Well, all the chronic pain and chronic energy sufferers like those with Lupus and Fibromyalgia have the Spoon Theory, and it’s a wonderful resource for explaining things to those who don’t know what is entailed in a chronic debilitating disease.
I’ve thought about it, and I realized that Introverts have something similar, and it’s important too.
The Introvert’s Candle Theory
Think about a candle. You put it out and light the wick, it burns away and then you have no more candle. That’s the way socializing works for an introvert.
You have only a finite amount of time for the social aspects to be lit, and once it’s gone, that’s it. The introvert will get nervous and anxious and antsy until they have another candle to burn. And it depends entirely on the type of candle the Introvert has that determines just how long that candle will burn. A tea light is only a couple hours, a birthday candle can only be a few minutes, while an emergency candle may last up to 72 hours. You can put the candle out and leave it extinguished for a time, light it back and have the rest of the time to socialize.
Light a birthday candle and let it burn for 10 minutes, put it out and you have about 10 more minutes left. It’s that simple. Leave it unlit for as long as you need and can, and you still have only 10 more minutes.
However, through cutting off contact with everyone, isolating themselves, the introvert can make a candle when one is gone, or they can add to the candle they already have. It only works once, they can’t “store up” candles because they only have enough supplies to make one candle at a time. And the mold they have for the candle, large, small, tea or whatever, determines what kind of candle they can make. Then they light it and it burns away, and they have to make another.
Now, the time required to make a candle varies with the person, and some can make it faster, and light a new candle and socialize faster than another, or it may take them weeks or months to make a new candle, which will allow them to socialize for that length of time that they have.
So, think of a candle, and think of making the candle, and think of the type of mold you need to make the candle, and making the wick and so on. Those are the factors that determine how you make a candle.
And that is exactly the same as how an Introvert socializes, recovers from the social situation, stands being in the social situation, and why each are different.