I'm trying to find either a word or a phrase that describes a person who who is blind to the negative consequences of their actions even though the consequences should be obvious to them.

6 Answers 6



not aware of or not noticing something, esp. what is happening around you:
She was often oblivious to the potential consequences of her actions.



"We are so thoughtless, that we thus wander through the hours which are not here, regardless only of the moment that is actually our own."

Blaise Pascal

French mathematician, physicist (1623 - 1662)



  1. lacking in concern for the rights or needs of others; thoughtless.
  2. not carefully considered or thought out.

Funk and Wagnalls. Standard desk dictionary. 1969


Someone that is blind to the consequences of their actions is "Ignorant", though the contextual clues suggest that a better word to use might be "Naive" as it refers to one that is specifically unaware of the "consequences" of their actions rather than lacking a general "understanding" of their actions. Naive also entails that the person is "blind" to consequences (in a negative sense) of their actions and so can only see the "positive" outcome of what they do.

Some synonyms of the word ignorant are as follows (quoted from Oxford Thesaurus of English).

without knowledge, unaware, unconscious, insensible; unfamiliar with, unacquainted with, unconversant with, inexperienced in, uninitiated in, blind to, oblivious to, naive about, innocent about, green about, a stranger to; uninformed about, unenlightened about, unschooled in; informal in the dark about, clueless about, not knowing the first thing about, not having the faintest about; literary nescient, strange to "I was largely ignorant of the effects of radiotherapy"

  • Hello. I added block quote formatting for the content in your answer that you drew directly from the Oxford Thesaurus of English, along with a link to the source online and a cite explicitly crediting it. English Language & Usage tries to be stringent about crediting sources for quoted language, but new site participants are sometimes unclear about how to credit them properly.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 6:32
  • @Sven Yargs thank you ! I am still learning so it is always appreciated when I am able to see the "errors of my ways" so to speak. Commented Mar 16, 2019 at 6:38

Optimistic and Sanguine: optimistic or positive, especially in an apparently bad or difficult situation.

  • 1
    I think those mean they are aware and conscious of the consequences but are choosing to accept them, but I am looking for words or phrases that indicate they are unconscious or unaware even though it should be self-evident.
    – gbh
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 18:32

can't see the forest for the trees.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.