“If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”
It’s so much more fun to hear praise than it is to hear criticism, especially from those that aren’t paid to critique anyone and decide to take up the role of the keyboard cowboy, throwing out their opinion and treating it as though it’s worth it’s weight in gold. Critics do and don’t have an easy job to be honest, and they suffer a great deal for what they do while the same time act like parasites that only seem capable of knocking those things they believe they understand. That’s the dichotomy of the job however, and the responsibility of those being criticized is to take it, learn from it, and choose whether to accept it and change or deny it and do what they want to do.
Critics aren’t there to actively ruin your life, no matter what you do or how they feel about you. A good critic, yes there are many of them believe it or not, will point out flaws as a way to open someone’s eyes and perhaps inspire them to do something greater, something more worthwhile with their time and talent. Poor critics will attack, good critics will offer constructive criticism that can possibly enlighten those that are being criticized. After all, if someone finds a flaw in your work it could be a matter of personal bias and/or subjectivity, which would be a good indicator of a critic that is in the wrong job.
The argument of the critic being able to do your job however is kind of null and void because unless they have no true idea of what it is you do, then there’s a chance that they’ve studied and even done what you do, so they have the inside track and can make an objective and fair judgment. But again, a good critic, yes stifle your disbelief for a moment, will gladly make suggestions, perhaps even find the good in a project, and give ideas of how things could have gone to make something better. The bad critic is the one that will seek to tear you down without ever bothering to make a suggestion other than to quit, to give up on your dreams.
Those tend to be the critics that couldn’t make it doing what you do, or anything that they might have wanted to do. Those are critics that find it easier to tear people down in order to make themselves feel better so that they can sleep at night knowing that someone else feels as miserable as they do. In other words, those are the people you feel a bit sorry for since they feel the need to be nasty rather than nice.
You don’t need continual compliments, criticism of anything you do is just fine so long as people are willing to see the good in what you’re doing as well as offer advice on how to make something more appealing. Personally I never cared for critics, but as I’ve grown I’ve found a use for them more and more, and it’s helped immensely to realize that good criticism is not an attack, but rather someone granting advice on how to go about one project or another.
You don’t have to accept it, but paying attention is a good idea.
As for those that chime in and act snarky or nasty and aren’t critics to begin with? Treat them like an errant breeze, there to make noise in your ear and gone the next second, as though they were never there.