end to further drive in the point that he's welcome.


The short answer, in my opinion, is yes, but you shouldn't.

I'm very frequently 'that guy' in large part because I am very introverted. I don't have any of the normal anxiety problems a lot of introverts do, but I prefer small gatherings to larger ones. I get invited to lots of 2-3 person get togethers, but rarely to larger ones. I shouldn't care, because I decline 99% of those invitations anyway, but the truth of the matter is that I do. Being invited by my friends and having the option to decline is a big deal to me.

So, this person is invited, and will likely become a regular member of this group of friends. It's obvious the invite meant a lot to them, and while you didn't do it, it doesn't sound like it was unwarranted. You're leaving in a month as well, so you're unlikely to have much further contact with them anyway.

I get that you want to be honest, but that comes across to me as simply being pedantic. The only person you should concern yourself with is the person who did invite them.

Think of it in terms of a wedding. Let's say you've known the bride for 10 years, and the groom for only the last 6 months or so. Let's say you walk up to the groom and say something generic like:

Thank you for inviting me, I'm so happy to be able to be a part of your special day.

Even the nicest, most polite response along what you're asking for would sound like:

Well, you've been my wife's friends for ages so she invited you, but obviously I wanted you to be here too!

When really the more appropriate, and analogous response would be:

We're glad you could come, it just wouldn't have been the same without you.

You see, your friend is hosting, you're inviting people, so it isn't your event, and it isn't just their event either. It's both of you, and this person is invited. There's unlikely any reason to simply say more than "You're welcome" and leave it at that.


He should not be the first person you talk to about this.

You mention that your mutual friend invited him. You have also now learned that your mutual friend maybe misrepresented the invitation as coming from you.

You should clear that uncertainty up first and thus ask your mutual friend something along the lines of:

Hey, Y seems to think I invited him personally. I think he's a great guy, but it was you that invited him, wasn't it?

Maybe there's a reason your mutual friend acted like he did. You don't know. You feel like you need to fix a situation, when maybe no-one actually wants you to do so. Acting without being sure could create trouble.


I believe there are 2 possible solutions to your "problem".

The first is what Kyle proposes in their answer. The issue as you sensed yourself in your question is that it'll always feel somewhat confrontational to tell this friend "I didn't invite you" no matter how you word it.

For this I propose a different solution. That is to look at your "problem" in a different way. Let's try to interpret the "thank you OP for inviting me" in such a way that it doesn't matter who actually invited him.

The easiest way to achieve this is by looking at the host-friend as your wingman. He's trying to set the group up in such a way that this new friend he invited feels really welcome right from the start. The best way for him is by letting it look as if you had invited this friend. The proper response to the new group-member would be: "Hey, we're glad to have you in our group from now on" without caring about who actually did the inviting. The only important things here are: you and host-friend want to have new-friend join the group. And this has been achieved.

If you think "wingman" is a bit too strong I suggest looking at it from your host-friends perspective. He might have had the following reasoning:

I want new-friend to join.
Everyone considers this game-night as your event.
I should ask you if new-friend can join. You are also friends with him so I'm assuming you'll say yes anyway.
Might as well take a shortcut here and invite new-friend without having to go through the haslte of messaging back and forth with you first.

Sure it would have been better for host-friend to actually ask you first, but does it really matter seeing how you would've said yes anyway?

Both of these interpretations boil down to the same thing: Your new-friend is invited in the most welcoming way possible. The most logical response to new-friend in my eyes is to do just that. Welcome him into the new group and forget about who did the actual inviting.

Hey, we're happy to have you join us!

If you do feel like your friend deserves credit, don't do this by telling it to new-friend. Instead, talk to your host-friend one-on-one and thank him for inviting new-friend in your name. That way he gets the emotional reward of your appreciation which more than makes up for any "credit" he would've gotten for being acknowledged as the one who invited new-friend.

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