I am outwardly a successful person. I live and work in Dubai, earn a good salary with the associated trappings but I am very lonely. Since moving here from India almost two years ago I haven’t made many friends and also now feel I’m losing touch with home. I feel isolated in my apartment each evening and find the loneliness is eating away at me. My colleagues all seem to be having the time of their lives, but I feel excluded. Although I am not a naturally outgoing person, I haven’t felt like this before and now I’m not sure where to turn.

Moving away from your established life and embarking on something new is never easy. It sounds like you have fallen between two worlds and instead of making new connections, you have withdrawn into a place where you feel safe, but isolated.

The more afraid and lonely we are, the greater the feeling of possible rejection and this might be preventing you from meeting new people and enjoying new experiences. It’s clear you are able to enjoy a full life, as you refer to your relationships at home. I have to wonder why you have allowed these to fall by the wayside, when advances in technology make it increasingly easy to stay in touch. Destabilising these solid foundations is likely to have caused that feeling of being lost and re-establishing them should be your first priority. With a bit of effort on your part, you can gain strength and comfort from those old connections whilst you go about making new ones.

Although you are feeling lonely, you are not alone. Humans need social interaction and you need to be open to the idea of getting outside of your comfort zone and the longer you leave it, the harder it becomes. Getting involved in a new interest or hobby will bear fruit socially. You are a successful and motivated person at work, I’ve no doubt you can transfer those soft skills into a new social context.