I love my critique partners. I appreciate each of them for their honest, constructive input, largely because I have had less than fabulous critique partners in the past. Beware of the Jaded Jerk. They are out there trolling open critique groups looking for people to stroke their egos.
The first critique group I was in was led by this guy that seemed to take pleasure in cutting whoever joined the group down at the knees. In the year or so that I went to the meetings, I saw more than a few people crying in their cars afterward. I kept going because he did give me good advice but after a while, I decided I’d had enough. It was kind of like having a drill sergeant as your workout buddy – you’ll get in shape but you feel terrible about yourself the whole time. Find nice people to build a writing community with you. Look for honesty and kindness in good measure.