There are minimal risks associated with assertiveness training. Personal relationships may be affected if those around the participant have difficulty accepting the changes in their friend or family member. This risk, however, is no greater than that associated with any other life change.
Another potential risk is that of overcompensating in the early stages of training by being too aggressive. With appropriate feedback, participants can usually learn to modify and improve their responses.
People who are very shy or self-conscious, or who were harshly treated as children, may also experience anxiety during the training as they work toward speaking up and otherwise changing their behaviors. The anxiety may be uncomfortable, but should decrease as the person becomes more comfortable with the techniques and receives encouragement from others in the program.
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