Is there a single word describing someone who is like a frog in a well? The frog believes the well is the entire world. How can I describe people who think that their own small environment is the entire world?
Synonyms of parochial, "characterized by an unsophisticated focus on local concerns to the exclusion of wider contexts", may serve. Such synonyms include confined, insular, limited, local, narrow, narrow-minded, petty, provincial, regional, small-minded, isolated.
Insular, for example, has a sense that means "separate or isolated from the surroundings; having little interaction with external parties; provincial." Narrow-minded and small-minded are of course easily understood, and so would be close-minded.
Blinkered, fitted with blinkers, or "eye shields attached to a hood for horses, to prevent them from seeing backwards and partially sideways", is another possibility, as are formations from synonyms blinders and winkers.
Edit: Also consider monomania, "excessive interest or concentration on a singular object or subject" or "a pathological obsession with one person, thing or idea"; obsession, "compulsive or irrational preoccupation; an unhealthy fixation"; idée fixe;
tunnel vision, "an extremely narrow point of view; narrow-mindedness"; and locked-in.
I would add myopic to @jwpat7's excellent list.
One term you could use is isolationist, although isolationism is used mostly to describe countries who do not interact internationally and focus on themselves. It might be understood when used to describe people, however.
Depending on how far you want to take your analogy, you could label the frog a solipsist.
I believe "provincial" is the best match for what you are asking for, but only if you want a pejorative term. Although, I find it hard to imagine making this observation about someone and it not being intended pejoratively.
I was thinking more navel-gazing...except that frogs don't have navels to my knowledge.
I would go for "self-centered and lacking in situational context".
A more colloquial term would be that the person is "wearing blinders", which comes from horses wearing blinders to prevent them from seeing things that could potentially startle or alarm them.
Another term would be that the person "has buried their head in the sand" which refers to the (false) legend that ostriches bury their heads in the sand to avoid danger.
Five years and no one has suggested cloistered.
- dwelling or raised in, or as if in, cloisters; solitary.
- isolated, protected, hidden away for the sake of maintaining innocence
- naive, lacking in worldliness
A cloister is a place of religious seclusion, like some convents and monasteries.
Two words, not one: ivory tower
- a state of privileged seclusion or separation from the facts and practicalities of the real world
To live or be in an ivory tower is not to know about or to want to avoid the ordinary and unpleasant things that happen in people's lives:
a place or situation where you are separated from the difficulties of ordinary life and so are unable to understand them, used especially to describe a college or university:
- an attitude of aloofness from or disdain or disregard for worldly or practical affairs.
Citations taken from "ivory tower definition"
I would call him Introvert and blinder as well.
protected by tchrist♦ Jul 6 '14 at 23:52
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