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I'm having a celebration soon. I invited some guests from different friends groups. Some are asking, "Who's coming?"

I actually find this question a bit annoying because it's like their attendance depends on it. Several people who had invited couldn't make it at the time and have already visited with me on other occasions (which I'm happy with). Also I didn't ask people to RVSP but I'm not really sure.

Lastly, my friend asked me the question over a group chat on Facebook (the other people in it were also invited) and I don't want to give lots of details there because I don't trust Facebook's platform very much.

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    What are the rules regarding COVID over there, could people asking exactly because their attendance depends on whether or not there's a solid risk of them getting seriously ill/dying after the party? – Tinkeringbell Sep 21 at 9:47
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"Who's coming?" might mean

  • you're not inviting Bob are you? I'm not coming if Bob is coming
  • is this two people joining you for dinner or 50 people all through your house and yard?
  • am I going to know anyone else there?
  • is this a chance to meet new people?
  • I suppose I should sound like I'm interested in this thing and you've already told me when and where it is, so there must be something else I can ask

I recommend you imagine the happier meanings for this question and answer those. For example:

  • I'm inviting a TON of people from all different aspects of my life. It's going to be great to introduce you to each other for this celebration. Of course, there will be people you know, like [someone you know they don't have a beef with]. [A category of people they don't know, like "my cousins" or "my coworkers"] will be there too. [You can also list attractions other than attendees, such as activities or food that you have planned.]

This is a warm and positive answer to the question that isn't defensive, doesn't encourage "I'm not coming if Bob is going to be there", and reassures the nervous attendee that they are going to be ok.

If in fact the person needs to know whether you've invited a specific person, they can always ask that. But don't assume that's the reason they're asking.

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    Great answer! Exactly what I thought, what for should this be a top secret? Now I just wonder how, in contrast to my attempts to respond to questions in this forum, this post managed to get not deleted as it does not contain the very important phrase "I was asked the very same yesterday and solved it this way..." ;-) – puck Sep 20 at 8:17

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