We, as writers tear our work apart on our own. We like to rant about how bad our work is. But it’s different when someone else does it. And understandably so. It’s one thing to say “Oh, my work stinks” and then a completely different thing when someone else says, “This was horrible”.
But criticism is an important thing in really everything in life. And yes, that applies to writing as well. A lot of the time, people are trying to help you with their criticisms. It might not really be helping (or you may not think that it is) but really, it might. And of course, there are always going to be people who are being mean for the sake of being mean. But keep in mind that a majority of the people are giving their honest opinion and trying to help you to improve. And, in knowing what people didn’t like, it’ll be easier for you to avoid or fix said problem next time around.
One thing that I like, though, is when people tell me what they did like as well as what they think that I could improve on. In this way, I’m not just receiving a whole bunch of negativity and thinking “This person hated my book”. No, actually, you know that they did like it (at least to a certain extent) but that they are trying to help you. It’s a good way to balance out the good and the bad.
What do I recommend?
If you’re asking someone that you know personally to read your writing and give you their honest opinions on it, you might want to ask them to let you know what they did like as well as what they didn’t.